Monday, 2 December 2013

Message from Cyprus Bonsai Forum

Dear Jim,

Its a great pleasure to see you here in our humble Bonsai Forum.

Your reputation in the bonsai world precedes you. Your valuable involvement in the Wirral Bonsai Society is well known to the Bonsai World.
I use to follow your Society Bonsai Blog for a couple of years now, and I can say that you do an incredible job.

I believe, with out any doubt that Wirral Bonsai Society is the most Valuable Bonsai Society in the UK.

I am very glad that had the honour to meet you even if is virtually and I hope that one day I will meet you in person

many thanks for your support

Hi Jim- keep up the good work- regards Iain

Friends from Cyprus

Hi Everyone,

It was a great day on the 15th of November when a few members met up with Two Great Bonsai Enthusiast From the Sunny Island Of Cyprus which is Situated on the waters of the European Mediterranean This Little island has its own definite and beguiling character.and according to wild stories from Agia Napa;the country stating that Cyprus "Whether you know it as the ‘island of sin’ or ‘fun" all I can say is After spending 3 Glorious and Fantastic years there with my Family  where our Youngest Daughter was born in1976 in the ‘the island of Aphrodite’,Would recommend a trip to the Island the one of the few places I know of where you can Snowboard or Ski on Mount Troodos then have a Beach Barbeque returning from the mountain more about Cyprus can be found online by a Google Search>

For Bonsai Enthusiasts there another reason to go as there is a Cyprus Bonsai Society on the Island and who knows what you may find on your travels and you be made Extremely Welcome.

The C-B-S has its own forum on line and The Cyprus Bonsai Discussion Forum is open in order to promote the art of Bonsai in the Island of Cyprus.

As  Greg  wrote in the forum
                                                  "Cyprus Bonsai Club

We are group of Cyprus based,Bonsai Enthusiasts was formed in January 2010 and since then, we meet often to work on our trees and discuss bonsai. So far, the regular members of the group are (in no particular order):

 Savvas Papaloizou,- “president”- Stavros Eleftheriou - Gregoris Antoniades
 Petros Polis and Christos- Antreas

They welcome all individuals interested to join our small group.

 Whether you are coming to Cyprus for business or pleasure or coming to live permanently, you may be pleased to hear that “the Cyprus bonsai club” organize on a regular base bonsai meetings.
If you have the time feel free to join us for a pure bonsai and fun day!
You can find notices for the upcoming meetings at the “EXHIBITIONS /DEMONSTRATION "/WORKSHOPS” section of this forum".


So pop across to the Cyprus Bonsai Society Forum and check it out

Earlier this Month on the 15th of November W-B-S members Bill G,Dave and Doug met Savvas and Marios From Cyprus Bonsai Society when they visited a Bonsai Garden and discussed, exchange, opinions exchange idea's about the various trees and comparing the different climate and conditions between the Two Islands Uk and Cyprus


After a few hours another garden was visited with more of the same and different setup which was followed By an Extremely Wonderful Lunch in which we were all grateful and thankful for by The Lady of the Home whose garden we were visiting

It was a little cold but it was an occasion that none of us would have missed So a Massive Thank-you to the owner's of the Garden's and to Savvas and Marios for sharing their experience with us all 

Wirral Bonsai Members would like to wish Everyone at the Cyprus Bonsai Society great and Good Luck in every-thing they are doing and hope you go from strength to strength 

From Bill G,Dave Doug and Myself it was a pleasure meeting you both

Take care


Sad News

Peter Adams – Sad news

It is with considerable sadness and regret that we learn of the sudden and unexpected death of one of Britain’s greatest bonsai talents, Peter Adams, who died peacefully on Sunday, 24th November.

As many are aware, Peter had been very  poorly and  for some weeks in hospital, but it was only recently that his wife Kate commented that he had made a good recovery and that they would have been returning home to the United States on Monday, 2nd December.

For those of us who come into bonsai during the 1970’s onwards, Peter was seen as an exceptional talent, and many have developed their knowledge and skills in bonsai due very much to his teaching. An author of many books on the subject, more recently, he had been a regular contributor to ‘Bonsai Focus’, where he drew on both his expertise in bonsai and his artistic talent in analysing raw material and sketching out possible style options.

