March meeting

A busy evening repotting as expected this time of year, conversations around who had trees already in bud and what varieties where they.

Not many weeks left now for repotting so I guess we will all be repotting as many as possible to not be caught out.

Many of us after Amelia’s talk last year on repotting in the autumn have been doing this and it has certainly eased the pressure and we will be doing more this autumn.

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Lodders Open Weekend 2023

Lodder Bonsai bv, Harmelem in the Netherlands is a major importer of bonsai and has been an annual visit by several members for many years only interrupted by Covid.

Now restrictions are no longer in place this would be the first time we have been over for two years and all of us look foreword to the trip not only to see the trees but meet the friends we have made there.

The trip coincides with their open week end, this year it was held on 11th & 12th March and it is where Gerrit invites many exhibitors associated with bonsai or Japanese culture i.e potters, scroll painters/sellers, carving tool suppliers, sushi food stand, and other bonsai sellers and guest speakers to name just a few of the stands.

There was also a display from a local club with excellent quality bonsai.

The pictures here can only cover part of what Lodders have and it is mind blowing when you first walk in to see the shear number and varieties for sale and they cover all price ranges as you might be able to see on the tags, it also gives anyone a chance to see the higher priced trees and the difference in design and quality ( we can only dream of being able to own any of these ).

Hopefully we can keep this up as our annual trip, and many thanks to Amelia for the pictures and to Ross for placing them in a format for posting.

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Swindon Bonsai Society Winter Show 2023

We had been pleased to accept an invitation to put on a club display for the Winter Show the first one since lockdown.

This has always been a popular show with many people heading straight to the dealers to restock on pots and buy new material.

This year was no different and by the end of the day there were many empty spaces on their tables.

There were many high quality trees on display which demonstrates the high regard this show is held in by the Bonsai community.

As we set up we found out from the Swindon chair Paul that there was a problem with the lighting and that they had only found this out when they set up the stands on Saturday, this left no option but to go ahead with the show.

we spoke to any people who came by our stand and took the opportunity to explain the lack of lighting as it was not Swindon clubs fault and we were pleased to see how people accepted it.

Some pics of our club display

Few pics of the trees in the show.

February 16th 2023 meeting

Weather permitting this is one of the main months to start repotting trees before they start pushing although talking to members some trees have already produced buds.

No doubt climate change with no real defined end and start of seasons is having an affect on nature.

There was some serious repotting being done on many developed trees, repotting isn’t always carried out when a tree becomes pot bound, I have repotted trees that as they developed needed a change of position in the pot also I have used annual root pruning/repotting to develop trees it is one of the crucial bit of work that produces a good bonsai.

Here are some of the pics taken on the evening.

January 19th meeting 2023

This was the first meeting of our new year it was a workshop but also the selection from trees brought in by members for the upcoming Swindon Bonsai Winter image show being held on Sunday 19th February at the Grange Leisure Centre SN3 4JY.

The selection which is never easy is over seen by our show manager Clive H, it involves what trees work together this involves shuffling them up and down the tables many many times, the spacing between each, and avoiding them running in a straight line along the tables and which stand suits the tree just to mention some of the points that have to be considered.

We learn something every time and members are encouraged to make their comments, it is then down to Clive H to make the final decision.

Here is the display chosen for Swindon, praise also has to go to Clive H who has made all the display tables.

We have also brought back the Tree Of The Month competition which is every month members can select what they consider is looking it’s best and bring it in.

Members then vote on what they consider is 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice and then count from this gives the overall placing.

December 15th AGM and decorated tree competition.

Decembers meeting is the clubs AGM and end of year get together with the decorated tree competition.

The AGM is usually a short affair as we have open discussions on club matters through out the year and this one was no different.

I would just like to thank all the club members who returned to the club when COVID restrictions ended and we have even been able to increase membership numbers.

Considering the sub zero temperature and the frozen snowy conditions we did have a fair number of people come to the meeting on the night and even entered into the decorated tree competition.

After all the votes were counted Sally was declared the winner with her Grinch themed decorated tree it certainly made me smile.

November 2022 meeting

At this months meeting we had a talk and demonstration by Amelia on repotting in late autumn.

Amelia has been repotting her trees at this time of year for some time and her results have proven that this works.

Contra to the books you will read which say to repot in the spring Amelia explained why she repots in late autumn.

  1. Trees particularly deciduous when they have dropped their leaves are entering a state of dormancy.
  2. Usually at this time of year temperatures are not as cold/wet as late winter.
  3. Tree roots still grow even though the tree is dormant, and with late autumn temps encourage better recovery from pruning.
  4. Roots should be in a much more advanced stage of recovery when the tree awakens in spring.
  5. Word of caution trees pruned in late autumn could need some protection if the weather turns cold but this still applies to trees pruned in spring especially now we don’t seem to have any regularity in our seasons.

6 If you have a lot of trees this can help to avoid having to repot in the short span of weeks in the spring.

Excellent talk and certainly gave members something to think about or try for themselves.

We also had Rob from Oakfieldbonsai who came along with his van of well stocked goodies, and put just a small amount of stock on the table.

October Club Night

Working on our bonsai trees

Tonight it was a chance to clean up and prepare our bonsai trees for winter, removing weeds and accumulated moss from the soil surface. Also, wiring, checking existing wiring on Pines and Junipers. Pruning of tropical Figs as always and Chinese Elms, structural pruning of a Hawthorn or two and Maples and an overall health check.

Discussion on bonsai

We had a few new bonsai trees bought in tonight by Mike, who had found about about Warminster Bonsai when he was visiting Staverton Bonsai Boot Sale. We discussed his three trees, a box (Buxus), a Korean Hornbeam (Carpinus) in stunning autumn colour and a Larch (Larix). Looking forward to seeing their progress.

Drawing the raffle

The winner of the Privet Bonsai tree raffle is Clive Harber, congratulations Clive.

Lots more bonsai chat

Project Yew tree update

There will be a follow-up post all about the project Yew trees, the project and the majority of trees are still alive and doing well so look out for the update shortly. Even in the space of the evening one of the Yew trees changed its future style quite dramatically and is now going to be a semi-cascade.

Lakeside Garden Centre, Crockerton October 2022

This is the first time we have been able to display at Lakeside and weather was kind with a steady flow of people coming throughout the day.

Difficult time for choosing trees that still look good after the stress of the heat wave we experienced this year but it created interest.

This is the display for Saturday 1st

On Sunday we had a change of display with our resident experts in attendance, many thanks to Derek, Sally, Jim and Clive H for supporting the display over the two days.

Sundays display