The Open Competition at Wessex Bonsai Society Show was well attended and the overall Best in Show went to Bill Baker with his Scots Pine. Here are the award winners from the first 3 classes and more on the other classes and wider class entries in subsequent posts.
Class 1 was the Group planting and this is for bonsai displays which incorporate multiple trunks creating the impression of a forest (yose- ue) or woodland scene. The main feature is to ensure that the primary tree has the greatest height and trunk diameter over the other trees within the group as this provides the focal point. The spacing between the trees is also important as well as the arrangement as to how they are placed within the pot and forest group itself to give a sense of expanse plus maturity.
Forest groups can be arranged in so many ways and this allows for a good range of diversity in the aesthetic and often paths, negative spaces and other features are included within the design.
The presentation of group plantings is usually on a slab, slate or in a shallow pot giving an improved impression of a landscape setting and the number of trees included varies dramatically subject to the overall impression that is required to create the appearance of a forest but as a general rule this usually is an odd number of trunks but does not always have to be.
Here are the winners from Class 1.
Rock Planting was Class 2 and this is where bonsai trees are grown over a rock (Sekijoju) or in a rock (Ishizuki) and this is very reflective of trees in certain locations world wide that can be seen growing over, on or in rocks in their natural environment. Rocks are usually visible and exposed to provide a more accurate impression of the root attachment to the rock as opposed to placed on a rock and features of the rocks exposed to show detail of the rock formation can enhance the visual image.
The tree and rock need to be well matched to achieve this style in addition to providing a well balanced overall image. The most important element is the root formation over the rock and this needs to be composed to give a depth and sense of character in its arrangement over the rock and be convincing too as an image.
Here are the winners from Class 2.
Broadleaf class 3 contained a large selection of bonsai trees that have a leaf that is broad in its form which is wide and flat and here are the winners for this class.