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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 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
trees, and from conversations, is enormous.

This link will take you to the announcement on the Collection's blog: http://mbgna.blogspot.com/2012/05/dozen-for-matthaei-nichols-bonsai.html. Have a look!

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) bonsai that Jack developed from a seedling.
Here's a picture I took on a visit last June, of one of Jack's Scots pine bonsai. I believe the forest that can be partly seen behind the pine and to the viewer's left (and a bit out of focus) is the larch forest pictured in the Arboretum's announcement (link, above.)

I've heard a rumor -- from a pretty reliable source -- that the bonsai garden may be open to the public by late summer. If that works out, I'm sure I can find some way to convince my wife that we need to visit Ann Arbor! ;-)

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