I got the Bonsai virus in early 1990 and gave my first demo not much later at my then-Bonsai Club “KOYA” in Rijswijk (NL). My demo tree was a Dubbel trunk Chamaecyparis “Chamaecyparis” nana gracilis that was used for many years as a mother plant for cuttings in “Boskoop” Holland. Because of the typical for this species roots bulging and the leg of useable cuttings anymore I could buy it from the grower and daringly used it for this my first-ever demo! And I would use that Bulgin base as a feature! I planted it later in a (then) unique curved thin pot by my old friend Potter William Vlaanderen and entered it in the Yearly “Dutch Bonsai Federation” show and won first prize with it! Later we even drove all the way to the famous “CRESPI” Cup in Milan (IT) to show it there…boy, I was innocent these days sigh!!! With the tree on the leather back seat, of my 750 IL beamer (petrol was cheaper those days!😋) I suddenly had to break at a roundabout for a suicidal rabbit and that made the Bonsai fly straight into the back of my seat! Akadama was everywhere and some small branches broke! But we made it in the end and proudly showed it at this great venue! I came across the below picture on the web. I think it was made at the “Noelanders Trophy” in Belgium. Or at the “Ginkgo Award” in Belgium? I will look it up?
Below: Now some 25 years later my good friend and Bonsai fanatic Diderick Bovenlander (NL) is taking care of her very well for some years now and he has styled her further for the future!
I hope you enjoyed this short Bonsai story from way back in my early Bonsai life right up to Diederick’s present-day story?! Man, I suddenly feel old! 😱😉
Below: I found an unknown picture on the web of my Itoigawa Juniper Shohin and Urbandori Potentilla Shohin (under 21cm) with a tiny Japanese Waterstone at the prestigious Ginkgo Bonsai Awards in Belgium. Years earlier I had won the “Dutch Bonsai Day’s Trophy” with that tiny Potentilla!
Pictures of my 2 Bonsai at “DESHIMA” Bonsai Studio New Years’ show. On the 4th of January, it was early out of bed to make it in time to bring in my 2 Bonsai for the annual Deshima Bonsai Studio “Winter Bonsai Show”! I was there just after 9 so that gave me plenty of time to carry everything inside and to really enjoy the build-up of my 2 Bonsai composition!
On behalf of all the visitors and participants, I would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers and Teunis Jan Klein for making this all possible again! And the demonstrators: Bert Verstappen, Gerry Verstering and Ruben Bouwmeester who did such a great job! It was a truly fantastic event to get the new Bonsai year started just right! Happy New Year everybody! Cheers, Hans van Meer.
My Little Prunus spinosa will be shown together with my Hawthorn in one composition. It’s show ready and pretty unique because it is still covered with its summer bleu berries! Normally they would have been long eaten by birds, but my garden is covered with netting so they are still on there and the contrast between the bare black branches and bark and the grey American pot is simply amazing! The only thing that was still missing to complete the whole picture was nice moss on the soil surface and I know just the place to collect it! Just a 5 minutes walk away from our house there are meters-high and kilometres-long dykes to keep out the sea and on the rocks and boulders that make up this dyke, there are growing two perfect kinds of moss!
I am really happy with the outcome and how she looks! Now I still have to select a company plant and search among my several wooden handmade Tanzaku holders for the best one! And then go through my collection of Tanzaku (small paintings on paper or silk) for a nice wintery painting to complete the whole composition…but that is for tomorrow! I love this part of the Bonsai hobby! I will post some pictures right after the show so watch this space!
I spend this cold afternoon preparing my little Hawthorn for the upcoming annual New Years Show at my dear old Bonsai friend Teunis Jan Klein “DESHIMA” Bonsai Studio in Nieuwerkerk a /d IJssel (Holland). This is a fun day where we not only all enjoy the Bonsai exhibition and Teunis his amazing store and the Bonsai for sale, but also the chance to wish each other the best wishes for the New Year while enjoying good food and lots of drinks!
Because of the swelling of the root mass in the pot, I had to remove the bulging top layer of the soil in most places and therefore had to renew the layer of mos! With a soft brush, the beautiful old bark was cleaned and freed from moss. And then all the little branches that grew in the wrong places or the wrong direction were cut away, giving it a cleaner look! And then there was no more daylight left to clean the pot, so it was time to put my tools away and warm my bones inside because it has been no warmer than 2 degrees in the sun today! Tomorrow I will prepare my little Prunus spinosa which is shown in a setup with my Hawthorn! So watch this space! Cheers and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! Hans van Meer.
I just posted on YouTube the short video that I shot last weekend at the 12th edition of the “Bonsai from the West” event that was staged as always in the middle of the beautiful Botanical garden in Delft (the Netherlands). This yearly event revolves around the care and presentation of Bonsai. The goal is to inspire and motivate Bonsaïsts and to introduce a broad public to this unique hobby. In addition to the Bonsai exhibition, there were various activities, including Bonsai demonstrations and workshops, taichi, shinkendo, ikebana and a large Bonsai market where everything that has to do with Bonsai could be purchased! The Bonsai on display are from several Bonsai clubs and professionals from the Western part of Holland (the Netherlands) and they are challenged to come up with new and innovative ways to exhibit their Bonsai! And I must say that they all did a great job and that the overall show gets better and better each year! And I can’t wait until next year’s 13th edition of this fun event…when I will be demonstrating there! P.S. two more long videos f my trip and demo and workshop in Slovenia and of the exciting “Kei Bonsai Kai” monster event in Gent Belgium!!! So watch this space for that!!! Then I will start to repost here the 10 years of posts that I managed to save from my old blog that was removed without warning suddenly from the web! Such a lot to do and so little time to do it! 😉
I have made a start to improve and/or adjust 7 of my Bonsai videos on youtube. Some were shakey and others had copyright issues and that bothered me so I bought a much better professional video editing program and have just reposted the first two remastered Bonsai videos back on youtube! It is the “KEI BONSAI KAI” Bonsai exhibition video Part I and II that I shot in May 2016 in the famous Bonsai centre “GINKGO” in Laarne Belgium. Don’t forget to visit the second edition of this amazing Bonsai extravaganza on the 26th of May this year!!! Believe me that you won’t be disappointed, so I hope to see you all there?! More improved and/or adjusted videos will be reposted during the next couple of days, so watch this space!!!
I just to let you all know that I just posted the short video that I made of me bringing in my Ilex verticillata into the XIX 2018 edition of the prestigious Noelanders edition! In it, you can see how my Bonsai is photographed for the commemorative book and how I build up my composition in the almost still completely empty enormous exposition hall on the Thursday before the show…to go short: things you don’t often see about a big Bonsai show like this is! So have a look and forgive me for the not-so-good quality of the film…the lighting was still very poor then and I was very tired! But I still hope you like it?!