This started a while ago. A few Swindon club members collectively agreed they appreciated the exposed root style of bonsai while we were at another club’s show. We made a pact to have a go at creating one for ourselves, myself included. This is as far as I got Terry. I mostly work with pine so it wasn’t difficult to make a decision of what species to use, for me.

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Today, Saturday the 5th September 2020 saw the first club workshop since lockdown in March. Andy and Mandy, club members have a lovely large garden which meant we could all work at distance and still be close enough to converse. Lots of trees were worked on including the NEW Project Trees purchased at ‘Lodders’ by Sally/Derek earlier this year, but unable to be collected by the club members due to the virus. It was a lovely sunny day with light wind and enjoyed by all those that attended, huge thanks to Andy and Mandy for hosting the event.

Here are also a few of the trees on display, a huge trunk on the white pine, glad I didn’t have to lift it.

With all shows off the agenda for the time being, The UK Bonsai Association has instigated a virtual show to fill the void.

Submissions for the show are currently still open until 20th September 2020 if you wish to enter a tree.

All trees will then be displayed on their website between the 1st and the 10th October 2020. All members are welcome to email their favourite top five trees. All trees are identifiable by individual numbers beginning with the letter A so we would ask members to email their favourite trees in order of preference as follows:
1st = A034
2nd = A014
3rd = A067
4th = A087
5th = A022

Voting finishes on 10th October 2020, allowing time to have the results available for their November bulletin. All members including exhibitors can participate in the voting process. Please see UK Bonsai Association website for full information.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic Swindon Bonsai Club Members have kept their hobby going virtually through a fortnightly meeting on Zoom. It is not quite the same as meeting up in person to discuss and work on your trees but it has proven to be a good method utilising existing technology to still be able to discuss our bonsai trees with each other and share knowledge and advice. We tend to have a theme for each zoom meeting and the most recent one was unusual bonsai.

Many other bonsai clubs and societies are also doing this and some have set up WhatsApp groups to share photos of their bonsai tree development and set up.

There is also a Virtual Bonsai Show which has been organised by the UK Bonsai Association, so check out their website for more details.

This year we still wanted to ensure our club members were busy with bonsai so we have proceeded with starting another Elm project with them. We managed to source earlier in the year 20 Chinese Elms and are now offering our club members the opportunity to join in with the project trees again for this year. If you would like to take part then purchase a raffle ticket (an e-mail has been sent to club members with the details of how to purchase a ticket). This links to a corresponding ticket on the Elm and that tree will be allocated to you and we can arrange for a suitable collection location.

Key things to remember

Keep it in a pot of your choice so you can bring it back into the club nights to be photographed to monitor your progress

Work on it yourself

Do not create a group planting

Style it how you want

Feed it with your own feeding regime

Keep it alive and let the project begin……

Collette received a stunning bonsai gift from a friend

If you are looking to start the hobby of bonsai and need some advice or are looking to buy your first tree or even add to your existing collection then give Collette Harrison at Bonsai Trees Southampton a call on 023 8049 5729. She has an array of bonsai trees suitable for the beginner right through to more advanced and established bonsai trees.

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Update from Lee: My new Bonsai trees have arrived from Japan and are now available for sale. Contact Lee directly for more details and to discuss the new trees he now has in stock or visit his website.

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Before a very sick cherry

To continue the story of what Dianne did next with the story of her 12ft air layer which is strange but true!

As it was to be our airlayering workshop last week I thought I should tell you about the one I’ve just done. It all began when Graham Simpson sent me a photo of his lovely Cherry Bonsai which was just my kind of tree – flowers AND autumn foliage.

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