He was a  man with a unique talent and his death  will be  a sad loss to the world of bonsai.

Our thoughts and sympathies go to his wife Kate and other members of Peter’s family.
Malcolm Hughes (President, Federation of British Bonsai Societies)

The Actual Words as they were received from Kate Adams

Peter and Kate Adams Bonsai
I am so sorry to report that Peter died suddenly, but peacefully, in his sleep last Sunday, November 24.
It was very unexpected, we had just enjoyed a marvellous visit together on Saturday and he drew a sketch of me as I sat there.
His death has been so very hard to accept especially since we planned to leave tor home together next Monday, December 2.
There will be a memorial at a later date. Details will be advised on this page. (Facebook) His ashes will come home with me soon.

I miss him so very terribly.


Friday, 1 November 2013


After a visit to see Doug, Ian tells me he is now back at home & recuperating.
Following plastic surgery he has had his hand rebuilt and been told he should get 75-80% mobility back into his fingers.
I'm sure we all wish him the best and hope to see him soon.


Doki Doki -The Manchester Japanese Festival

Hi Everyone 

On the  on Saturday 9 November 2013, Wirral Bonsai Society have been invited to take part in the Prestigious  Doki Doki   The Manchester Japanese Festival  which is a Celebration of Both Traditional and Modern Japanese Culture from 9am to 7pm at the Sugden Sports Centre in Manchester, UK,

This is Followed by an after-party from 9pm until 2am at the Manchester Metropolitan University Students' Union.

The proceeds from various events at Doki Doki 2013 will be donated to our supported charity, Aid for Japan, which provides long-term support for orphans of the 2011 Tohoku disaster in Japan.

More information and Details about the events, guests, traders and artists that will be at the 2013 festival  can be found at or any Inquiries

Everybody is welcomed  and we are all sure you will have a Great time and Enjoy, Plus Support a worth-while cause

Take  care

Jim thelad

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


So that members and those in the bonsai world that now him are aware, Ian W has told me that Doug has had an accident in his workshop and is recovering after an emergency operation to his hand.
I'm sure we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him soon.

Thursday, 17 October 2013


Hi all

Well you may know  But what the hell good news is always better to be shared around again and again

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO Mark K.WINNER OF THE UK NEW-COMERS TALENT CONTEST FOR BONSAI, and will represent the UK in the European bonsai association Finals in Poland next May 2014 many thanks to Paul Bowerbank for sharing Mark's Success with us .W-B-S and The V-o-C-B-S Bonsai Societies are Made-up for You Both

take care


Monday, 30 September 2013

Club show 2013 pt3

 Wile E coyote and road runner ?

 You haven't seen me .....right!
 Tolster, Hardman (Portugal bound...lucky b*****d) & Tickle.....
... sounds like a firm of solicitors!
Bonsai must take its toll on the eyes-
3 people 4 sets of glasses.......
 Self portrait?
tweedle dum & ........

Friday, 27 September 2013

Club show 2013 prt2

Bry and Family  From the V-o-C-B-S.... enjoying the show

 close inspection
 Start them young ... my daughter and I, trying to select a tree for the public competition 
....not easy
 views of the show
(again....thanks to Jim for the pictures)

Club Show 2013

Hi Everyone

Last week-end we held our Annual Members Bonsai and Accent Plants Show at Gordales, the Award Winning Retailer of the year 2012 Garden Center here in the Wirral and by ALL accounts and the feedback we have had, it seemed to even better than the response in 2012.
It all started with the preparations on the Thursday on the 19th of September and once the vehicle arrived from storage with all the equipment on it . A little discussion was had as to what was going where and the starting crew, Doug, Dave Y., Bill D,.Steve H.,Tom, Bill G., Sean and Arthur got to grips with task in hand  and got going in assembling the benches and stands shortly later more helping hands arrived to assist in the preparation with almost the whole set-up completed before we had to call it a day on day 1

Day Two was much of the same and all was going well and around mid-day the Exhibits starting to arrive to be place into position followed by a few swops here and there to have everything perfect for the Show. Even tho I say it myself it was really looking great and ready for Showtime at the end of on Friday

Saturday the final touches,cleaning,hoovering, brushing ,polishing adding those little things that makes it all perfect for the Two day show

