Noelanders Trophy 2016 revisited.


Hi, everybody,

it took a while for all the impressions from this years 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 with stunning Bonsai before any one was there, the feeling that came over me when I saw the many beauty in Bonsai designs, material and matureness! 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 saw them yesterday! Walking amazed past the endless rows with 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 need 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 in to 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 to wards 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.


Bonsai Friends!
Bonsai Friends!

First picture from my hawthorn at the Noelanders trophy 2016


Hi, everybody,

just got back from my long trip up to the Noelanders Trophy 2016 in Genk Belgium to bring in my Little Hawthorn for the show and to see amazing Bonsai and best off all: my Bonsai friend from around Europe! This morning I had to get up at 4 to get there at 8 just before the show would open it’s doors to the public, only then there would be a small window of time to make the pictures of the trees for the commemorative book… I made it precisely in time! Yes!!! I was the first to arrive off the last exhibitors to arrive and found photographer and old Bonsai friend Willy Evenly already waiting for me! We sad our hello’s and while Willy arranged all the lights and the rest of his set up, I found in the corner off the studio the wooden box with my name written on it (in big letters!), that was left there for me the other night! Inside, I found my new custom made table and dai! They were made on special hurry order and left there for me by Christoph from CHR furniture. I saw the table (in real life) there and then for the first time and I was over the moon with it, the Bonsai table combo was really good in my eyes! This great craftsman makes amazing Bonsai tables! After I had placed the table and the Bonsai in the right position, Willy made several shots until he was satisfied with the lighting and sharpness and then asked, like always, are you satisfied with the result? How cool is that?! While Willy was concentrated at work on the picture of my little Hawthorn, I shot this picture of him and my tree over his shoulder! As it is forbidden to take pictures in the actual exhibition of the trees….this is the best I can do for now! The beautiful pot was custom made by my friend John Pitt and matches the structure and colour of the tree perfectly! I was proud to present my work again at this great event and it was even greater to hear and see how lots of people liked my little Hawthorn and to find out just how many friends exactly know the whole story of this Bonsai from reading my blog stories! Great to know people are still interested in what I do…that is very heartwarming! But what made it even better is to meet the friends I made over the years in this great art form, some now for over more than 20 years!! I hope you enjoy the picture?! I am off to bed!!!

Willy Evenepoel at work.
Willy Evenepoel at work.












Hans van Meer.




Noelanders Trophy 2015

Hi, everybody,

Sorry for the delay in posting this post about the Noelanders Trophy 2015, but I have been really busy in a good way and could not make the time earlier!

I would like to quote my good friend Tony Tickle from his blog

“I thought last years event in Heusden- Zolder was terrific but the new venue at the Limburghal Genk has raised the show to a whole new level of excellence. The increased space in the exhibition and traders halls ensured that at no time, did it feel overcrowded. The issues that were given for the banning of photography last year seem to have been resolved by the increased area. Having said that, despite the ban, there were many people taking pictures inside the exhibition and quite a number of them have already appeared on the Internet. As an averagely obsessed hobbyist and small-scale blogger, who feels obliged to uphold the rules for fear of prejudicing my chances of having a tree accepted in the future, I personally feel disadvantaged by this. I sincerely hope the organisers will consider lifting this ban for next year; after all, in the same period, the Japanese have lifted the ban on photography at major shows and it would seem that the effect has been to open the shows up to a wider international audience.”

I could not agree more with Tony’s reasoning! The new location is so much better than the old one and it seemed that the level of the Bonsai had grown accordingly! Really the best show I have ever visited and a must-see for every devoted Bonsai enthusiastic! Only points of improvements that have to be taken care off in the future are the extremely long and cold waiting times at the entrance on Saturday and when you ask 50 Euro cents for every toilet visit (from a few thousand people over the weekend $$$)….well than they better be cleaned every now and than during that weekend! And like asked, I did not make any pictures of the trees on display, but many others did! I do believe that taking pictures should be a part of going to a Bonsai show like this one, especially when there is more than enough room to do so without disturbing the other visitors! But otherwise, it was a pure joy to be there and to be a little part of it all!!! Well, don to Mark and all his volunteers for creating an even better show than before! Bonsai has come fare in Europe and it is amazing to see how mature the Bonsai on display has become over the last few years! Really amazing!!!!!

