Tuesday, 17 April 2012

April ToTM

April's Tree of the Month as chosen by Peter Warren

Saturday, 14 April 2012

April Meeting -Peter Warren -Shohin/Accent display

 Ian opens the meeting with a warm up routine......... which seems to include big fish, little fish, cardboard box!!!
 Peter Warren starts appreciating small pots.
 A good turn out for a guest, as usual
Peter appreciating both tree and pot?

Hi Everyone

Mr Peter Warren, is a shy quiet spoken gentleman and one of U.K Finest  Extremely Talented Bonsai Artist with a Long List of Credits to his name He grew up in the North Yorkshire Countryside, Attended Leicester University where he read Physics with Astrophysics before moving to Japan.That when he found his True Calling and he began to study under Master Kunio Kobayashi  at his garden, Shunkaen, in Tokyo. During this time he asked if he could become his full time apprentice, a position he held for over Seven or more years .Peter returns regularly to help out and to have the opportunity to learn more and to use Peter’s words “ as  an  apprentice  it was an incredible learning experience and was able to learn and acquire many techniques, ideas and aesthetic principles and adapt them for his own style" and has been passing on his passion and techniques Since 2007. He has been traveling the World, Teaching Bonsai and working with some of the Best Bonsai Trees in the USA, Europe and Japan 

Ian W our Chairman got the meeting underway and welcomed everyone and introduced Mr Peter Warren who introduced his Presentation  of Shohin Bonsai Display + Evolution Display and the Appreciation of Pots and why Shohin and Mame Trees came about and spoke of  Count Malsudaira and Mr Nakamura Zeko as the fore-runners for Displaying and showing of Shohin Bonsai

It was very interesting and educational to see how Shohin and Mame Bonsai have progressed from those early days and the whole audience were once again enthralled and captivated by what Peter was saying  During a short break Peter was chatting with members and advising a few on their Bonsai Trees also another this gave members time to look at the Large Number on Bonsai Pots and Bonsai Books so a Grateful THANK-YOU brought into one of our Last Sunday of the month workshop at the GGC many thanks for thinking of us that was Extremely kind indeed

There were  a  good gathering with around 24 and another well know face amongst us as Mr Simon Temblett  Another of UK Finest Bonsai Artists also a Potter and Sculpture, producing some of his own bespoke Bonsai Pots, also  attended Peter’s presentation and more about  Mr Simon Temblett can be found at 

Bonsai can be classified into different groups by size. The size of Bonsai is generally measured as the distance between the top of the soil and the apex of the bonsai tree. Below is the classification of Bonsai of different sizes.

Keishi Bonsai (thumb size)    Up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height
Shito Bonsai (very small)       Up to 3 inch (7.5 cm) in height
Mame Bonsai (mini)               To 6 inch (15 cm) in height
Shohin Bonsai (small)             Up to 8 inch (20 cm) in height
Kifu Sho Bonsai (medium)      Up to 16 inch (40.5 cm) in height
Chu Bonsai (medium large)     Up to 24 (61 cm) inch in height
Dai Bonsai (large)                    Up to 40 (101.5 cm) inch in height

These Standard Rules that become important and are helpful in shows and competitions Sometimes measures are not sharply outlined, and the exact height of the Bonsai tree does not hold very strictly. For example, the majority of  Shohin Bonsai at most Bonsai Shows are Approximately 8 inches (20 cm) or less in height, .but an Elegant, Slim Bonsai Tree may easily override the limit in height and still be considered as a Shohin., This is same for Mame Bonsai.

Basically, the main “rule” is that we must be able to hold our Shohin Bonsai and Mame Bonsai  on the Palm. of one Hand Expressing the beauty of a Large aged tree in Miniature.

Info from                 http://www.happybonsai.com/classification-bonsai-based-size/

Once again it was a Privilege and Honour to have  Peter’s  Presentation  of Shohin Bonsai Display + Evolution Display and the Appreciation of Pots for us all at Wirral Bonsai  Society and to read more about Mr Peter Warren please go to

also at

It was an evening well spent and made a lot Members think that its not all about the Medium to Large Bonsai Trees that are Appealing and Beautiful being  SMALL IS Definitely Beautiful 

At the End of the evening Ian W thanked Peter for a most Interesting and Inspired presentation and asked Peter to do the honors and chose a Tree Of The Month which he obliged and Peter chose an Crab Apple Tree owned by Sean D  

On the Last Sunday of the Month the 29th of April we all back at our Favourite Venue Gordales Award Winning Garden Center (GGC)  so we hope to see you there Bring in any on your Bonsai Trees were we will do our utmost to advise and help in anyway our members can or just join us all for a chat about anything Bonsai Related

Take care look after each other and all your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

May workshop

Doug has let me know that there will NOT be a workshop at Gordale on the 27th May.
All others dates are confirmed.


Monday, 2 April 2012

March Workshop-Steve Tolley

 Steve does his usual highly visual tree evaluation!

 Bill seems lost.......

 .....then a little concerned.

All hands to the pump.....or branch bender to you and me.

Hi Everyone 

It was a bright warm sunny day at the GGC on Sunday the 25th of March and great to see lots of smiling faces and some very inquisitive members of the Public

This was a Workshop we were all looking forward to as Mr Steve Tolley an English Bonsai Artist.His Curriculum Vitae (C.V )Includes Many Prestigious Awards Uk and Overseas,Many Articles and Photographs published in International Bonsai Magazines He was Awarded the Bonsai Club International (BCI) ARTIST, WRITER PHOTOGRAPHER AWARD at the 5th World Bonsai Convention in Washington DC where he was also a Demonstrator and Workshop Leader. Steve also Set Up His Four Dimensional Art and Established The Steve Tolley Bonsai School with the aim of helping to raise the Standards of UK Bonsai.A Bonsai Supremo In My Opinion

Anyway Much More Information about Mr Steven Tolley can be found

or Google Search  ++  Steve Tolley Bonsai Artist

On with the workshop it was well attended with a dozen or so members current and a few new members Colin and Dave.and of course Mr Steve Tolley who wasted no time in getting into action and was soon demonstrating and interacting with everyone including members of the Public
There were a large number of Trees brought into the workshop such as Various Pines including Two Large Pines + Larches + Privets + Chinese Elm + Damson + Hawthorns + Maples.

