Chairman,s chat August meeting

You will read in Clive H,s show report that our last display for Salisbury,s 25th did despite two minor hiccups go rather well, congratulations to Salisbury club for finding such a suitable venue with ease of access, parking and most important food available all day.

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The exhibiting clubs and traders all seem to have a good time helped along with talks by Manuel Gonzales, Peter Chan and John Trott during the day, all in all a very enjoyable day and well done to Clive H for both selecting the trees and setting out the display and even better he had one of his trees awarded best informal upright.

This months meeting we had Ritta and Mark Cooper as guest speakers, Ritta talked on the subject and use of Kusamono which are normally plantings displayed as the centre of attention and Shitakusa which are plantings accompanying bonsai displays.

Ritta also talked about Kokedama or moss balls which caused quite a bit if interest with several members wanting to try them, more of this later.

Ritta covered types of containers to use including driftwood, why certain plants make better accents than others, and consideration for why we use accent plants, for instance if you are displaying trees styled as would be seen on a mountain then select plants normally found in this environment and not say a fern found in wet shady conditions lower down.

Also avoid selecting plants with same similar colours/tones as the main tree and go for a contrast, and for your Kusamono use plants that require similar conditions i.e. wet soil or those that prefer dry conditions as they will better survive obvious I know but easy to get wrong.

The talk was varied and interesting and with Mark adding in their experiences on trips to Japan it was certainly thought provoking it will now make me look at displays in a more understanding light and I will certainly think more on setting up a display.

The second half of the evening was a practical workshop where we had to design and make our own plantings ( now we see who was paying attention), Ritta and Mark circulated giving advice and helping members.

The practical turned out to be the highlight with nearly everyone wanting to get their hands dirty and judging by  the smiles all enjoying every bit.

One member wants to try this out at home already.

Many thanks to Ritta and Mark for a thoroughly enjoyable evening and for expanding our knowledge on plantings and Bonsai, I would also like to thank to Amelia for collecting the material for the workshop.

Some of Ritta,s compositions.

Workshop in progress.

Start of the workshop
We did not stop for tea
Glad to see you were listening!
How did Ritta make that?
At last Mark learning to read
Anthony trying to fit his plant in his cup
They were having trouble with their moss balls?
I will show you only once more
Success at last a fine pair
I haven’t finished yet
Look Tony I did it.