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Bonsai Perfection and a Tenuous Connection

Bonsai perfection. Luis Vallejo provides the following information with this tree... "Fortunella hindsii Kumquat, By Nobuichi Urushibata

Still at the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival, and too busy to do much right now, so we'll treat you to a one from our archives that has a connection with the Festival. Nobuichi Urushibata, the artist owner of this lovely Kumquat is the father of Taiga Urushibata, one of the headliners here at the Festival. I know it's a bit tenuous, but it's 5am and we've got a long day in front of us...


The Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival - It's not too late to point your car in this direction

A Marc Noelanders composition that he and friends put together during last year's Bonsai Namaste Convention in Pune India. Marc is a headliner at this weekend's Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival

Today is the day. In a few hours the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival (April 12th – 14th) will open its doors. If you're anywhere within a few hundred miles of Hershey/Harrisburg PA, it's not too late to point your car this direction. An occasional spontaneous act is good for the psyche anyway, with the added bonus of some stunning spring scenery on the drive over. 

We'll be here all weekend with our famous Roshi Bonsai Tools, Tie Pots, New and out of print books and magazines, plentiful Bonsai wire and a lot more. We look forward to seeing you!

When was the last time you saw a man in a bonsai tree?  It's Marc Noelanders by the way, and the tree is a Taxus baccata (European yew) that was collected from a hedge. The photo on the right is the same tree after Marc styled it


What Do You See When You Look at a Bonsai?

Though it's a little embarrassing to admit, this is the only pot I clearly remember from the Artisans Cup (fall 2015). It and its well matched tree belong to Michael Pollock. Here's Michael's caption from his Bonsai Shinshei blog... "My lone Hinoki cypress after a quick fall cleanup. Falling deeper in love with this pot that Ron Lang and I collaborated on.” 

This post is the beginning of a series on bonsai pots... 

A few years ago I attended a major American bonsai exhibition (Artisans Cup) at a time when I had the leisure to go through the entire show three times over two days. The first time was a swirl of bonsai and people - It was packed and unless you wanted to create a traffic jam, it was best to just go with flow. I left that evening energized by the power of the event, but feeling that I had barely scratched the surface

The next day I went twice (morning and afternoon) and though each time I was more able to slow down and appreciate what I was looking at, I realized later that I had fixed my attention mostly on the trees and in many cases, couldn’t remember that much about the pots, let alone the stands.


Not only is this pot unique, but it's completely suited to the tree. The caption on this one reads "For Sándor Papp the best picture of my Sabina photo Willy Evenepoel, Pilsen 2é11." The artist is Milan Karpíšek


Red on red. Red glazes are expensive and not that easy to do. The tree is an Elaeagnus pungens (Siverthorn in English, Kangumi in Japanese). The potter/bonsai artist is Haruyosi


Is this pot made of bamboo or is it ceramic made to look like bamboo? The little tree is a Camellia japonica 'Unryu.' The photo is from the Omiya Bonsai Museum


It's almost like the tree is conforming to the shape of the pot, but I think it's the other way around. The tree is a famous Yew by our friend Harry Harrington. The pot is by Victor Harris of Erin Pottery



Here's a pot you won't easily forget. The tree is a Dwarf Kumquat and the photo is from Bill Valavanis's Bonsai blog


I'm not sure I've ever seen a pot quite like this one. I don't remember where the photo came from. The tree is a Rosemary



Bonsai that Could Stop Traffic...

Today's feature tree would stop traffic if it could walk down the street. I imagine it was carved rather than simply found that way, though I've been fooled before 

Couldn’t resist there two magnificent bonsai. Both express mastery when it comes to carving deadwood and both belong to David Benavente, a long time favorite here on Bark. David doesn’t mentioned the varieties and I won’t bother to guess (I've been burned one too many times).

Here’s a link to David’s fb timeline, and here’s one to his website. Enjoy!


Close up for a better look at the trunk with its remarkable deadwood and its all important living vein


Another tree and more impressive deadwood


The original photo

A Rising Star in Our Bonsai Universe

One of a kind. This dynamic Juniper may not be yet fully refined, but it already demands our attention. Here's Jennifer's caption "Great weekend with Mauro Stemberger. Learned learned a ton, laughed a lot and had a great time. Thank you Mauro..."

Need a little more incentive to get off the couch and head over to the Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival this coming weekend (April 12-14)? Jennifer Price, a rising star in our bonsai universe is one of the headliners. Take a look at the schedule, it's not too late to make your plans

Here's Jennifer's caption for this rugged old yamadori ... "Ponderosa pine after first styling in my collection. My friend and artist Mariusz Folda made this pot (below) - super combination. Thank you Mariusz and Walter Pall."


For more on Jennifer and here bonsai here's a link to her timeline 

Mariusz Folda's pot


I borrowed this photo of Jennifer from ABC Do Bonsai


MABS Spring Bonsai Festival - Only One More Week!

