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

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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.

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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.

2014 MIDWEST BONSAI EXHIBIT

Everybody loves a good exhibitions, so here are some pics from the 2014 Midwest Bonsai Exhibit, courtesy of Valavanis Bonsai Blog

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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The 37th Midwest Bonsai Exhibit is being held at the Chicago Botanic Garden on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 15-17, 2014. Many beautiful bonsai are on display from local members and other bonsai hobbyists from several states. About 15 vendors are selling their trees, containers and other items as well. Enjoy the photos!

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COLLECTION TREES

ROUGH BARK

Rough Bark Japanese Maple by Matt Berenberg received the Best of Show Award

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RAF DWARF SCOTS PINE

RAF Dwarf Scots Pine by Wm. N. Valavanis received the 1st Place Award in the Professional Division

PINE

SHOHIN BONSAI

SHOHIN BONSAI 2

SHIMPAKU

SHIMPAKU SHOHIN

SCOTS PINE

SATSUKI

PONDEROSA

METASEQUOIA

MARY KAY

LARCH FOREST

TRUNK POSITIONING

LANTANA

KUSA MONO

JUNIPERS

JADE

HINOKI

HEMLOCK

GOYO PINE

FICUS 

CHINESE ELM

BLUE MOSS

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STONES

TREE:STONE

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CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN BONSAI COLLECTION

Some beautiful bonsai on display at the Chicago Botanic Garden, well worth a look

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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The Chicago Botanic Garden has a world class bonsai collection. Several years ago bonsai artist Susumu Nakamua from Yokohama, Japan, presented his finest trees to the Chicago Botanic Garden to supplement their collection.

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Enjoy the bonsai which were on public display in the two courtyards during the 2014 Midwest Bonsai Show.

Three of these beautiful masterpiece will be displayed by the Chicago Botanic Garden in the upcoming 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition which will be held in Rochester, NY, on September 13-14,2014. Come visit the exhibition and see which bonsai the Chicago Botanic Garden will display.

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Australian Pests – Spitfire Sawfly

I thought that it might be an interesting idea to post about the various pests and insects that I find around my garden and throughout my bonsai. We have some very curious varieties down under, so I thought that I might just share a few.

Today I’m writing about the Spitfire Sawfly. I have a lot of memories of these little buggers from my childhood, as I used to see them around a lot (mainly the larvae). Back then, I believed that the name implied that they literally spat fire or poison at you, and I remember constantly being cauitous when walking under tree’s, in fear that a pack of them might fall on my head spitting fire at me! They group together for protection, so you can find 30 to 40 of them all huddled together (frequently in tree’s), so the fear of them falling on my head was at least not entirely imagined.

This posts stems from a more recent experience I’ve had with them (and continue to), in which they managed to possibly wipe out one of my tree’s, and force me to trunk chop another. I will know in a few more days whether the first tree is truely lost or if it might spring back. It is strange in that the tree they attacked the least, is the one dying, but I’ve checked it out thoroughly and cannot see anything else that could have caused it, other then a few munched leaves.

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2014 AUTUMN JAPAN BONSAI TOUR

One day I will do this tour with Bill, but if anyone else out there is interested then please see the details within the post. From what I’ve seen and heard, it is a journey well worth taking.

Valavanis Bonsai Blog

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Have you ever wanted to explore the bonsai and Japanese garden world of Japan in a small limited group? Well, here is your opportunity. In November Kora Dalager, travel agent and bonsai instructor from California and I will be leading another one of our popular bonsai tours to Japan. Bonsai gardens and studios of some of the finest bonsai artists in Japan will be privately visited.

Our tour will first begin in the Tokyo area where we will visit Mr. Kimura’s studio, the new Omiya Bonsai Art Museum and Omiya Bonsai Village. Many of the world’s best bonsai originated or were refined in this small bonsai village of six gardens. Bonsai of all species, sizes and styles can be seen and studied in beautiful garden settings in their autumn glory.Image

Masahiko Kimura’s studio.

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Omiya Bonsai Art Museum.

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Mansei-en Bonsai Garden- Hatsuji Kato.

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Fuyo-en Bonsai Garden- Hiroshi Takeyama.

Next we will…

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