Welcome to my bonsai blog!

Welcome to my bonsai blog!

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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Graft That Matters.

     I've tried a few grafts before; but all were on trees I didn't plan to keep, or in places where it wouldn't bother me much if the graft didn't take. The graft I did Monday, tho, was different. If it should fail, one of my favorite bonsai-in-training will be two-dimensional for a number of years to come!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"...Bringing pleasure and inspiration ... after we are gone..."

     In a January post, I shared an announcement from the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan: they are developing a permanent bonsai garden to house the Matthaei-Nicholls Bonsai Collection. The garden will be open to the public, and will help spread the knowledge and enjoyment of bonsai in the lower Great Lakes region. (See this post.)

Now the Matthaei-Nicholls Collection has obtained a dozen fine bonsai from Jack Wikle of Tecumseh, MI. Jack is a long-time bonsai artist, teacher, and lecturer, who first encountered bonsai while on military service in Japan. He went on to earn an MA in horticulture, and became one of the moving forces in the growth of the bonsai community in the USA. My personal debt to him, for all I have learned from his writings and his

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ft. Wayne Bonsai Club Spring Show

    Yesterday, May 12th, the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club held our annual Spring Show, at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. Yes, the venue's name is a mouthful, but the good thing is that the Conservatory is as well-designed and appealing as its name is intimidating.

"Show" may not quite convey how informal this event is. There is no judging, except that each visitor is asked to leave a little square of pink paper beside the composition he or she likes the most. (Tallying the slips at the end of the day also gives us a pretty good idea of how many people came thru.) Club members also vote, separately and anonymously, for "best tree." There are no prizes, just congratulations to the winners. We ask that entries be in bonsai pots (please, no plastic) or on slabs, and that members clean up their trees and pots beforehand. And that's it. So maybe it would be better to call it a "display" than a "show." But whatever you call it, we had a great time. Maybe more important, the visitors appeared to find it all interesting.

Between conversations with visitors, I snapped a few pictures.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby Mantids

     Jim and Wendy, neighbors across the street, ordered a praying-mantis egg case so their children could see the babies  (known as nymphs) hatch out. That "blessed event" happened this afternoon, and several neighborhood children got to see and handle the hatchlings. It was the first time I had seen new-hatched