Thursday, 13 December 2012

November Workshop -Port Sunlight Garden Centre

Hi One and All

We were very fortunate about holding our Last Sunday of the Month Workshop this time as due to the Festive season being upon us we had to change locations so Andy,Tom, Brian, Sean, Dena, Ron, Bill D and Stan brought along thier Bonsai Trees and Bonsai Tools to work on the 25 various Trees that were on our Workshop Tables, consisting of a Few Privets,Few Chinese Elms, Couple of Larches, Deshojo, other Various Maples,Many Pines Large and Small, Hornbeans at the  Port Sunlight
Garden Center  were the Garden Gentre was really geared up for Christmas with many many Christmas Trees, lots of Festive Decorations and the whole Garden Centre was catering for All ages as it seemed there was something for everyone and is Well Worth a Visit.

We started off at 10:30 am till 4:30pm and our  Workshop Tables location we excellently situated a few steps opposite the Greenhand Sun Lounge Cafe, and we had a nice warm Friendly, helpful welcome from everyone and many of the Public stopped to ask question about Bonsai and at our workshop.Sean was the Busiest and in fine form explaining to a Young Lady and her young son plus a few other others about various aspects of Bonsai Trees,Stan explained to a Wonderfully Mature Lady who stopped and asked questions,Tom, Dougie were also involved along with Bill D,and Brian a Santa in the making answering questions from various people.
Once again it was great to have Andy and his young Lad Ryan joining us at Portsunlight Garden Centre.

Andy H.was Excellent on the day as he was the Mentor for All Members as he work his socks off enjoying himself Working, Advising Creating new Ideas on Members Trees to the Delight of Happy and Grateful Members of Wirral Bonsai Society who enjoyed his encouragement and knowledge Experience

Before I Close We ALL  AT W-B-S would like to thank Jess and Everyone at the  Fantastic and Delightful  Port Sunlight Garden Center for their warm hospitality and making All of us feel Welcomed and Wish You All That You Wish for Yourself and Lot more in 2013

To You ALL who take time to Browse our Web Blog a Huge Thank-you and where ever you maybe Have a Wonderful and Happy Christmas and Successful New Year in 2013 and beyond

More images of the November Workshop 2012 can be found by a Google Search

WirralBonsai Thelad


 Wide angle shot of the team -Jim playing with a new toy??

 Dougs Privet....lookin fine....
- some fine work is wide
Statler and Waldorf take a break....
unusual bonsai christmas tree on the right..complete with lights!

Take care and look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

Monday, 3 December 2012

BOBB 2013 entries

A call to arms-

"I have not had many trees submitted by the Wirral crew. Can you rally the troops because I want the Wirral to be represented at BOBB, but that is only going to happen if I get the submissions.
Best wishes


Monday, 26 November 2012

November Meeting -Tree Critique

 Ian critiques a nice looking Hornbeam (?)

.... plus a tree with potential.
 Dave Y talks about his large Larch........
......while the tree wise monkeys ponder......

Hi Everyone

Hope you are all well and looking after your Bonsai Trees  as you never know what tomorrow may bring.
Right on with the news and gossip from our 14th of November Society meeting from the RAFA club in Oxton Wirral Before the evening session got under way Ian our Illustrious Leader reminded members about forth coming events such as the Fantastic Winter Show on Sunday the 24th February 2013 at the Grange Drive Centre, Swindon more info 


and the Major British Bonsai Event is The BEST OF BRITISH BONSAI 2013  held at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses, Edgebaston, Birmingham, UK, on 12th-16th May 2013 as part of Gardeners World Live and more about that can be found as mentioned By our Web-master on the
previous post on  Wednesday, 17 October 2012


@     and an Update of this event

On with the show as the saying goes or Evening Session, which was a Tree Critique time and was very good with a fair amount of trees brought into the club and we got through 6 Bonsai Trees that were discussed before we ran out of time, The trees belonging to Sean who had a Hornbeam + Dena with her Bonsai Maple + Andy and his  English Elm + Brian had a Juniper and a biggie (Large)  Larch from Dave Y then the other Tree was a Maple belonging to Phil which allowed Bill G, Ian and Andy to gave their honest opinions and constructive comments on the good,the bad and ugly to the owners plus invite feedback from everyone
It was an interesting evening which went well and the Critique Panel  doing a great session with comments and a few Wise-cracks from both sides of the floor and for me the time just flew past and before I knew it was the end of the session and time to pack in