While Mr T. was busy with members Trees, members were also helping,advising or given assistance the General Public with all types of question of Bonsai and even horticulture questions and answers so Sean + Doug + Andy + Steve + Ian + Dena + Ron+ Arthur+ Bill + Colin + Dave + and of-course      Mr Tolley ALL were extremely happy to oblige with thier opinions and advice

There Were many interesting aspects of the Steve's Workshop, Many Branches Wired ,Trees Trimmed  Branches Relocated and in one instance given Bill G's Black Pine a Different and Superior New Look. Also we had Arthur our illustrious Vice Chair was hard at busy Carving, Hollowing Out a branch on his Escallonia Tree and filling the hollowed out segment to hold many Thin Pieces of Straight Wire, Wrapping the Branch in Raffia to prevent Damage to the Branch. Many members had never seen this method performed before (including your's truly) so many eager eyes and helpers were on scene willing to assist and learn from Steve.
This Technique was introduced by Mr Masahiko Kimura and popularized the technique in Kindai Bonsai and later in the English Language. Unfortunately we did not have a Bonsai Aesthetics Heavy Duty Branch Jack but all is not Lost as Arthur is confident he can make his own type of Heavy Duty Branch Jack to bend the branch of his tree successfully with the help of club members

The day was a day to remember and a great Privilege to have Mr Steve Tolley demonstrating, working on everyone's Trees and passing on extremely valuable, knowledgeable, useful information and know-how he has used many times around Europe and USA plus any New Technique's on his Travels

We would all like to thank Mr Nicholson who stopped and chatted plus ALL Gordales Garden Center Staff here in the Wirral for making W-B-S most welcomed and look forward to being there again on the last Sunday of The Month 29th of April 2012

Additional images of the The W-B-S Workshop with Steve Tolley Last Sunday of The Month of March   can be found at


That's it for now Look After Each Other and all your Bonsai Trees

Take care

Jim thelad

Message from Peter Snart

Peter SnartI think that a special word of thanks is due to the Wirral guys from the BSA . As a society they have consistently supported the show from the very start with both exhibits and visitors, long may it continue, thanks to everyone at the club !

11 hours ago· Like

Take care


March meeting- Tree Critique

 Pretty......-and the blossoms quite nice too!!

 Tony does his thing.

 What do you think?

Give me the moonlight.....

Hi Everyone and Welcome to our British Shohin and Willowbog Success and Monthly News Some W-B-S members took the long trip up to the BSA Show at Willowbog at Hexham Northumberland over 170 miles one way and we are pleased to say the we had Great Success in The British Shohin Association 6TH Annual Exhibition Event on the 10th/ 11thof March 2012
As Bill G reported “we had a great time it was a Wonderful Show Very High Standard, I won Two Individual Awards (Certificates of Merit) one for a Chinese Elm and one for a Mame Lonicera I also won a COM with Ian and Andy for a group composition and Ian and Tony won a COM for another group composition”
Besides Andy H, Bill G, Ian W, and Tony F. It was also great to hear that they had Moral Support W-B-S as Vice Chairman Arthur R and his good Lady and Members Secretary Dena and Better Half Ron

A Grateful Thanks to Bill for his insight and images from the show

And more images can be seen on the Wirral Bonsai Facebook page

Much more and a FULL REPORT of the B.S.A Show along with images of the Event can be obtained here At

Also The Event Host Peter and Jean Snart whose Hard Work,  Outstanding Welcome, Dedication and Preparation Succeeded in Making the B.S.A Exhibition Show  Event As some are saying “The Best Ever” more about Willowbog can be found along with comments from Peterabout W-B-S   AT 


On with the Monthly Society Meeting held on the 14th March which was A Members Tree Critique Hosted by Tony F/Andy H was opened By Vice Chair Arthur. He mention about our Willowbog success and read out the Wirral Bonsai Facebook message from Peter at Willowbog for members who do not use the social media network and everyone wishes to thank Peter for his kind words of support to the society
Almost 2 dozen members attended The Tree Critique but not so many trees but Tony F did a great session as he had the members involved with suggestions and question and answer and first up to the table was Sean with his maple on a Rock followed by Steve with his Cedar, Tony then spoke about his own Potentilla Tree, after the break,Lee was next up with his Black Pine grown from SEED ,Andy was next with his Flowering Cherry Tree,followed by Dena's maple which was already in Leaf
During the discussions some interesting point were made by Tony, Andy and Lee 2 main ones seemed to be The use of MOSS ALL OVER THE POT for shows with no soil being seen Another point was what Sealing Compound to use also Lee pointed out that He does NOT USE  ANYTHING to seal after removing a branch and it seems to work for his trees. So food for thought and it was a very interesting and worthwhile Session 

At this last Sunday of the month workshop on the 25th March 2012 we have the illustrious, Knowledgeable, Extremely Talented Bonsai Artist Mr Steven Tolley an event not to be missed by members

Many thanks for dropping by and reading our W-B-S BLOG 

Take care look after each other and all your bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

Apologies for the tardy posting -moving premises at work so been a bit hectic.


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.