As always it was a quiet start but as time went on more and more of the public arrived and they were many oooooo's and aaaaaa's look at this one look at that one is it REAL, DON'T TOUCH , Daddy I want one and many more nice and wonderful comments

Around 10:30 am Mr Steve Tolley head Judge for the Event and a MASTER Of the  Bonsai Four Dimensional Art Supremo, arrived  with a Bandaged Finger ( I am sure he must get fed-up being asked what happened)which did not stop him form being his usual self when carrying out his judging duties and in TRUE TOLLSTER Fashion a man of Action he was extremely full of enthusiasm and used his Dedicated Skills and Superb Bonsai Knowledge to choose which Bonsai Tree deserved an award

As time went past With plenty of enthusiasm Steve with his trusted place cards placing them on the bench next to a Tree then walking round stopping,looking near and more than a few feet away trying to decide, he started removing a few cards making notes then another look and his decisions were made (A true master at work )

Then tension for some members and in the end we all had our minds settled when MrTolley took center stage with his results and Reminder what he said last year in 2013 after judging the show then he spoke about the members and,the society as a whole and "praised us all for outstanding achievement"

This time it was even better than last year as Mr. Tolley was more than pleased with all our efforts and we all should BE PROUD as a Society for being one of the Best Bonsai Societies in the country and will always be willing to return to support Wirral Bonsai Society if we will have him




The Honours were shared this year between Dave Y, Bill G, Rod and Simon

Best Shohin
     ==  No. 24 = Juniper = belonging to Rod      

Best Chuhin       ==  No. 18 =  Hinoki Cypress = belonging to Bill G

Best BroadLeaf  ==  No. 1  =  Azalea  = belonging to Rod

Best Conifer      ==  No. 16 = Juniper = belonging to
  Dave Y.

 Best in Show   
= =  No 16 = Juniper. = belonging to  Dave Y.

The Chairman's Award's ==  No.14 = Shohin  Black Pine = belonging to Simon


Voted Best Tree By the Public and Awarded The Dave Mitchell Trophy

 to Steve H on behalf of Pete who could not make it

No. 2  Cryptomeria  belong to Pete

And presented By Lindsay Beautiful Daughter of Dave M.

A Special presentation was made by Steve T on behalf of Wirral Bonsai Society to Andy H who has been the in My opinion the Backbone of our Successful Sunday Workshops both at Gordales and at Portsunlight Garden Centre. Andy is moving to a Warmer climate as he task up a position at a Bonsai Nursery later in the year in Portugal and we ALL wish him every success and he will be a HARD ACT to follow.

Best Wishes from us all Andy I know I will miss you not only for your wit, honesty, Bonsai Knowledge, your sense of Humour ( where to stick the camera ) and reminding me that the Sunday Workshops are about the BONSAI TREES and not the Members ( why can't it be Both)

Over the Two days of the show we of the show we made some new friends and it was great to see some friendly  face  amongst them some Distinguished  Bonsai people, Mr M Hughes,Mr Andy Dolman from Walsall, Tony Tickle, Dave B and wife Cathy, Ken, Bryan and his Family, Bren, Lee K. Roy and a Lovely Senior Couple who were members of W-B-S in the early years in the 1990,s some of the nicest Ladies Gentlemen you will  meet

A Tremendous Exciting Bonsai and accent Plant Show and we all would like to thank the owners of the GGC Mr and Mrs Nicholson for their kind hospitality welcoming W-B-S into their Award Winning Center Retailer of the Year 2012 and also a young Ladies Karen and Becky,Jonathon and Nick for the Transport PLUS ALL MEMBERS of Staff at Gordales for making our day so successful AND A MASSIVE THANK-YOU TO YOU ALL

We hope everyone who attended our show enjoyed what they had seen and spread the word and good news about Wirral Bonsai Society and Gordale's Garden Center for we will be BACK in 2014 and if all goes well with a big and better display of Bonsai Trees and Accent plants

Just a Reminder NOT TO FORGET the Sunday workshops on the 29th of September AT  Gordale Garden Centre 

Take care look after each other and your Bonsai Trees

From ALL OF US AT W-B-S a Large Thank you to each and everyone of you who took time to visit us

Jim thelad

for more pictures please see IBC forum via link below
 good layout and turn out

 putting 'skippy' (named because it was found in a skip) into position
 Steve starts his judging....

