Kennett Collection Sale

For any serious bonsai enthusiast on the Eastern Seaboard, there was one place to have been on March 14th. Gateway Garden Center in Hokenssin, DE was host to over 400 bonsai being sold from the legendary Kennett Collection.IMG_9006

Almost all the trees had been imported from Japan and were being sold at amazing prices. I actually passed on buying things last month in Japan in anticipation of this sale.

Museum Curator Jack Sustic, myself, and Museum volunteer Ted Pickett drove up that morning and arrived an hour early. People had already began to muster, circling the perimeter trying to locate the trees they wanted.

There were buyers from Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and even Houston, Texas. Let me know if I missed any.

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IMG_8995A tent had been set up with cashiers, heaters and best of all free coffee and donuts.IMG_8998

IMG_8991The rules were simple and as fair as possible so that everyone got a chance to get a tree.

IMG_8988Each person pulled a wrist band out of a box and that determined when you could go in.

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Peter Warren MC’d the event, going over everything in detail and bound everyone to a gentlemen’s agreement to abide by the rules.IMG_9004

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IMG_9002In what we can hope will become as iconic an image as the original, Peter pumped up the crowd with the shout of “Bonsai Power!”.

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Jack at the starting gate waiting for his group to go. No one dared to try anything funny with what I assume were the first bouncers ever at a bonsai sale.

I was in shortly after Jack and was able to photograph the trees. Enjoy.

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The first group went in at 10 am and apparently this maple was the first tree purchased, by 11:30 over half the bonsai were sold.
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It was a great experience, even for those who didn’t get exactly what they wanted. Thank you to Mr. Paul and everyone involved in orchestrating this event. It’s exciting to know that so many fine bonsai have been distributed around the U.S. and I assume we will be seeing many of them in upcoming exhibitions.

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2014 Winter Silhouette Bonsai Exhibition

The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, located on the East Coast of the United States, has been having its annual Winter Silhouettes exhibition for nearly 20 years. We’ve recently gone to a biannual show to generate more interest as winter is our slow season at the Arboretum.
IMG_0058Japanese Maple-Kiyo-hime, In training since 1946, Donated by Akiko Matsudaira.

IMG_00603 point display with Trident Maple, In training since 1895, Donated Prince Takamatsu, Mt. Fuji scroll, and Japanese Blood Grass.

IMG_0064Branch silhouette.

IMG_0063Japanese Blood Grass, container by MC2.

IMG_0061Triptych of Root-over-rock Chinese Elms, Donated by Yee Sun-Wu.

IMG_0070 Chinese Hackberry, In training since 1946, Donated by Shu-ying Lu.

IMG_0071Winter Suiseki.

IMG_0072 Chinese Elm, In training since 1946, Donated by Yee-sun Wu.IMG_0073 Bald Cypress, In training since 1972, Donated by Vaughn Banting.

IMG_0074 Chinese Elm, In training since 1970, Donated by Marybel Balendonck.

IMG_0075 Branch detail.

IMG_0077 Year of the Horse shohin display.

IMG_0078 Rabbit foot fern, container by Lang,  with horse figurine.

IMG_0079 Chinese Elm, Age unknown, Donated by All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association.

IMG_0080 Trident Maple, In training since 1918, Donated by Prime Minister Obuchi.

IMG_0081 Hut Stone.

IMG_0082 Trident Maple, In training since 1986, Donated by Doris Froning.IMG_0083 Smooth-leaved Elm, In training since 1982, Donated by Keith Scott.

IMG_0084 Pomegranate, In training since 1963, Donated by Alice Naka.

IMG_0085 Japanese Cedar, In training since 1905, Donated by Eisaku Sato.

IMG_0086 Chinese Elm, Age Unknown, Donated by Stanley Chin.

IMG_0087 Trident Maple, In training since 1916, Donated Takeo Fukuda.

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Chinese Elm, In training since 1961, Donated by Shu-ying Lui.

2009 Golden State Bonsai Convention Show

In conjunction with my last post about Peter Adams at the GSBF convention in 2009,  I wanted to share these photos I took of the bonsai on exhibit . Please forgive some of the blurry photos, when I took these 4 years ago, I didn’t expect to be posting them online. Also I normally attribute the owner but again I failed to capture that info. Enjoy.

IMG_4145California Juniper

IMG_4146California Live Oak

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There were also a number of viewing stones on display.

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Brazilian Pepper

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Olive

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Viewing stone, most likely from the Eel River.

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California Juniper

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Chinese Elm

IMG_4156Eleagnus

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Chinese Juniper

IMG_4159California Juniper

IMG_4160Olive

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Redwood

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Japanese Black Pine

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Boxwood

IMG_4164California Juniper

IMG_4166Twisted Pomegranate

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California Juniper

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Shari detail

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San Jose Juniper

IMG_4174Virginia Creeper

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Sierra Juniper

IMG_4176California Juniper

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Dead wood detail

Falling into Winter, part 2

As the trees on exhibit move past their peak fall color we replace them with trees that are just beginning to shine. Here are the new additions as well as a few from the first post that look better than they first did.

IMG_9815Trident Maple, Donated by Stanley Chin, Age Unknown

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IMG_9818Closeup of netsuke

IMG_9819Japanese Maple, Donated by Shintaro Abe, In training since 1946.

