Friday, 14 January 2011

Bonsai Site of the Month -January

Thsi months site is a new one set up in America with some nice Yamadori.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Lack of Posts

Hi All,
Just a quick apology for lack of posts recently, a bereavement in the family has limited my time.



Interesting item on IBC

Link Courtesy of Dave B

One of the important aspects that is not adequately addressed to in Bonsai is the viewing distance. All the efforts that are put into creating a tree over the years finally culminate in a good Bonsai. While I am not getting into the aspect of what makes a good Bonsai but presuming that such a goal is achieved, brings us to the next step.

How do we best appreciate the Bonsai? It is important to note that I am using the word “appreciate” and not “critique” very consciously. For me the objective of bonsai creation, all the years of blood sweat and tears is to create an object of art which is best enjoyed by appreciation and not being pulled down in the name of critique. Getting back to the point of how do we best appreciate bonsai. While there are guidelines a plenty in bonsai creation, I have often wondered what would be the best distance to appreciate a bonsai. The other aspect of Bonsai appreciation, namely Bonsai display has been more than adequately addressed by many over the years though.

After much thought I feel that the best distance for appreciating a bonsai should be far enough so that the viewer get a complete view of the tree. It should not be too far so that the viewer misses out on the finer aspects of the tree but also not too close so that one gets a closer view of a few parts of the tree but not the complete view of the tree. As is understandable, the viewing distance depends on the size of the tree. So to arrive at a general guideline (I hate the word rule…) the viewing distance should be a function of the height of the tree. Like we have a girth of the trunk to the height ratio, I feel that a ratio of the height of the tree to the viewing distance should ideally be 1:4. So for a tree that is a foot tall a safe viewing distance should be 4 feet.

Standing at such a distance also makes the illusion of a tree in its natural habitat more realistic. The dangers or rather disadvantages of viewing a tree too close are often unnecessary nitpicking in the name of adherence to rules. While I do believe in rules and their importance in creating a bonsai, what I am against is missing out on the bigger picture in the name of rules. Pointing out an inverse tapered trunk or an eye poking branch that blends rather well into the overall image of the tree are another such cases. Such instances of myopic rule book criticism can be avoided by viewing a tree in its completeness at a correct distance. I have also been bemused at knowledgeable enthusiasts at times examining the flakiness of branches….which would not be visible when one views the tree from a 1:4 distance.

Thoughts (agreements and disagreements) are most welcome….



Hello and welcome to the Wirral Bonsai Society Blog - an ongoing diary & newsletter highlighting the adventures of the society & its members

Society Diary-We meet at 8pm every 2nd Wednesday of the month at the RAFA club in Oxton (CH43 1UU).

  • 13th January
  • 10th February
  • 14th February Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 28th February Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th March - Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th March Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 27th March Workshop - Gordale
  • 13th April - Demonstration - Andy H
  • 17th April Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 24th April Workshop - Gordale
  • 8th May Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 11th May- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 29th May Workshop - Gordale
  • 4-5th June WBS Flowering Bonsai Show - Port Sunlight GC
  • 8th June - WBS Member trees critique
  • 12th June Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26th June Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th July Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 13th July- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 31st July Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th August- WBS Show tree selection
  • 13-14th August - Wirral Flower Show
  • 20th August - Japan Day, Liverpool
  • 27-29th August WBS Annual Show - Gordale
  • 14th September- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 11th September Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 25th September Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th October Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 12th October- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 30th October Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th November- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th November Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26-27th November - Potter Workshop with David Jones (Walsall Studio Ceramics)
  • 27th November Workshop - Gordale
  • 14th December - Club Party


New members are always welcome, just come along to one of our monthly meetings at the RAFA club. You can even 'try us out' for a few months before you decide on joining as an official member. The meetings are informal (there's a bar!) and the club members are (mostly) friendly, approachable and happy to pass on guidance and information to anybody interested in bonsai- whatever your level of experience.