The Splinter Group was formed from an initial idea which had been touched upon many times by both Big Steve and Little Steve. Although members at various times of both Middlesex Society and the Capel Manor Group they found that they really wanted to display in a different way to the usual club format of putting as many member’s trees on a display table as was physically possible. These thoughts were shared by fellow club members Graham Jenkins and Henry Smee and thus The Splinter Group was formed.

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This was a collection of bonsai that kept inspiring, because in addition to a stunning massive collection of the finest Pinus massoniana there was a wide variety of other tree species on display as bonsai too including Giant Redwoods! This collection was in the Daliang County of Shunde in China in a place called Pinsongqiu, and despite the wet weather we got to wander round this exquisite collection admiring the intricate techniques used in these creations of art. Continue reading


Carmona microphylla is a common species used for indoor or otherwise tropical bonsai in the UK and is one species many people starting the bonsai hobby have once owned or even still own. It is commonly called the Fukien tea tree. Continue reading

Bombax ceiba

Bombax ceiba, 木棉 mu mian are trees that reach around 25 m in height. They are tall with buttressed trunks and usually very spiny on young trees. The bark is tray-white and the branches are spreading. The leaves are large and oblong but narrow. The flowers appear in March and April and are solitary, petals usually red, sometimes orange-red. Seeds are produced in a good quantity in the summer. The tree grows in hot dry river valleys and savanna and can be found in Guangdong and the local area. Bombax ceiba was formerly cultivated for its seed floss (kapok) and for more details visit Flora in China. Continue reading


Pinsongqiu is located in Daliang County, Shunde in China. It is an amazing garden comprised of predominately Pines hence the name. The main species of Pine is Pinus massoniana and there are over 150 distinctive masterpieces of pine bonsai all created in the Lingna style. Continue reading

Buxus sinica

Buxus sinica (Chinese Box) makes an impressive bonsai especially on the size and scale of the examples on display at the recent Bonsai Clubs International (BCI) Convention in Guangzhou, China. There were some stunning mature exhibits of the Chinese box and the trunk fluting and ridges presented a very dominant trunk image as well as the dense evergreen canopy. Continue reading