For the time being Wirral Bonsai Society are so sorry announce that there is

NO GGC Workshop for the foreseeable future at Gordales as in December its time for Santa and his Reindeer to appear  for everyone, and for the next 2 Last Of the Month Sunday Workshops W-B-S members will be at the  Greenhand Garden Center in Port Sunlight Between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm more info and how to find the Greenhand Garden Center For those who have a Navigation System the postcode is  CH62 5DY and the address Port Sunlight Garden Centre,
The Causeway, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral, Telephone: 0151 645 6244

or  @   

Hope to see you there on the  25th of November 2013

Take care,look after each other all your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

Thursday, 15 November 2012

October Workshop

a bunch of 'strangers' at play

" if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew." Pocahontas
 see above
Happy Birthday Tom
Hi Everybody
On the 28th of October Tom,Bill D,Rod (from Bolton),Andy H,Brian,Eddie,Sean,Bill G Dougie,Les.John and it was Great to See Tom G, after such a long time due to ill health and we all hope he will be up and running and back to attending our Society meetings and workshops soon and once again we had a good selection of trees as we had 18 Bonsai trees available to work on such as a Large Maple various Pines and Junipers,Elms, Redwood,Larch

It was a very busy day at Gordales Garden Center as a Halloween Event was taken place with many many Pumpkins being Carved out and taken home by excited children and happy parents and guardians.

Young Ryan and his dad Andy enjoyed a few hours at our workshop tables with Andy H being Ryans mentor for the day and they both seem to work well together and enjoying the experience

It was a bit quiet with the public to start with and that gave members a chance to work on their own trees and help and advise each other plus throw in the odd bit of Banter and few jokes not suitable for tender ears

Later on few more members arrived and after the initial "what time do you call this!!! or
Good Evening!!" all members had thier hands and minds busy with question and explanation from the public as to why and what has happened to thier  Own Bonsai tree. Bill had the pleasure of helping and Elderly couple who brought in a Bonsai tree belonging to thier grand children a young boy called Oliver and his younger sister Scarlett whilst Bill was checking out the tree I sought permission from the Grand-parent for thier names and being allowed to take thier images  whilst at out Bonsai workshop tables
Also a Day late BUT it did not stop our Birthday Boy Tom celebrating his 70th Birthday Cake with the members and having his Family ,grand children having thier images taken holding Tom's Bonsai tree.

It was once again and enjoyable day and we all looking forward to being back again in November the 28th for our last Sunday of the month workshop and look forward to seeing you with your bonsai trees or anything related to Bonsai pop in to Gordales Garden Center and see us at our Bonsai workshop tables also enjoy the exciting things that the Garden Center have on display during the time of year
Just a reminder that the images from the workshop will be on display on Facebook @


 or Google Search          Wirral Bonsai Society thelad

You should find information  about where to see our images of events and past shows
and on Youtube         Wirral Bonsai Society thelad       where you should find some short video clips of W-B-S  Members Annual Show 2012 and Octobers Workshop from GGC (Gordales Garden Center)  here in the  Wirral

Hope you are all well and enjoying all your bonsai trees

Take care of each other

Jim thelad

Post Comments

Hi Everyone,
Due to increased spam comments that need moderating I am suspending the ability to make comments on posts. Im currently getting 20 -30 per day to my email account and dont have the inclination or time to review and delete/accept. But to be honest its seldom used by genuine users anyway (debatable wether Les S counts!!!)
If you want to add something, email me and I'll add it.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Best of British Bonsai 2013

One for everybodies diary.

Japan Day 2012

Hi Everyone

On Saturday the 13th of October W-B-S honoured its commitment and attended The  Japan Day at Birkenhead Library.The event itself is being used to raise money for the Library and St. John's Hospice in Clatterbridge. There were a few stalls including a Japanese Food stand and how to make Sushi in the Kitchen; Origami Workshop; Kimono dressing; Basic Japanese classes; a talk on Japanese Kanji Characters and a Kendo group from Liverpool.from W-B-S we had Andy,Bill,Tom and Sean. We had great display of Bonsai Trees and Accents plants and a Small workshop both which attracted  many admirers and question from everyone who stopped at the display and workshop
We all would like to thank Birkenhead Library.for thier fantastic welcome and looking after us and also to Natsuko and Paul C.for thinking about W-B-S and inviting us back to thier Japan Day once again

Take care  and look after all your Bonsai Trees

More images of The Japan Day can be seen online 

Google search  Wirral Bonsai Society  or  Wirral Bonsai thelad


or if you have a Facebook Account  go to

Jim thelad

October meeting John Armitage- Shohin Styling/Japan Tour

 The tree before work started -with a very modern take on an accent
 The Tollster has a lot to answer for!!
An enthrawled audience looks on
 Your guess is as good as mine -another Tollster description?
The tree after the session

