This year is off to a busy start. Our January General Meeting was very well attended with many members, from long time to first time, showing up to take in an excellent presentation by John Boyce. Using a small Hollywood juniper to demonstrate the creation of a bunjin style tree John managed to pack an incredible amount of information touching on all the important aspects of bonsai creation from styling and wiring to special techniques of repotting. Our club is very fortunate to have someone with John’s experience, continuing curiosity and unlimited generosity. His spirit has inspired others in the club to contribute and continue to assist those just beginning this journey and is a source of our club’s strength and enthusiasm.This was abundantly on display at our January third Thursday members workshop where the turnout of members bringing in trees to work on was extraordinary. Our members have a real hunger to learn and advance their skills.
However the ratio of beginners to intermediate and advanced could use a boost. I would be very happy to see some of our more experience members come to assist those just starting out at the third Thursdays to come. In this case more teachers would be welcome and the continuing legacy of our club would be strengthened. Our newer members with less than five years of study are a growing group of people, willing to listen, eager to learn and appropriately grateful to those willing to show them how it is done. It is a very rewarding experience for all involved and a sure cure for the winter blues.
While the first day of spring is still eight weeks away many of us are watching as our tree’s buds swell and leafing out has begun. Trident maples, liquid amber, elms and plums all pushing buds. Even wisteria is moving early this year, arguably one of the warmer winters in recent memory. Trying to keep up with repotting and have a life is a challenge for many of us. With budding begins pinching and the race has begun.
We should all be mindful and mark our calendars for our annual show at the Cow Palace which begins on Wednesday March 15 and runs through Sunday March 19. Look for other articles in our newsletter “Fog City Bonsai” regarding tree preparation, show set up and volunteering for security and docent and demo duties. Ron Weaver has the schedule of hours and is taking names and dates. Please take some time to consider when you can participate in this important event. Only those volunteering for a shift will be admitted to the show without paying an entrance fee.
Looking further we will be offering a Bonsai Basics class in April. It is a two part class meeting on two separate Saturdays for 4 hours each with a lunch break. The class covers the basics of tree selection, styling, wiring and repotting and is a recommended primer for those just beginning in bonsai or those whose skills need refreshing. If this describes you stay tuned for more details to come.
The year is just beginning and the board meetings on the fourth Monday of each month are where the planning of club activities takes place. All members are invited to attend and contribute ideas for club programs or you can communicate your thoughts to any of the club’s board members.