Sunday, the 18th August saw the ABBex show [All British Bonsai Exhibition], at Failands, Near Bristol, where ONLY trees that originated from British stock were considered for display. [from seed, cuttings, air layer, division and British yamadori etc] The day started a bit damp but then honoured us with quite a bit of sun, which was good for the numerous trader stands out on the grass area behind the Failands hall. The standard of tree displays was very good, with trees of all species and sizes, so there was something for everyone. Esoteric pots [Dan Barton], David Sampson and Mendip Bonsai [John Trott] were on the hall stage and the Bristol club sales in the small room off the hall. Everyone had a vote of their three best trees and there were financial awards for the top trees. Well done to all those involved.

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Last Saturday, [the 17th August] saw our Annual pilgrimage up the hill to the Wanborough Show, a few hardy members of the club willing to resist the possible winds and wet weather during the day……………. In fact, it turned into a lovely warm afternoon, lots of sun which meant a big turnout of visitors and lots of interest in the display and the show in Feb 2020. The photographs of the display are a bit poor as our position in the show had been changed and the sun was directly behind the marquee, which has washed out the colours. The benefit was that we were next to the drinks and food wagons.

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Reg and Jeff Bolton

This year was another great day for the Open garden event with Reg and Jeff Bolton in Swindon in aid of Thamedown Hydrotherapy pool.

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Mealy bug by a leaf

It is important to stay on top of pests and diseases that may affect your bonsai to ensure they remain healthy and thrive as opposed to survive. Check them daily for any ill health signs like wilting leaves, yellowing leaves, dead twigs or branches and look for pests like mites, aphids and mealy bug. If you are unsure take a photo and send this to a bonsai club or bonsai forum like wee trees and they will be able to help identify the problem.

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Ulmus procera (English Elm) owned by current owner since 1969

Examples of species used as Outdoor deciduous bonsai trees in the UK
You can try to bonsai any tree species, some are easier than others and many people start with deciduous tree species when looking for a bonsai tree to keep outside in the UK. You can use native species like Oak and Elm or look at more ornamental species like Maple. Whatever you choose you will have fun learning the techniques for that species.

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Re-styled Ficus

Further to giving a few talks this year on Ficus and in particular Ficus microcarpa ‘Retusa’ (Tiger bark fig) which I have grown now for over 12 years as bonsai in the UK I thought I would share some of the information I have learnt and follow so here goes. How you keep your bonsai trees will vary as everyone has different conditions in which to keep their trees but this is my experience and it has been a fun and rewarding journey so far.

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Great club night last night with guest speaker Paul Eslinger who came to talk on Azaleas. Our club members also brought in their Azalea bonsai to get some hands on advice from Paul about how to develop them further.

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