But I do manage to make a quick picture during the photographing of my Hawthorn for the annual commemorative book that I would like to share with you!!! My old Hawthorn was only shown once earlier during the Ginkgo Awards in the late nineties and I was glad to show it once again some 15 years older and more mature!

Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)

Collected by me in Wales in the mid-nineties.

Pot by: Brian Allbright.

18-2-2015 Noelanders 275 org 500


Hans van Meer.





Hi, everybody,

I am proud to announce that I will be doing a demonstration again at this special edition of “THE JOY OF BONSAI “.

Make sure that you don’t miss this great event!

Hans van Meer.

The JOY of BONSAI ’10


Hi Everyone,
The Association of British Bonsai Artists is delighted to announce that we will be bringing back the well known and ever popular JOY OF BONSAI event in 2010 (March 20th and 21st). Once again it will be held in The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath.

We do hope that you will be able to come along to the event.

• There will be an increase of demonstrators from the usual 7 to a mind-blowing 11(note, not Sundays).

• Space for up to 24 Traders offering everything imaginable for bonsai

• Supporting exhibitions of Bonsai • Shohin • Bonsai Pots • Virtual Bonsai •Kusamono & Accent Plants • Bonsai
Innovations (a new exhibition project for ABBA introduced and promoted by Simon Temblett)

• A full additional programme of associated Japanese activities such as Ikebana • Bushido • Tai-chi and many
more related activities that will take place on the stage.

• Bath also has its wide variety of tourist attractions and shops

• Excellent accommodation available to suit all pockets — check with:
Bath Tourist and Information Centre, Abbey Chambers, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LY   01225 462831

• There are four Park & Ride Services in Bath that operate from Monday to Saturday





Hi, everybody,

here are some pictures I shot during the “NOELANDERS TROPHY X” last weekend.

The above picture of the winning tree, an Acer buergerianum by Udo Fischer from Germany, is courtesy of my friend Andy “stone monkey” Pearson.


Above: My Mugo Yamadori. Although the current pot is too big and will be replaced by a smaller one in the near future, I do feel that “BIG RON” looked pretty good during this show! This old Mugo Pine can only be repotted into a smaller and more suitable pot when in the future there are enough new small roots. Then I can safely remove a bit more of the large root clump that is hidden under the ground! For now “BIG RON” will be left alone for a few years to grow and mature, he deserves it! 🙂

Above: I was proud to finally be able to show my Chamaecyparis obtusa that I have worked on for so many years. Although it is an imaginary tree, Chama’s don’t grow into this style of a tree or any kind of tree for that matter, I do feel that it’s image of an old and bettered tall spruce-fir like tree is believable. To take full advantage of the lovely fan-like shape of this kind of foliage, I styled it not too strict. The wild foliage together with the many different shades of green creates the feel and image of a tree in the distance. This tree has come a long way indeed!

Above: Resident photographer, W. Evenepoel hard at work to shoot a bird’s eye view picture for the commemorative book of this anniversary edition.


Above: 4 stupid Bonsai friends in Belgium. Left to right, Ed van der Reek, Me, Jeroen Huivenaar and last but not least a close-up view of Rune Kyrdalen.



Hans van Meer.




THE NOELANDERS TROPHY X, 17 & 18 January 2009.

 Noelanders Trophy X,  17 & 18 January 2009.


Hi, everybody,

just one more week to go to the next  “NOELANDERS TROPHY”. And because this will be already the tenth edition of this successful Bonsai event, there will be a special anniversary commemorative book, featuring all the many Bonsai of the show! So I am happy to be selected to enter the show with my Mugo “BIG RON” and my Chamaecyparis nana. And I am even more happy that my student Ed van der Reek has also made it into the final show with his Juniperus itoigawa!