Hi One and All,
Another monthly meeting was held on the Second Wednesday of the Month on the 10th October- and Chair Ian got the evening started with a few announcements as looking a few months ahead it was time to mention the Swindon Winter Show which we as a society have been invited to and members were asked to put thier names forward  for taking part not only with showing trees but also the logistics and another event is a Local Japan Day Event which Paul from Friends Of Wallasey Central Library wrote and informed W-B-S.saying. "It's really good that Wirral Bonsai Society are able to attend. Your group was really popular at last year's Japan Day in Wallasey Wirral."
"The Birkenhead Event will be a bit smaller than last year, but we still hope it will quite enjoyable for people attending. So far we have a Japanese Food Stand and how to make Sushi in the Kitchen;Origami Workshop; Kimono dressing; Basic Japanese Classes;a talk on Japanese Kanji Characters and possibly a Kendo group from Liverpool."
All the activities will be held on the ground floor in and around the entrance hall. The event itself is being used to raise money for the library and St. John's Hospice in Clatterbridge.
Ian then Introduced our guest for the evening  Big Man (honest he is Bigger than Me ) Mr.John Armitage who did a Shohin Styling and spoke about his forth coming  Japan Tour starting  on the 31st December this year and what a treat the Big Man had in store for our members as he carried out his Shohin Styling and we all were informed it was being done to a Great Bonsai Tree belonging to another Well Known UK and Respected Bonsai Artist Mr Peter Warren whom we have had at our Society a few times
For me Mr Warren's tree look special in my eyes, but our guest stylist for the evening had other idea's and he explained was he was going to do and encouraged our members to throw lots of questions at him A few days before before the styling John also came across a image from the Bonsai Focus Magazine which was a cannae resemblance to Peter Warren's Bonsai Tree

It was a great experience once again to Watch and Listen to John A, as he made everything look so effortless and for me mind-blowing as he carried out the task of styling the Shohin Itoigawa Bonsai Tree
The evening went extremely well and quick,once more John had the members completely mesmerised,maybe Spellbound, plus some seem fascinated finding John's Styling of Peter Warren's Bonsai tree and in my case even gob-smack as he made it all seemed effortless and easy with his forward thinking and planing ahead of what he was going to achieve and by the end of the evening John achieved his objective and produced a Great Session for us all and as the saying goes "it's Great when a PLAN Comes Together and A JOB WELL DONE"

Just a reminder that our last Sunday of the month workshop in on at the GGC on the 28th October
so bring your Bonsai or bonsai related Question to our Workshop Tables and we all will do our ut most to help and advise you

Take care look after each other and all your Bonsai Tress

Jim thelad

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

September Workshop

 Ryan getting useful advice from Andy....
 then gets on with it himself.

 Security at the workshop is stepped up another notch!
Andy, taking somebody else under his wing......
......get it.....oh.. never mind

Hi Everyone,

On Sunday the 30th September with the weather not all that great how-ever it did not stop a few W-B-S members gathering thier Bonsai Trees and Tools and headed to our Monthly Bonsai Retreat at the Gordales Garden Center a Prize Winning Award Garden Center here in the Wirral

Getting stuck into the action we had Eddie,Tom, Bill, Andy,Ian,Les a (new member plus another   member) a Gentleman whose name I can't recall at the moment.On the Bonsai Workshop Tables we had good selection of Bonsai Trees such as 6 x Junipers all different sizes and Types,2x Chinese Elms,Larch,2 x Hornbeam's,Japanese Holly,Honeysuckle,Privet,Redwood,Ficus and a Wackoff (Large) English Elm belonging to Andy H

Starting us all of we had a Gentleman and his son waiting for us as we laid out the tables and chairs for the workshop.The Young boy was Ryan a local 10 year old who we had spoken to in past workshops and bought a few Bonsai Trees in the past and brought them back into the workshop for help and guidance which Andy was willing to help and soon had Ryan behind the desk working along side him,whilst Ryan's Dad stood Proud and Admiring his Young Son across the Workshop Tables.