....and then leads a discussion in the merits (and possible issues) with the trees 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

September meeting -show tree selection

Hi Everyone

It's that time of the year when all the hard work should be almost done as it was Show Tree Selection night and what a great abundance of Bonsai Trees that were brought into the Society meeting place

Ian got the ball rolling and mentioned a few items Such as The Swindon Winter Image Show an event we all feel we would like to keep attending plus Ian give us ALL some food for thought and will be contacting the Organisers of the Winter Image show

We all heard about the GREAT  NEWS and Opportunity that Andy H landed in a Bonsai Dream Land as he heads for a more warmer climate than the UK  hopefully to hear more details to follow from Andy

It seemed a difficult task for the judging panel as they were taken their time checking each exhibit carefully sometimes going back to have another look, then discussing their opinions together before agreeing on the final items for the show

Around Two dozen members attended the evening, chatting amongst themselves whilst the judging was going on, voicing their own opinion between themselves hoping their Tree would be up to the required standard for the show

All in all was a great night with plenty of happy faces once they knew what the panel had decided 

Just to remind you about 2 day event it is held at Gordales Garden Center a Prize Winning Award  2012 Garden Center here in the Wirral

hope to see you there

Take care


 is it in.......or out?
 every detail is scrutinised...
even via hi tec means

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Looking for something new?

Hi Everyone,

This is just to let you all know that the final consignment of trees for this year will be available for viewing from this weekend by appointment. But please call/email to arrange times as Kathy and I are busy with our Mothers.

 I have some really exceptional material including some spectacular Sabina Junipers that have been established 4 years and are ready for styling.

 Please let your friends and club members know.

Kindest regards

Steve (Tolley)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Best of British Bonsai 2013 results


Hot off the press -The RHS has awarded the Federation of British Bonsai Societies a Gold medal for the BoBB2013 display.

Individuals known so far-
Best Chuhin -Marcus Watts
Best Shohin -Ian Warhurst (congrats)
Best Large tree -Des Lloyd
Best in Show -Marcus Watts

See link below for more info-

Marcus's Best in Show Zelkova
Ian's best Shohin Chinese Elm

Ian's Privet -certificate of merit

Thursday, 16 May 2013

BOBB 2013.... is a go!

As some may already be aware the BOBB 2013 has now been confirmed to take place as part of Gardeners World Live @ the NEC. Despite rumours to the contrary the RHS need it to happen.

Hope to see you there!

May meeting-Peter Warren

 Peter starts his talk....
 ...winging it along the way.

 'pay respect to the mighty Maple'
 I like this one.......

....but this one I love!

(an Aldi Homage)

Welcome Everyone

Bill G had the Honour of opening the meeting mentioned a few events and things members who are involved NEED to do ASAP such as getting Recent images of to Steve Tolley  for the Best of British Bonsai show later this year and the Japan Society North West Japan Day being held on Saturday 1st June 2013 between 10:30 am to 5:00 pm at: Liverpool Hope University, Cornerstone Building, Creative Campus, Shaw Street, Liverpool  L6 1HP.
Besides W-B-S being invited to this Fantastic Event.Here is a SMALL taster of what to expect Traditional Taiko Drumming,Sushi and Bento,Various Societies,Martial Art Demonstrations,Vintage and Antique Kimono, Display of traditional Japanese Dolls, Kimekomi Doll- making, Try dressing in a Traditional Japanese style, Cosplay Competition, Have your Name Written by Junko Kuramoto- Heady

Embroidery, Display and demonstration by Silkworm Plus lots more
This and Much more of information can be found at

After all the news views and gossip from Bill G. it was Time for our guest Peter to get into action which he did and introduced his topic for the night which was Pot,Table Selection For Display, Making The Most Of Your Trees and starting with the INTRODUCTION.   (1) Looking at your Tree, Figuring out what is going on. (2) Pot Selection to Suit  The Character Of The Tree (3) A Suitable Table or Stand For The Bonsai. Peter then asked the Questions starting with  

1) Have you LOOKED at your tree, Honestly LOOKED at it Properly such as

a) Standing back, looking hard to find the Characteristics of the tree                                                     b)Checking Direction is it going up,down, Left or Right

c) Space
d) Strength / Visual Mass
e) Sex
f) Character  Re-fined or Rough

Once you have understood the characteristics of the tree, Peter explained we need to Match the Pots to Accentuate and Amplify it as Pots also have a character,Visual Mass, sometimes Direction, Refinement and Balance is the Key. and like before we have Masculine Pots which has Strong Lines, and Angles. Feminine Pots with Oval and Round Pots being the obvious.