This powerful gem belongs to Mr. Nobuichi Urushibata and his son, Taiga Urushibata. Taiga, who is fluent in English, is one of the headliners at the upcoming Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival next week (April 12-14). We hope to see you there

Only one more week until the Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival. What better way to greet the spring and celebrate our mutual passion for bonsai than to spend a weekend together with our friends, teachers and of course, favorite vendors?

We’ll be there with a large selection of Rare and Out of Print Bonsai Books & Magazines, Bonsai Tools, Some Wire, a couple barely used and deeply discounted Green T Turntables and other treats for your bonsai passion

See Below for Special Orders

A Marc Noelanders masterpiece. Marc is another headliner at the Festival

Place Your Pre Order Now

There's no way we can fit everything we offer on two tables, so  if you’d like us to bring something just for you (free delivery never hurts), go online and order whatever you heart desires and include a note in the comments that you’d like us to deliver it to the show. We'll remove the shipping charge before we finalize your order

The deadline is for your special order is Monday, April 8th. Either way we hope to see you there!

A Cause for Celebration - Pacific Bonsai Museum's Living Art of Bonsai

It occurs to me that we could devote one post a week just to keep up with what's going on at the Pacific Bonsai Museum. I thought maybe Aarin Packard and friends could have rested after their brilliant book Natives was published, but it turns out they were just getting warmed up

Now we've got the Lab (Living Art of Bonsai), a project they started three years ago with the goal of advancing innovation and artistic expression in bonsai.

What I've seen so far should be a cause for celebration; the Lab stands at a the moment where ideas and execution come together in a way that is both spontaneous and well thought out (good planning can provide space for creativity and appreciation to arise). 

I could say a lot more and will soon, but for the moment I'd like to encourage you to sign up for the second live stream this Saturday. Here's your link. The rest is up to you


The brain trust, Ron Lang, Austin Heitzman and Ryan Neil (left to right) in deep contemplation




We'll leave these two shots to your imagination...


Another brilliant shot from Natives 

Some of the Most Outstanding Bonsai in the World


The perfect blend of greens and reds highlights an altogether perfect tree. It's a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) that has been in training since 1906. It was donated to the U.S. National Bonsai Museum by Ryutaro Azuma in 1978

I've been wanting to put together a new post on the U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum for a while now. Problem is, I'm swamped and don't have time to do it justice, So here's the next best thing, a post that we put up in January. Some of you are first time visitors, so they'll be new to you. For the rest of us, it never hurts to see such exceptional bonsai more than once

The National Bonsai Foundation has a wonderful new website that features the  U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, home to some of the most outstanding bonsai in the world. Today is just a teaser from the Museum’s Japanese Collection. We’ll have more trees and more about the National Bonsai Foundation and the Museum soon. Meanwhile here are three maples from the Japanese Collection for your enjoyment


More perfection. This one is a root-over-rock Trident maple (Acer buergerianum) that has been in training since 1916. It was donated to the museum by Takeo Fukuda in 1978


Another root-over-rock (roots-swallowing rock?) Trident maple. This time in fall color. It was trained to grow over this rock as seedling beginning in 1919. It was donated by the Prime Minister of Japan, Keizo Obuchi in 1999

In a Few Weeks, When the Snow Is Gone...

Satsuki azalea displaying a blend of white with a touch of pink and soft green. The flowers dominate right now, but it's no accident that the color of the pot enhances the deeply grooved trunk and nebari. An earlier shot of the same tree appears below

It’s not yet flower time here in northern Vermont. But in a few weeks when the snow is gone - no guarantees, we've seen snow in May - we should start to see some color

Meanwhile I've moved some of my bonsai from my cold frame/garage onto the covered front porch. The rest will come out soon. It's an annual ritual

The first three photos in this post are part of a photo album by Andres Alvarez Iglesias on facebook. The title is Mis Arboles (my trees). The forth photo appears on Andres’ website.


Another azalea showing off. Judging by the size of the flowers, you can tell it's a shohin size bonsai (Shohin is Japanese for small)

The flowers are gone. With a little luck (and diligence) the birds will spare the fruit. Looks like shohin crabapple in a Japanese pot

Here's the same tree that's at the top of the post. A little earlier in the season, before the flowers completely take over. I like the way the tree's structure is a bit more revealed than in the shot above. This one is from Andres' website

See You at the Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival

We’ll be there with a large selection of Rare and Out of Print Bonsai Books & Magazines, Bonsai Tools, Some Wire, a couple barely used and deeply discounted Green T Turntables and other treats for your bonsai passion

However,there's no way we can fit everything we offer on two tables, so  if you’d like us to bring something just for you (free delivery never hurts), go online and order whatever you heart desires and include a note in the comments that you’d like us to deliver it to the show. We'll remove the shipping charge before we finalize your order

The deadline is for your special order is Monday, April 8th. Either way we hope to see you there!

But don’t worry if you can’t make the show, we’ve got Free Shipping for continental U.S. order 100.00 or more anyway. And a range of useful, informative and beautiful items await you. Either way, at the show, or to your front door, we'd love to receive your order