Saturday, June 4, 2011

A New Growing Season: Does it Get More Exciting?

The beginning of a new growing season--can anything be more exciting when it comes to working with bonsai?

Our early June meeting brought out many projects that club members are now experimenting with--and look at the results that Gib shared with his two fine azaleas that are still in bloom. It is terrific that the tree was still in bloom for our meeting, and its blossoms are large and plentiful this year. While he has been under pressure to keep the number of trees to a minimum at home, it is rumored that his wife will permit him to have as many azaleas as he wants. We can all understand that.

It was also good to see how many members are still sharing their progress with last year's black pine extreme workshop. First and foremost, just about everyone's black pines were still alive. This will be the season where will will begin to see how the trees respond. It will also give our members a chance to hone their skills. The first bit is learning now how to visualize and work with your pines. Remember to be aware of what you are trying to accomplish with th
e tree as you prune. In some cases you may want to allow new shoots to extend, if your purpose is to create a new branch or apex. In other cases, the there is so little foliage that some needs to be kept to keep the tree healthy or to just thicken the side branches that will take over as new leaders for the tree.

*In other news, while we were unable to secure our viewing area at the art center for a show in June, we are hoping that we can get a weekend spot in early July. This timing will be at the height of the growing season and should allow for some interesting trees for display.

*One other observation: It has been exciting to see how many of our newer members are beginning to pick up their skill level--not just in their ability to prune and wire, but in their selection of nursery stock and collected material that they are using to start new projects. Members are encouraged to keep a photo log of their projects. In time, the early photos will be invaluable testimony to the how both the tree and the bonsai artist progress and grow.

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