During the show, more than twenty bonsai commercial stands will provide you with every item for our hobby. Several demonstrations will be given during the weekend by the top demonstrators Salvatore Liporace, Kevin Willson and Dana Quattlebaum. As well as my good friend Ivo Saporiti from Italy (European young talent 2008).

I just hope that the weather will get a bit less cold in the next couple of days, so I can do the necessary touch-ups on the trees before the show!

I am looking forward to seeing my Bonsai friend Rune Kyrdalen from Norway again, who is a guest in my house for some 2 days before we drive to the show together and meet up with the other Bonsai lovers and have some beer or 2. 

This is such a friendly event, with very high-quality Bonsai from all over Europe! So if you can find the time to come to Heusden-Zolden in Belgium, you really should go! We all be there for sure!

I will post many pictures of the trees in the show and the rest of the event, right after I get home from the show, so do come back!

Hans van Meer.




Hi, everybody,

Last weekend, I was invited to Italy, by my dear Bonsai friend, Enrico Savini. He had asked me to be the judge of the annual demonstrator’s competition during the XVII edition of the MOSTRA NAZIONALE BONSAI-SUISEKI “GIAREDA” event. And of course I sad yes!

Enrico Savini, Mauro Stemberger and Ivo Saporiti, were this year’s organizers of this important event and I think that they and the many volunteers that helped, did an amazing job!!!! This show proved once more, that the Italian Bonsai scene is very alive and full of New and old top talent! And the Bonsai….well some of them were breathtakingly beautiful!

Early on Thursday the 5Th, I made the short plane trip to Milan, were on arrival I was reunited with my old “BURRS” friend Ivo, in which house I was (A well-fed) guest. 😉

On the rest of that first day, we managed to visit “Picci Bonsai” and Nippon-en bonsai in Milan, before we had a nice meal and then it was off to bed!

Next day we had to get up really early to make it in time to the event! It was 2 hours long drive that caused a lot of yawning from all of us! But after I finally arrived at the venue…no, when I walked in the wonderful setting of this venue, I was impressed, very IMPREST and very awake! This was the most perfect setting I had yet seen!

During this weekend I saw some of the best bonsai that I had ever seen, that where showed in one of the most perfect places, that I had ever seen and literally in the middle of all that Bonsai Bliss, there were more than 10 of the best Professional Bonsai teachers in Italy demonstrating their talents on amazing and sometimes very difficult, but exciting material! And it did not stop there, because there were, even more, very talented Bonsai students from the “PROGETTO FUTURO” Bonsai school, were Enrico, Mauro and Ivo are teachers, working on amazing Yamadori. Together they all were demonstrating, with great result, on some unbelievable raw material! This was really a Bonsai spectacle that I wish every Bonsai nut could see! It was pure magic for me to be amongst all this talent, Bonsai beauty, superb material and friendliness! And I hope that the pictures that I post here can evoke some of that feeling with you!


Below pictures: Ivo Saporitti garden.



Below pictures: Picci Bonsai centre (Milan) Italy.


Pictures below: NIPPON-EN Bonsai centre (Milan) Italy.




Below pictures: Impressions of the venue and the Bonsai in the exhibition.












Pictures of the 2-day demonstration, performed by the talented students of the PROGETTO FUTURE BONSAI SCHOOL.
















Below pictures: Demonstrations from the pro/teachers.

Demonstration by 1st place winner: Olivier Barreau (France)



Demonstration by 2nd place price winner: Zino Rongo. (Mirtus)



Demonstration by 3rd price winner: Roberto Raspanti. (Taxus baccata)



Demonstration by 4th place winner: Alfredo Salaccione.  (Pinus sylvestris)



Demonstration by the 5th place winner: Samuel Corazza.



Demonstration by Francesco Santini.



Demonstration by: Antonio Conte.



Demonstration by: Nicola Crivelli.



Demonstration by:



Demonstration by:



Demonstration by: Donato Danisi.