Next Peter spoke and showed some Tables or Stands and explained that as for the Trees and Pots we also need to Consider and look at the Strength,The Space and Masculinity of the Stands or Tables and went through what to look for when looking for a Masculine,Feminine and one with Graceful Curves and one of the biggest Concern for Bonsai Tables is The Height. For most this is the only chance we get to Display is at a Show or Exhibitions where Trees will be viewed Standing up or on a Bench plus the SPACE

TheTable   Must be considered as  

(a) Too Small and the Image becomes Confined

(b) Too Large and the Image becomes Too Expansive and the Tree appears To Small.
and as Peter pointed out "it's a Very Difficult Balance To Achieve"

It was an Extremeley entertaining session with Peter and the 20 or so members applauded him at the end and we all left well informed on how to achieve a Pot,Table Selection For Display, and Making The Most Of Our Trees

There is a Last Sunday of the Month Workshop at Gordales Garden Centre the Award Winning Garden Centre  on the26th of May and if all goes well we hope to see you there so any Questions on Bonsai or youn have a Bonsai tree and seek FREE advice  or opinions just pop along  to Chester High Road Wirral

 Till next time once again
Take care  look after Each Other and All your Bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Meeting Tony Tickle

hi Everyone and Welcome to our Blog 

On the 10th April Mr.Tony Tickle and Mr.Terry Foster were schedule to present a Fine Wiring and Ramification session and yours truly was looking forward to meeting another Bonsai Artist Mr Terry Foster as he been spoken well of and highly rated at Wirral Bonsai Society.
Mr Tickle I have met before and chatted with both in person and on the World Wide Web so I was a little disappointed that Mr Foster could not make it on the night  

In the absence of our Chairman and Vice-chairman due to work comments, Andy H. opened the precedence with the Successful news about about a few members latest  Adventure to The FANTASTIC Shohin UK Exhibition 2013  where our Society gained a These Awards

1)British Shohin Association Best Mame Award
Bill G. (Lonicera nitida)

2) Shohin UK Display, Award of Merit
Wirral Bonsai Society

3) BCI Award of Excellence
Wirral Bonsai Society's display

and not forgetting 

Best Accent Planting (Dan and Ci Barton)
Simon Jones

With  who got what and what is on in the coming weeks out of the way, Andy then introduced Mr.T. Tickle and it was down to the business for the evening with a change to the schedule and Tony Introduced his topic for the Evening which was a very interesting, subject such as Extraordinary Bonsai Techniques and a list of the things that were in store for members were Bending Branches, Coniferous Trees, Difficult Potting, Creating an Aged Appearance, Bending Roots (Yew Tree), Rooting Giant Cuttings, Polystyrene Chips in Pots, The Raft (18 years in the Making) and a Technique Called SWEATING to be able to Establish Roots

To save me trying to confuse you all as to what this is all about  check out Mr. Tony Tickle's Site  @

The Evening was very interesting and Tony did a great job with his Slide show presentation it was full of information and passed on some new and interesting facts, techniques and suggestions and the time just seem to fly past and before new it the session had finished

Andy thanked Tony for his Excellent presentation and I am sure everyone in the room learnt more than a few things and will be trying out a lots of what Tony  said on their own Bonsai trees I know I will be.

That's it for now I will be back soon with the news from Portsunlight Garden  Centre

Take care  look after each other  and all your bonsai Trees

Jim thelad

 Tony's explains some 'extraordinary techniques'
..... including how to guess the weight!

 An enthralled audience looks on.

 Tony's Blackthorn (complete with RAF flyby)

and Tony's well known Yew complete with pot [& table :) ]


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.