Dynamic Show Stoppers & Other Brilliant Bonsai

This brilliant Satsuki azalea is from a 2015 Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai add (see below). Yesterday we featured some striking photos from the Golden State Bonsai Federation. Today we’ve got some even more striking photos from a 2015 post we did on GSBF. Continued below… Bonsai Tool Sale Ends Tomorrow Night 30% to 35% off Roshi BONSAI Tools Roshi Bonsai Tools are famous for precision cuts, durability, beauty & great prices Roshi Sale Ends tomorrow, Sunday, Feb 19th at 11:59pm EST   This dynamic show stopper with its massive deadwood swirl is one of many large bonsai from the private … Continue reading Dynamic Show Stoppers & Other Brilliant Bonsai

Highly Unusual & Undeniably Lush

This Hinoki forest is from the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s 2009 Annual Show. It’s a very unusual planting and quite compelling in its lush naturalness. I’ve come across spruce groves while hiking in Vermont and New Hampshire that look something like this. You find them near the mountain tops, where the harsh climate causes the trees to dwarf and huddle together. Traveling again so it’s back to our archives. The photo and caption above are from a post way back in 2010. It’s hard to miss the canopy’s lush and luminous emerald green color. This is characteristic of Hinoki foliage … Continue reading Highly Unusual & Undeniably Lush

We’ve Got a Bonsai Detective Winner and…

This image from our 2016 Bonsai Calendar has nothing to do with our Bonsai Detective Contest. Though you might note that our Contest is now officially over and that this beautiful calendar is now half price (as is our Japanese Garden Calendar). We have a Bonsai Detective Contest winner. His name is Dane Smith. He submitted his correct answers (see below) in considerably less than an hour from the time the post went up (Stephen Moore submitted his correct answers only moments later). Now the ten thousand of you who are emailing your answers can go back to your whatever … Continue reading We’ve Got a Bonsai Detective Winner and…

What You Do to the Land You Do to Yourself

Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) collected by Andrew (aka Andy) Smith and first styled by Walter Pall. It would hard to find a better pair for the job. Andy (Golden Arrow Bonsai) is a professional forester, master collector of wild bonsai and a bonsai artist in his own right, and Walter Pall is a world famous bonsai artist, teacher, trouble maker (in the positive sense of course) and owner of a very impressive bonsai collection. The photograph is by Walter. My apologies for the fuzz. It’s the result of dramatically increasing the image size. On balance I think this size … Continue reading What You Do to the Land You Do to Yourself

Judging Bonsai at the Cup: The Limits of the Point System

Eric Schikowski’s collected Mountain Hemlock was one of my favorites. It was also Peter Warren’s first choice. I borrowed this photo and the one below from Eric Shrader’s PHUTU blog. I was going to give the Cup a rest for awhile until I ran across this thorough, thoughtful and thought provoking article on Eric Shrader’s PHUTU (one of the best blogs I’ve had the good fortune to stumble upon lately). We’ll start with a disclaimer two disclaimers: First, what follows takes nothing away from the winners. All four (third place was a tie) are great bonsai and worthy of accolades. … Continue reading Judging Bonsai at the Cup: The Limits of the Point System

Dan Robinson, Bonsai Pioneer

Close up of Dan Robinson’s Mountain hemlock, taken on my cell at the Artisans Cup. Last weekend I finally had the pleasure of meeting Dan and Diane Robinson. It was at the Artisans Cup so I also had the pleasure of viewing and photographing Dan’s entry, the Mountain hemlock shown here (above and below). We’ve been featuring Dan Robinson’s bonsai and we’ve been selling and enjoying Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees for a long time (the second printing of Will Hiltz’ brilliant book about Dan and his trees just came out). Now that I’ve met Dan and actually seen one of … Continue reading Dan Robinson, Bonsai Pioneer

Great Trees & Vivid Closeups

It’s not that often that you’ll find a tall tree like this with great lower branching. When you do, and in the right hands, the result can be striking and quite unique. It’s a Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) that belongs to Ryan Neil (Bonsai Mirai). We don’t normally repost from just four months ago, but I’m on my way to the Artisans Cup (with a little stopover in San Francisco), so why not? Don’t worry, I won’t bug you about going if you haven’t made plans. It’s getting late and the case has already been made. Repeatedly, including yesterday’s post. … Continue reading Great Trees & Vivid Closeups

Great Close Ups, the Tallest Tree in the World, the Artisans Cup and other Bonsai Wonders

It’s not that often that you’ll find a tall tree like this with great lower branching. When you do, and in the right hands, the result can be striking and quite unique. It’s a Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) that belongs to Ryan Neil (Bonsai Mirai). All the photos in this post are from Ryan’s facebook photos. One of the things I like about Ryan Neil’s photos are his close-ups. It doesn’t hurt that his trees are phenomenal and so well photographed in the first place. But then to show such vivid close-ups invites you in closer. Like you are there … Continue reading Great Close Ups, the Tallest Tree in the World, the Artisans Cup and other Bonsai Wonders

The Golden State of Bonsai

Whoa! I am floored. Have you ever seen a bonsai feature more dynamic and powerful than this tree’s massive deadwood swirl? If so, please send a photo. The tree is one of many large bonsai from the private collection of Frank Bardella that were delivered to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. The image is from Golden Statement Magazine’s facebook photos. If you love bonsai but don’t know Golden Statements Magazine, it’s time to get acquainted. I won’t say much more, except that Golden Statements has been around for a long time (it must have been one … Continue reading The Golden State of Bonsai

Easy to Move and a Delight to Behold…

I think this one qualifies as Mame (‘bean’ in Japanese). Bonsai-wise, mame is a common word for the very smallest bonsai. When we originally posted this, I didn’t know who this lovely little bonsai belonged to. I’ve since been told that it is a Haruyosi tree.  Strange how once you know something it’s obvious. And btw, the sweet little pot was no doubt made by Haruyosi as well. Oh, and I’m pretty sure the tree is a Pyracantha. On the road again (and out of the bone chilling cold for a precious minute) so we’ll go archiving once again. This … Continue reading Easy to Move and a Delight to Behold…