Another well known Bonsai exhibitor for this years Swindon Winter Image Show on Sunday 26th February is Bill Baker and he has written a short introduction piece for anyone who has yet to meet Bill and see his superb bonsai trees and one of which you will be able to view at the show.

I began growing trees in pots during the early nineteen eighties having seen some bonsai in Hillier’s Garden Centre at Braishfield. I then joined the Eastleigh Bonsai Society and was inspired by the demonstrations carried out by Dan Barton and Peter Adams.

I am an agricultural engineer and travel around the south of England and whilst out and about I saw the potential of some of the trees found on farmland, and began collecting these native trees. Also club digs allowed me to collect trees from the New Forest. The species of trees that I have collected are Scots Pine, Hawthorne, English Yew and Beech and Tamarix.

I then joined the Wessex Bonsai Society where I enjoyed showing some of my trees and for five years had instruction from Nobu Kajiwara. I am now a member of the Phoenix Bonsai Group, with whom I have shown in many different locations.

My highlights have been winning the Banksain Medal during my time at Wessex, winning the winter image shield at Swindon with a collected Scots Pine and having a tree included in Kevin Wilson’s UK show also achieving a joint first prize at The Heathrow show in 2016.

The tree that I am bringing to your Swindon show is a Trident Maple (Acer Buergerianum) in a Tiffany Blue Tokanoma Pot, I have owned this tree since April 2008. It was purchased from Shibata Nursery, Nagoya, Japan and was imported in 2007 by Dai-Ichi Bonsai.

I really enjoy working on collected Yamadori trees, as I feel that you learn more, mainly from your mistakes!

Bill Baker