It was not long before Ryan after listening and watching Andy,had the tools in his hand following Andy's instructions and later it was Dad's turn to work on the tree whilst Ryan watched and when it was time to go after they finished they both thanked Andy and we are all sure it will not be the last time we see this young boy and his Dad back at our workshops in the future

As the day went on it was rather quiet time with the guys working on thier own trees until around Mid-day when we had a few people stopping intrigued to see what was going on chatting asking questions and we also had a Success, a Lady whose Bonsai Tree was in need of some Drastic TLC    ( Tender Loving Care) a few months back and has visited our Sunday Workshops and our Annual Members Show Brought in her Bonsai Tree and was smiling and extremely happy with the Result after the Advice and Guidance she was given by W-B-S Members and for us it means a LOT as we are seeing the results of Our and the GGC's efforts of having our Bonsai Sunday Workshops.

It was a quiet day but very productive and we all enjoyed our session and would like to thanks everyone at the GGC for allowing Wirral Bonsai Society To hold another of our Last Sunday of the Month W and look forward to our next visit on the Workshop on the  Sunday the 28th of October BUT REMEMBER TO PUT YOUR CLOCKS and WATCHES FORWARD as British Summer Time Ends on 27/28th 

So until then take care look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees and anything Bonsai Related

More images of our Last Sunday of the Month Workshop can be seen on

Or just Google Search :   Wirral Bonsai Society  or  Wirral Bonsai thelad

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Steve Tolley's new Blog

Click on the link above to go to Steve's new blog that includes a very good review of Doug's table building skills.

Monday, 17 September 2012

September meeting- Post show talk

Hi Everyone

Back to reality and getting after our Annual Members Show on the 1st and 2nd of September

Chairman Ian.W opened the meeting with High Praise for everyone after our 4 day of working hard to produce a Great event  Before ,During and After the Show at Gordales Garden Center

 The evening get-together was about welcoming everyone to the society and concentrating  on how to start to Make  A Bonsai Tree for Newbie's and Intermediate members' chatting about the Concept, use of Raw Material, Creating, when to Prune, What to  Look, Think ahead, and  with Andy they both turns  up front  and drew Sketches on the Board  interacting with the members  who I sure learnt something new. I know I did..Looks like  I need a larger Back Garden to plant some of My Trees back into the ground as suggested  by Dave Y.

Also some future events were discussed and see who would be available  and if all goes well will be attending the Japan Day being held on the 13th, Oct at Birkenhead Central Library., the event are held 10.00-12.30 and 14.00-16.00. and some members will be attending the V-o-C-B-S for a Ceramic workshop in October more information about that and more can be found at

The evening was attended with an audience of 19 in the room  and 12 trees with Mark K. of Green Dragon Bonsai on hand to supply members with would they need  for Looking after and working with their Bonsai Trees

That's it for now and our members will at the LAST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH WORKSHOP at the GGC on the  30th of September hope to see you there and bring your Bonsai trees along for FREE help and guidance

 Take care  look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees
Jim thelad

Ian reviews the show and welcomes new members
 Tree critique
 Ian sketches out a possible route for tree development
(the sign isnt an instruction BTW)
 Is he or isnt he?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wirral Bonsai Show 2012 #2

I recognise that face!

Wirral Bonsai Show 2012 #1

Hi Everyone  
This was the week-end that we were all looking forward too since last year as it was  our Annual Members Bonsai and Accent Plants Show at Gordales the Award Winning Garden Center here in the Wirral and by ALL accounts and the feedback we have had  it  has been Fabulous, Fantastic ,Fan-dabi-dozi or even Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
It all started with the preparations on the Thursday and Friday 30th and 31st of August and Arthur and Stan were busy scrubbing and hosing the display area while The 3 Musketeers Sean, Steve and  Maker of the Display Benches and Assemble Co-ordinate  Dave Y  arrived after collecting the units from North Wales, on the Thursday Soon more members arrived during the morning and  afternoon when lots of hard works was achieved followed on Friday with dressing all the Display Benches, organizing what was going were , making sure everything was just right for the arrival of members trees later in the afternoon Once all was in pristine condition the Bonsai Trees Accents Plants and Tables were married up to compliment each other as one unit  it was time to head home before the Actual Show

The first of September was here at last and  everything that  the members worked hard to achieve was accomplished  and it look Brilliant in my opinion.
 Soon the public started to arrived and  it was great to see a Special Gentleman Mr Kevin Bailey and Moderator for the Internet Bonsai Chat Forum the IBC,  all went well with lots of ohhh's and aaaaa's look at that look at this and finally Mr Steve Tolley  head  Judge for the Event and a MASTER Of the  Bonsai Four Dimensional Art Supremo, arrived  with a huge grin and smile on his face  which was worth a gold medal in anybodies language as he was more than impressed on his first  sight of the complete Show Area

As time went past with plenty of toing and  frong  with his trusted notebook making notes and  trying to decide .
It was tension for some members and in the end we all had our minds settled  when Mr Tolley took center stage with his results and made what we could say was the best ever show that W-B-S  has delivered in the 10 years that the society has been  holding its Members only Annual Show at  this Outstanding  Venue  Gordales the Award Winning Garden Center here in the Wirral

During his selection MrTolley spoke about the members ,the society as a whole and praised us all for outstanding achievement and  pre-selected  15 various Bonsai Trees  for next years THE BEST OF BRITAIN  in May  2013.