Demonstration by:



Demonstration by: Armando Dal Col.



Demonstration by: Matteo Caldiero.



Demonstration by: Renzo Pooli.

Demonstration by: Paola Nastasi.



I hope you enjoyed it? If you have some nice pictures of the end result of the teacher’s demo’s, please email them to me! And please email me the missing names of the people in the demo pictures?! As you can see I don’t have all of them complete! thank you!


Hans van Meer.




Hi, everybody,

on 7 and 8 June, the annual meeting of the Danish Bonsai Association was held in Aalborg, in Northern Jutland (Denmark). I was invited to do a demonstration on the Saturday and a workshop on Sunday. After just a short flight, I arrived early in the afternoon on the Friday before the event, in Copenhagen airport. I was picked up by my Bonsai friend Klaus Buddig and together we started the  5 hour trip to the North of Denmark. Which included a 45-minute catamaran ferry crossing to Jutland. This boat trip was anticipated by me with some horror because I get seasick even writing about it! But I have to admit it was a lot of fun to race across the water on this bed out of hell! And I have to be honest: there is not much that 2 cold beer cant fix!

Above picture: me on the back of this large speedboat (the things I have to go through for this hobby).

                 Above picture: Klaus Buddig relaxing on the back of the boat.

Above picture: Those mighty twin turbines, created a water spray over 30 meters long, leaving a foam trail that can be seen from an aeroplane!

After a long but pleasant drive, during which, many bonsai talks was spoken, we arrived in Aalborg, one of the main cities in Northern Jutland.  The TOMTOM brought us safely to the “Huset” (which means  “The House” ) where this event would take place. My dear friend Morten Albek showed use were to park behind the large old building and after we sad our Halloo’s, he let us through a big old gate into a big courtyard like square, that was completely surrounded by this beautiful ocker coloured square shaped building. We arrived right around dinner time and the smell of the barbecue that was going on made my mouth water, but first a beer! There was a large stage were musicians were setting up their instruments for the show that would start in a few hours and in front of that stage, scattered around the square, local people were having a nice dinner, sitting under old Linden trees, that were planted in a circle (like a doughnut). These stunning trees provided some picturesque shades in the setting sunlight and having your dinner under need them observing the atmosphere of the place while listening to some light Jazz and Blues was a real treat for me! It proved to be a great start to a great weekend.

    The “Huset” picturesque inner courtyard seen from above. I shoot this picture from a second-floor window where the Shohin exhibition was staged.

Above: picture: The local folks enjoying a lovely dinner, while waiting for the band to start playing.

                    Above picture: How nice it that on a warm summers night?!

Above: Both pictures above where shoot by me from the Aalborg camping were we stayed, not a bad place either!

After the dinner and some light refreshments, we only had to drive a couple of minutes to reach the  “Aalborg Camping”  where we all would stay during this weekend. After we enjoyed some more refreshments while sitting outside in the still setting sun, we all went to bed very tired. Next day, it was early out of bed to enjoy a lovely breakfast and then it was off to the “Huset” to start the show!

Above picture: Just before the doors for the public were opened, Ljunberg a very lovely and talented new potter preparing here first ever display area.

Above picture: An equally lovely friend dressed in a traditional local dress who helped here during the weekend.

Above picture: This is the tent where the new talent competition was held. It was next to the tent where I was giving mine demonstrating, so every now and then I could catch a glimpse of all those eager, enthusiastic and nervous bonsai lovers at work. This made me smile and it worked very inspiringly for me.  

The new talent contest winner was a very new talent, Julie Isager from Keyaki Bonsai Club in Copenhagen. Julie is 26 years old and started to practice bonsai only six months ago. She is a student of my friend Klaus Buddig. The second place was taken by Finn Christensen from the bonsai club Kita in Aalborg. (No third places was chosen, only first  and second).

* Above picture: Here I am posing with Klaus Buddig in front of his Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris he so kindly entrusted to me to demonstrate on. In the middle, you can see the design I made for this future Bonsai.

