The first contingent of the trip to Lodder Bonsai (Hoka-en Bonsai Studio) in Holland, has returned. Derek Amelia, Ross and myself, visited this nursery on 7th and 8th February and had a fantastic time. Although we have been visiting for some years now, it never fails to impress and give us some very difficult choices from the huge selection of indoor and outdoor trees, pots and other bonsai equipment.
However after much deliberation we managed it and are now awaiting the delivery of or purchases with much excitement. This was our first year where the temperatures were -12 and the canals were frozen allowing the Dutch to skate on them. Of course, as we were indoors most of the time, this did not affect us and we happily passed the time there discussing and putting trees to one side and then changing our minds again.
Derek came away with some lovely indoor and outdoor trees, Amelia an amazing Gingko and some indoor trees, Ross, a gardenia and a pyracantha, which are beautiful little trees, and some pots, they also bought some garden trees that are really lovely. I eventually chose a small Korean hornbeam and a few other little trees. We hope we left enough choices for the next contingent to choose when they go in a weeks time.
On the way home we visited another bonsai nursery called Japanese Garden centre ‘t Veerle, which is near Antwerp, they are not as big as Lodders, but have some amazing Pines and Azaleas, plus some other lovely trees. The weather did not help, but they were most hospitable, and if we can go back when the weather is better, they are having an open weekend at the beginning of June, when they are having Japanese masters demonstrating techniques for Pines and Azaleas.