Life has a funny way of getting in the way!

I must apologise for my lack of activity lately, things have a way of escalating quickly, and that is exactly what seems to have happened with every facet of my life. I feel terrible!

I will be back at some point within the next couple of months if all goes to plan, but right now I need to focus my attention on projects larger then my own personal ones. Projects that I beleive will benefit bonsai within the country, which is why they have my complete focus at the moment.

The site will remain open… I am paying for it after all… so hopefully you will be hearing from me soon!


A small break/holiday

Hey everyone,

Just thought I would pop in to let you all know that I’m still around, and have just had to take a step back from the online world for a few weeks. Things have been a bit hectic in my world, so am having to take some time  to focus on sorting my shit out, and getting things back on track. Hopefully just a small rough patch before I get back in the game again.

I’ll be back and posting within the next couple of weeks hopefully, and will get that ball well and truely moving again.

Thanks everyone!

EDIT: Ok, so it turns out I will be on break a little longer then I imagined. I’m building a couple of websites for a few different bonsai clubs to help them out and unfortunately is taking up near all of my time. I will be back though, so stay tuned 🙂

4th US National Bonsai Exhibition Report

Looks like a great show, would love to get over and see it for myself one time. Some great pictures and an interesting background into the set up of an exhibition

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The successful 2014 4th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition has come, gone and is now a pleasant memory. Bonsai from around our great country were displayed next to each other showing viewers the diversity of forms and plant material trained for bonsai as well as the high level of refinement we have developed during the past seventy odd years the art has been practiced in the United States.


The “Crew” beginning the set up on Wednesday

The resounding success of the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition is due to the long hours of hard work of my “crew”, a dedicated group of bonsai hobbyists who want to see the art of bonsai flourish in the United States. In addition to set up and take down, many days were spent preparing, sewing, ironing and fabric cutting. New folding backgrounds were designed, constructed and painted (twice) for the Invitational Suiseki Exhibition and over…

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Slowly but surely!

I thought I would just pop in with a quick update on things around the place, to keep you all in the loop on what has been happening.

Firstly, we’re official! I’ve now registered Down Under Bonsai, and the site and domain are now my own. This was the planned first step in getting this site moving, and I am glad it is now done. I’m now moving on to an image for the site, which I am also not too far from receiving, I’ve worked with some truely great artists getting this done so am quite happy with the results.

Next up, and the reason I’ve been so quiet lately, is my next project. I can’t say much, as it is not for my site, but I can say that I truely believe this is going to benefit bonsai in the country greatly. It has been years of work, and I’ve now taken on the project to bring it to life. It is not my work, as much as I’d love to claim it (:P), but I am responsible for making it ‘beautiful’…. as I like to think of it. This is pretty much taking up every scrap of my spare time…. which is by choice as I’m really passionate about this project and do believe this will take the art that much further in the country…. but unfortunately its been pulling me away from here. Rest assured though, I am not neglecting you and I have quite a large article due soon.

Lastly, I have treated myself to a new camera! I photograph a lot of bonsai and shows, but have never been happy with the pictures, so I went and bit the bullet, and bought myself a ‘big boy’ camera, a new DSLR Nikon D5200. Not top of the range… but still much better then the point and shoot that I was previously using.

So thanks for sticking with me through this opening period, and I hope to have this beast up and running very soon.


An interesting perspective on setting up for a show! A lot more work goes into the set up then most realise

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Today is Labor Day, and boy did we labor so bonsai from around our country can be beautifully and tastefully displayed!

My entire “Monday Senior Crew” came, (except for Paul Eschmann who went sailing– but he will come on Saturday) today to help prepare for the upcoming US National Bonsai Exhibition on September 13-14th in Rochester, NY.

Today, Doug McDade, Rick Marriott, Bob Pfromm, Tom Friday and Joe Lentner left their families on this “holiday” to help me prepare for the exhibition. Rick started at 8:30 this morning and left at 4:00 in the afternoon. We got a tremendous amount of important work accomplished with only one doughnut break and takeout Chinese lunch. Diane surprised us with a raspberry birthday cake for Doug, Bob and me who all celebrate birthdays within two weeks of each other. Actually, Bob and I were both born on Labor Days, but several years…

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US National Bonsai Exhibition Preparations Continue

Looking like it is shaping up to be a great day! Really looking forward to seeing the pictures myself, although I wish I could be there in person

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


My family, Monday Senior Crew and friends are all busy preparing everything for the US National Bonsai Exhibition. Actually we have slowly been preparing for several months here in Rochester for the bonsai, suiseki, display backgrounds, posts and more. But now we are in full mode, which means I had six McDonalds Sweet Tea today.

Today we purchased a new water hose so exhibitors can easily water their bonsai before bringing into the building for their “final acceptance.” There is a grassy area where it will be easy to water and do the final detailing. Some green moss will also be available for touch ups if necessary.


Blood, sweat, tears and even a hospital visit have been experienced to get everything perfect for displaying both the bonsai and suiseki in the exhibition. A new design for backgrounds have been designed, constructed and painted with special paint by Doug McDade, Tom…

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Things are moving – Another update

As you all may know, I’m in the process of updating the blog/website, I really want to build a solid foundation that I can use to keep this website around a long time, and to really extend my reach (and that of Australian Bonsai) over the world.

I’m currently working with an artist in the States to sort out a logo and/or image for the site. This isn’t as easy as I first thought, I’m constantly chaning my mind, or coming up with new ideas, so am making it extremely difficult for myself… and the poor artist who has to deal with me! So I’ll be sitting on this for a few weeks until I’m satisfied with the outcome.

Next is the registration of the blog. This should be happening within the week, providing nothing else goes wrong or holds me up. Work and life have a strange way of getting in the way of my blogging.

Then we have the Twitter account. I’ve dug up my ancient account that I used to use a few years back for my old gaming website. I’m in the process of wiping that clean, and changing the names and titles so that it can be used for my new passion. For the moment, it will primarily be another means to share my blog posts, however I plan to use it more in the future, for just some general bonsai jibber jabber. Give me a follow @DownUnderBonsai and say hello, or just click the link and you’ll be taken straight to the page.

I also have plans for a Facebook, and Google+ account (possibly even Instagram), however I’ll be tackling one thing at a time, so stay tuned for further updates on them. I have lots of grand plans, however very limited time and resources to fulfil these dreams, so please bear with me while I get this ball moving.