                          Above picture: The design I made for this old pine.

              Above picture: Explaining my plans for this tree to the audience.


*Picture above: I like demonstrations, like this one, where the audience can walk right up to me and ask me questions and see hands on what I am doing. You can see here than the cascading branch is all ready brought down the trunk. The future top section is here still reaching for the sky.

                                *Above picture: Concentrated and hot at work.

*Above picture: It is always nice to have an extra pair of hands! Erling Klysner did a great job helping me wiring the top and bending it into place. So we could all go to dinner in time!

                                  *Above picture: Working on the future top.

*Right picture: The finished pre-bonsai for now. The cascading branch needs a sharper bend to the right, just where it appears from behind the main trunk! But because this is it first styling and the branch had come such a long way from where it was originally before all the works started, that this will be don in the future, when the tree is fully recovered from all this stress! The tree’s health should always come first, even in demonstrations!

                               * Above picture: And then there was Coffey!

On Saturday I had the hard task of judging the bonsai on display in the show. And during the dinner, I was invited on stage to present the award and give some comments to all the winners. I myself was honoured with some lovely words and a bottle of some of the best Cognac I ever sipped (half empty already)!  They all sure made me feel very much at home here, really special people indeed!  

Above picture: During a break in the gala dinner on Saturday night,  a proud Morten Albek received the first prize award for the best Shohin composition in the exhibition.

Winner of the best bonsai in the exhibition was won by Martin Nielsen with a beautiful Juniperus Chinensis.

Below: I had a couple of hours to kill Before the Sunday workshops would begin. So Lona Rasmussen asked me if I would style one off here  Yamadori Pinus Sylvestris, she brought along for her own first demo, that she would give that afternoon.  So while everybody was busy for a few hours at the annual club meeting on the other side of the venue, I had some nice quiet bonsai time on my own, while working on her little tree in the morning sun with some coffee.

                        Below: Lone’s Pinus Sylvestris before work began. 

                                            Below: Wired and ready to style.

                               Below: The finished sweat little Literati Pine.

                       Below: Me and happy Lona Rasmussen with here Pine.

               *Picture above: The tent where the Sunday workshop was held.

*Above picture: Here I am working together with Julie Isager on here Yew, she is the winner of the new talent competition. I am sure she has a bright Bonsai future ahead of her!

           *Above picture: Aase Wiberg working on here big garden Juniper.

                               *Above picture: Helping with some final wiring.

 Above picture: Peter Landerloos working concentrated on his Yamadori Pine.

*Above 2 pictures: During this Sunday workshop,  Klaus Buddig enjoyed himself very much working on the deadwood of his Pine, that I had worked on during my Saturday demo! And I liked to add: he did a really beautiful job!

Then before we all knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes already! I had a great time and made a lot of new friends and was thrilled to spend this long weekend with some old friends! I am sure that this was not the last time I visit beautiful Denmark to do bonsai! Infect: I have already been asked by Morten to do a show he is staging next year!

 After the 5 hours long trip to Klaus his great house, I had a good night rest in his famous Bonsai guest room, where many well-known artists have spent the night before me! On Monday we had a wonderfully relaxed day in his garden, enjoying the Sun and each others company, just a brilliant day to finish my wonderful visit to Denmark!

Above picture: For our dinner, Klaus took me to a posh and very exclusive sailboat club in Copenhagen. The view there, overlooking the Sea was really stunning, and the food and cold beer were not too bad either!

Above picture: A beautiful Acer buergerianum raft in Klaus his garden.

Above picture: In Klaus his large garden,  I  had a great time playing with young  “Sheva”  a rare Bergen Pichard lady dog….YO SHEVA behave !! I said LADY DOG!!!

                         Above picture: That’s much better! Isn’t she pretty!

Then it was off to the airport to fly home, another wonderful Bonsai memory came to an end, up to the next one!

Here are the links to the site of the Danish Bonsai association where you can see more pictures of this unique event, my demo and workshop.

*Pictures with a star by Morten Albek.


Hans van Meer.