Taxus cuspidata

After snow disrupting plans to visit Noelanders in January this year we held the Euro Tunnel booking and postponed it to a random date in May. Upon receipt of a reminder of this the week we searched around for any events in Europe and happened across the Sakura-Ten show run in conjunction to the 2013 All European Shinkokoai Koi Show so reconfirmed the booking and headed off to just north of Rotterdam near the Hague in the Netherlands for the weekend.

The Show venue was huge, really impressive, as it was a proper event and conference centre. The Bonsai element to the show was excellent with very high class trees on display and displayed advantageously. It was great to see different bonsai trees on display from all across Europe as well as have live demonstrations.

We were made to feel very welcome at the event and got to meet some really enthusiastic bonsai technicians and share ideas and techniques. The Yew that won Best in Show was a fabulous example of a stunning Bonsai and a favourite had to be the magnificent Gingko biloba displayed on a gorgeous stand. The shohin were an excellent standard and one of the Shohin White Pines was something else, a superb stocky compact tree.

Maarten van der Hoeven of Bonsai Plaza was one of the main organisers of the bonsai element alongside Martin Huizer of Yok So Japanese Gardens. There were a range of bonsai traders including Teunis Jan Klein of Deshima Bonsai Studio, Bonsai Focus Magazine, and Bonsai Cafe NL plus Henk Fresen with his bronze sculptures and Irene Chang with her paintings and jewellery.

The Koi show was fabulous too with a good range of exceedingly colourful and varied Koi, it was a first to visit in a show setting for us but a whole new world of knowledge needed to understand the finer points to this hobby…

The next show to watch out for in the Netherlands is the Bonsai van het Westen on the 1st and 2nd of June this year.