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Red Maple, Acer rubrum var. Drummondii, Donated by Vaughn Banting, In training since 1974.

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Cedar Elm, Ulmus crassifolia, Donated by Arch Hawkins, In training since 1981.

IMG_9822Close-up of trunks and branch structure.

IMG_9823Bald Cypress, Donated by Vaughn Banting, In training since 1972.

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Ginkgo biloba, Donated by Masayuki Fujio, In training since 1896.

IMG_9829Japanese Privet, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Donated by Seiko Koizumi, In training since 1968.

IMG_9826Trident Maple, Donated by Ted Guyer, In training since 1975.

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Japanese Maple, Donated by Ryutaro Azuma, In training since 1906.

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Liquidambar, Donated by Vaughn Banting, In training since 1975. The photo doesn’t do the tree justice regarding its actual color. Its almost a neon red. When you see it in person the tree seems like it is glowing.

IMG_9833Close-up of fall leaves.

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Golden Larch, Pseudolarix amabilis, Donated by Shu-ling Lui, In training since 1971.

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Thanks for reading. I will be posting the final installment of this years fall exhibit next week. This coming weekend will be your last opportunity to see this special Fall Exhibit, so if you live in or near DC stop by the Museum and enjoy the trees before all the leaves are gone.

Falling into Winter, Autumn Bonsai Exhibition 2013

IMG_9747Thankfully things in Washington got sorted out in time for our annual fall exhibition. The exhibit runs from October 26 – November 10. Trees will be rotated in and out as they come into peak color and I will post addition pictures as we change them.

IMG_9712Bradford Pear, Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’, In training since 1976, Styled by the first curator Bob Drechsler.

IMG_9713Three point display: Pomegranate bonsai, scroll with gourd and calligraphy, and contorted mondo grass.

IMG_9714 Pomegranate, Punica granatum, In training since 1963, Donated by Alice Naka.

IMG_9715 Contorted mondo grass, Ophiopogon chingii.

IMG_9717Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum, Age unknown, Donated by Stanley Chin.

IMG_9719 English Hawthorn, Crataegus oxycantha,  In training since 1955, Donated by Bertra Bruenner.

IMG_9720 Close-up of trunk and fruit.

IMG_9721 Three point display: Crabapple bonsai, scroll of Mt. Fuji and rising sun, and Japanese forest grass accent.

IMG_9722 Toringo Crabapple, Malus seiboldii ‘Toringo’, In training since 1905, Donated by Shyuichi Ueda.

IMG_9723 Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra.

IMG_9724 Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, In training since 1906, Donated by Ryutaro Azuma.

IMG_9725 Close-up of trunk and nebari.

IMG_9726 Chinese Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, In training since 1906, Donated by Yee-sun Wu.

IMG_9727 Close-up of hollow trunk .

IMG_9728 Three point display: Gingko bonsai, viewing stone, and sedum.

IMG_9729 Indian Blanket Stone donated by Melba Tucker, and sedum.

IMG_9730 Three point display: Sweet Gum bonsai, scroll with bird and nandina, and Japanese bloodgrass.

IMG_9731 Sweet Gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, In training since 1975, Donated by Vaugh Banting.

IMG_9732 Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica, pot by Sharon Edwards-Russell.

IMG_9733 Chrysanthemum Stone, Donated by Kemin Hu.

IMG_9734 Detail of chrysanthemum.

IMG_9735 Star magnolia, Magnolia stellata, In training since 1986 , Donated by Kazuo Moriyama.

Its the most wonderful time of the year.

I have head on multiple occasions that winter is the favorite time of year for the more discerning bonsai enthusiasts.  John Naka described a bonsai in leaf as “a beautiful woman with her cloths on”, meaning that the leaves of the tree conceal the form of the trunk and branches. Leaves can hide large scars, the lack of taper in the trunk or long internodes (the distance between two leaf axils). Only when a tree is leafless can you fully appreciate the level of  training that a deciduous bonsai has had. That could be why the most prestigious bonsai exhibition in the world, the Kokofu ten, is held during the winter.

Over the years the Museum has held its own exhibit entitled Winter Silhouettes. As the title implies, the exhibits goal is to showcase the beauty of a leafless bonsai. So while your trees are packed away for winter please enjoy some of the Museum’s bonsai in all their leafless splendor.

Smooth Leaf Elm, Ulmus carpinifolia, Donated by Kieth Scott, In training since 1982.

Chinese Elms, Ulmus parvifolia, Donated by Yee-sun Wu, In training since 1901.

Hornbeam, Carpinus tschonoskii, Donated by Minoru Koshimura, In training since 1935.

Chinese Elms, Ulmus parvifolia, Donated by Marybel Balendonck,  In training since 1976.

Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum, Donated by Vaughn Banting, In training since 1972.

Trident Maple, Acer buergerianum, Donated by Stanly Chin, Age Unknown.

Chinese Hackberry, Celtis sinensis, Donated by Dan Chiplis , In training since 1974.

Japanese Privet, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Donated by Seiko Koizumi, In training since 1968

Chinese Elms, Ulmus parvifolia, Donated by Shu-ying Lui,  In training since 1961.

Pomegranate, Punica granatum, Donated by Alice Naka, In training since 1963.