it took a while for all the impressions from this year’s Noelanders to sink in! What an experience the long ride leading up to it was again! The last 2 seasons preparing my little Hawthorn for this show, being relieved that it made it into the final show, having a custom-made pot made for it by John Pitt and a last-minute custom-made table by Christoph! The long night ride to bring it into the show, the early photo session with Willy Evenepoel and the feeling of proudness and amazement when I walked with my small tree in my arms into the enormous exhibition aerier! Finding my prominent and perfect exhibition space and building up my display all alone and in total peace…over the years I learnt to cherish these moments that pass in a moment! Walking past the almost endless rows of stunning Bonsai before anyone was there, the feeling that came over me when I saw the many beauty in Bonsai designs, material and maturity! And the feeling that came over me when I saw trees with just a few years of ramification growth and work? Being warmly welcomed and congratulated by old Bonsai friends and shaking many hands of many new ones….making it o so hard to get from A to B! Having a meal and some drinks with friends from all over Europe and beyond, like if you had last seen them yesterday! Walking amazing past the endless rows of traders, who had Bonsai for sale that could be placed directly into the main show!!! And not 1 or 2…no 30 or 40!!! It was sometimes hard to find the traders under the need of all the world-class Yamadori that they had brought along in their hundreds from every were in Europe !!! Being a bit sad that I had to leave early…but really happy to have made it in the first place to bring in my Little “Hawthorn” my self into this high-class Bonsai show where now a day’s you need a “Kimura” styled Bonsai to win a price…that should make me even prouder, you would think? Wouldn’t you?! While I aim my car towards Holland again a song comes on the car radio…Girl you know it’s true!!! Oooow, oooow, oooow…!!!
The next Monday, my dear friend Tony Tickle came to visit me again before getting on the boat home here close to were we live! He had brought along my Little Hawthorn, table and accent from the show! As always we had a fun afternoon, Tony is one of my oldest friends….whe had some amazing adventures together and I consider him more like a brother from a other mother! Tony gave the Fagus yamadori that I had here waiting for him in my garden a short shave (see the branches in my arms in picture) and made this selfie afterwards…such a shame that we live such a long way apart!
So to sum up: Noelanders Trophy XVI (2016) was a amazing show and a amazing experience to be a little part off! I congratulate Mark Noelanders and all the volunteers that made this all possible again so that we could all enjoy this Bonsai heaven on earth that gets better and better every edition! Until next year….I hope!?
Hans van Meer.