As part of the Bonsai Clubs International (BCI) Convention we got to visit Guangzhou Haizhu district Peihong Primary School (广州市海珠区培红小学), South China Bonsai heritage base. It was a fantastic field trip and we were met to an audience of the children who sang a greeting and provided us all with a range of gifts and presents. They cordially invited us into to their school and showed us around the bonsai within the grounds.
They culturally believe that teaching bonsai at an early age embeds into the people a sense of nature and beauty as well as promotes a healthy cultural atmosphere with green everywhere.
They also believe it is important to learn about Chinese traditional culture and that children can also become the culture transmitters of the future. Peihong Primary School was named as Lingnam Bonsai Intangible Culture Heritage Base (岭南盆景非物质文化遗产传承基地) in June 2010.This included some very large bonsai specimens on display plinths as well as a garden sections with work benches and smaller bonsai that the children demonstrated their bonsai techniques on.
They had over 16 species of bonsai including Ficus microcarpa over rock, Murraya exotica, Clyptostrobus pensilis, Carmona microphylla, Sagerelia thea, Ulmus parvifolia and Pinus massoniant to name a few. They also had great examples of many styles from formal, upright style, slanting style, double trunks, groups, trunk over rock and root over rock.
It was also great to see some of the children artwork on the walls in the main courtyard where there were some amazing bonsai on display individually as well as part of wider display pieces.
After the visit to the school we headed off for another great lunch and discussed how much the children seemed to enjoy bonsai and the benefits of teaching bonsai from an early age.