The Honours were giving out  and went  as follows

Best Shohin
   ==            Pontentilla  Owner Tony F

Best Chuhin    ==           Escallonia  Owner Ian W

Best BroadLeaf == Acer Palmatum "Inaba Shidare" Discetum  , Approx 45 years of Age

( Documented ) and known as Skippy and was Rescued from a SKIP = DUMPSTER  = GARDEN REFUSE  WASTE CONTAINER  what ever you like to call them, in 1985  and Sean D  became the Custodian of Skippy in 2011

Best Conifer  & Best in Show    ==  Owner Tony  F 



Tony was head and shoulders above us all for his achievement  as Tony F collected  an almost clean sweep of Awards by being presented with  6 Awards  with Ian ,Bill G and Sean  collecting the rest So a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Tony from us all  you deserved all that came your way

Can you repeat this in 2013!!!!!  only time will tell

On the Sunday many members were at the GGC bright and early for a Sunday to make sure that the Standard was the same as on Saturday  and it was a busy time  and steady flow people coming to look at all the tees , stopping admiring ,picking thier favourite and buying raffle tickets for the wonderful selection of prizes that was available to win We had  a  great Bonsai Tree as first prize and a local couple Damien and  Patricia are now the owners of the tree whilst another couple won Bonsai group

During the day we had The Northwest Heat for the 2013 European Bonsai Association New Talent Competition  which was a nice bonus for everyone  and the final 2 contenders for this and such  GREAT GUYS , Bry from the V-o-C-B-S  and Mikey P from Leeds

Also there were 3 Distinguished Gentlemen Mr M Hughes , Most recently, he and his wife put on the first “Best of British Bonsai” event in Birmingham, which took place in April, 2009.  They are now both involved in planning the second such event, to take place in April 2011.and  more Best of British Bonsai in Future years to come more info  can be found  at

 Mr Andy Dolman from Walsall  one of the nicest gents you will ever meet and Judge of the
New Talent Competition along with our own Chairman Ian .W.

and the one and only Mr Tony Tickle who was responsible for organising  The Northwest Heat for the 2013 European Bonsai Association New Talent Competition, the competition, the  Heats and lots  lots more a task he is extremely  willing and capable of succeeding  in doing everything he turns his mind and hand to.

More info about   Mr T.T. can be found here at his Great website for all Bonsai Enthusiast  and you will not be disappointed  :


The Chairman's Award's === Scots Pine === Tony F
Chairman's Certificate of Merit To

Tony  F  ===Shohin Juniper 

Tony F  ===  Chuhin Yew

 Bill G. == Hinoki Raft Cypress

Sean D. ==  Acer Palmatum Deshojo


Voted Best Tree By the Public and Awarded The Dave Mitchell Trophy By Lindsay Beautiful Daughter of Dave M.

Bill G. == Hinoki Raft Cypress 


Over the Two days  of the show it was exciting and a steady flow of people of all ages and  on the final day on Sunday it was down to Ian W to give  his view and expressed his gratitude to all members for sich a wonderful  performance  during the build up and the show itself but still encouraging us all to keep improving as we  MUST NOT let the standards  Drop also a Massive Thank-you to the owners of the GGC Mr and Mrs Nicholson.Johnathan ,Karen,Becky and  ALL Staff for their kind hospitality welcoming W-B-S into their Award Winning Center here in the Wirral 

We like to thank and hope Everyone who attended our show enjoyed  and liked what was on display and spread the word and good news about Wirral Bonsai Society and other Great Bonsai Societies here  in the Northwest and in North Wales and  inviting you all back to Gordale's Garden Center for we will be BACK in 2013 and if all goes well with a big and better display of Bonsai Trees and Accent plants even tho I personally  believe this years show will will take some beating  but this is what we are ALL aiming to achieve

More images of  our W-B-S Annual members show will be on  Face book 

Take Care and look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees

 Set up day 1
 location? location! location?
 Never seen a skipping bonsai before!!
Nearly ready

Jim thelad


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.