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News from Sakura Bonsai Gallery

I hope to find the time to add some news on cleaning up my neglected collection.

Resukyū  (レスキュー ) has been 're-worked' today.  Took me all day to needle pluck, bud select, and re-shape this White Pine.

resukyu 2018 10 09 02

SHUNKA-EN bonsai Museum offers us all the opportunity to study with Kobayashi San through his generosity in welcoming international apprentices.  The following is an extract from his website:

"As we believe the apprenticeship system in traditional manner is the best way to learn Bonsai, we offer chances for anybody to join us if you are really serious about Bonsai.  Here we accept people not as a guest nor as a student, but as one of our member.
This means while we do our own business, you have to learn by yourself through observing us, doing as we do, eating, sleeping, and working together with us. We recommend you to stay at least 1 month but shorter term is also acceptable.
The cost would be 5,000JPY per day or 100,000JPY per month, including accomondations and 3 meals per day. You'll work with Kunio Kobayashi and his apprentices everyday, and get certificate at the end."

Anyone can apply; you are then INVITED to join as a member !!...... We can all do this if we wish!!!

kobayashi apprenticeShunka-en apprentices we talked to in 2016

 Time to repot some very pot-bound Taxodium.  Very fast growing roots require me to repot frequently.  I don't fertilise these bonsai very much at all.  They DO NOT need a tray of water under the pot; many will disagree but I have been growing Taxodium for 40+ years without water trays.

repotting swamp cypress australian bonsai gallery

This post is a slight departure from my usual news items.  It raises the issue of Sensitive Design in bonsai.

The following image was taken in 2016 on our tour of the Omiya Bonsai Village.  This bonsai is one of Yamada san's finest bonsai.  As you can see there are no 'hard' foliage pads with 'spirit level' clipped bases; just soft, sensitive foliage.... so natural.

Another beautiful example comes from Kobayoshi san.  The second image here, one that Mr Kobayashi is justifiably proud of, demonstrates the beauty of this 'sensitive design'. Please excuse the image of the very nervous 'gaijin' in this image.

This sensitivity in design requires an understanding and 'deep knowledge' rarely seen in the world of bonsai.  Not sure if I will live long enough to achieve such a level. 

yamada juniper

Kunio Kobayashi 01a 1

Yes, Akadama in Dorrigo.  The Australian Bonsai Gallery makes it's own version of Akadama.  We have been developing this essential bonsai soil component for many years now.  It is hard and rates very well in soil dispersion tests.  It performs well in the pot and makes a real difference to tree health even in our very high rainfall climate.

akadama 2x6mm australian bonsai gallery


Three old Chinese Elms re-potter.  This is the earliest I have re-potted elms in over 40 years!  Very warm in Dorrigo at the moment..... waiting for the cold of August to hit.  Will have to protect these elms from the cold and wind that is to come.

chinese elm repot australian bonsai gallery


This old Liquidamber started it's bonsai journey as small nursery stock I purchased in the early 1980's. Heavily styled this winter, I am looking forward to further increasing the number of buds, and the consequent leaf size, over the spring and summer.

This bonsai is for sale.  Details at our on-line catalogue.

liquidamber 02 australian bonsai gallery


This old Liquidamber started it's bonsai journey as small nursery stock I purchased in the early 1980's.  Heavily styled this winter, I am looking forward to further increasing the number of buds, and the consequent leaf size, over the spring and summer.

liquidamber australian bonsai gallery


This old Japanese White Pine, I have named Resukyū  (レスキュー ) has been in the collection for ~2 decades.  It was 'rescued', as a potted nursery plant, from a coastal nursery where it was in poor condition.  I was attracted to this pine due mainly to the very neat graft union and the foliage colour. Some years latter, after a period of recovery, it flowered for the first time with bright crimson inflorescence.

It spent two years under the care of Shannon Young, at the Canberra Arboritum.  I was fortunate to have Shannon and Pavel Slovák work on the bonsai as part of a demo at the Arboretum.

goyo matsu australian bonsai galleryResukyū (レスキュー )


This old Kuromatsu, I have named Zaidan ( 財団) as it is one of the major 'foundation' trees in the gallery.black pine bonsai 02Zaidan ( 財団)

Most bonsai in the collection are in need of a Winter cleanup; starting with the nebari.  This is a very important element in the design and character of a good bonsai.

australian bonsai gallery nebari cleanup


This old KuroMatsu was field grown fron nursery stock since the mid 1980's.  It spent 2 years at the Arborutum under the expert care of Shannon Young.  Needle plucking had to be done with tweezers....

Now bud selection is done and one branch wired.... Have to find time to finish wiring.!!

australian bonsai gallery kuro matsu wiring 2018 06 14

Yet another old KuroMatsu that has been in the collection since the early 1980's.  I developed this one from small nursery stock.  It was field grown for at least 5yrs.

It is now getting the attention it deserves.  Should be a very good bonsai with more refinement.  kuro matsu australian bonsai gallery 12 980

Another two pines needle plucked, bud selected, and wired. Ready for the spring.

aka shiro matsu australian bonsai gallery

Some Autumn colour starting in the gallery.  These two 'root-over-rock' style trident maples will be a great show this year..

 trident maples autumn 2018

Finally getting back to the Autumn pine work.  This Kuro-Matsu has been in the collection for more than 35yrs.  Yes, it should be more refined than it is.  Trying to make up for lost time.!

kuro matsu australian bonsai gallery 09

Started the Autumn work on my Red, Black & White pines.  Needle plucking, bud selecting & wiring. 

Most of my pines were developed from seedlings and some nursery stock.  Now, after more than 40 years, and years of neglect, they are getting the attention they deserve.

This Kuro Matsu is 68cm wide : 54cm high.

austrlian bonsai gallery kuroMatsu 02KuroMatsu 68cm wide : 54cm high

The 9th World Bonsai Convention logo has been anounced ahead of a developing programme of events to be held in Perth Western Australia in October, 2021.

As the program develops, the World Bonsai Friendship Federation will be posting the information on their Facebook Page HERE, so please check back from time to time.9th world bonsai convention perth 2021

juniperus procumbins bonsai 1 2I have had this juniper for over 35 years.  It has had a lifetime of neglect so I decided to do it some justice and try to bring it up to some level of respectibility.

It will require a number of growing seasons to develop the 'illusion' of movement, balance, and a more 'natural' look.


procumbins 2017 08 19

After 9+ years in the ground this Juniperus procumbins has finally made it into a training pot.  There will be lots of shari to make on this one.

Looking forward to the many years of development!


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