Arihato award for 2019 Swindon Winter Image Show

Anand Arihato was/is a teacher. He was taken from us too early. That said if you consider his spiritual belief he is still with us, around us or within us. He was (I will use past tense from now purely as I look upon things from a Western perspective) a great believer in knowledge and he shared a great deal with me on bonsai and his philosophy in many late night emails. To have had this opportunity to talk was a singular honour. He affected me in a way very few people have. 

Arihato produced some of the very best larch trees the Bonsai community has seen. It is saddening to think there will be no more. His ‘back catalogue’ does not only include larches though as he was also a gifted carpenter of exquisite bonsai tables and accompanying boxes for them. He also was a retired jeweller although I have never seen any of his work but know I would love to own a piece…Alas…

He confided in me once that he hoped to produce the perfect mame magnolia – one flower only. I am working on that but it might take a while.

The award is my attempt to give a small amount back to his memory. This is the fourth incarnation and I hope to produce many more. The first award was a bronze copy of one of his trees He sent to me (along with many other trees, plants and gifts). The following three awards have been root stand made by myself. The little skill I have does little to reflect the great admiration I have for this most generous of individuals.

His trees speak better of him than I could ever hope too.

You are missed my friend.

Kit B

Criteria for the award

This award is for the best small tree in my opinion. As those of you know I like unusual so the tree that wins might not be the most convential or even what others consider to be the best executed. I will be taking into account size, pot, health and originality – do not neccessarily expect the beautiful formal upright to win – it might or might not. Shohin and smaller, main tree or accent is what I shall be considering. It is an award you keep and not returned.