Hi, everybody,

as this last year is almost over and I look back at it, I can only hope that 2011 will bring some more peace and joy to my little family. And I wish you all who visit my blog and bonsai site a merry Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year!

             *above picture was made last week close to where I live. 

Stay safe and C U in the next year with a big smile!


Hans van Meer.





Hi, everybody,

here is a small impression of my quick visit to the Noelanders Trophy 2010 in Belgium.

The entrance to the exhibition.
The entrance to the exhibition.

23-1-2010 Noelanders 051 Hans van Meer

                                                ABSOLUT WORLD CLASS!!!

23-1-2010 Noelanders 050 Hans van meer


23-1-2010 Noelanders 061 Hans van Meer

                                                        AMAZING SHOHIN!!!

23-1-2010 Noelanders 075 Hans van Meer

23-1-2010 Noelanders 055 Hans van Meer

Hawthorn bark.

                                 THE BARK ON TONY’S HAWTHORN.


OLD TREEBEARD, LEANING ON HIS STICK!23-1-2010 Noelanders 083 Hans van Meer

                                 THE LAST LIVE PART HE WATHES OVER!

23-1-2010 Noelanders 046 Hans van Meer

 AND THE WHOLE, TRULY UNIQUE BONSAI! By old friend Carlos van der Vaart. AMAZING!

23-1-2010 Noelanders 070 Hans van Meer



O and it is a TANUKI!!! 🙂


Hope you enjoyed this small first impression of this wonderful event?






Hi, everybody,

First of all, I would like to wish for you all: A very Happy New Year!!!!

On the 3Th of this January I celebrated my 49 birthday, well celebrated…more wend trough. No party or visitors, just laying on the sofa watching TV, just like I have been doing for the last months now! And, as my surgeon told me, I have to lay and wait at least another 6 weeks and hope and pray that things will get any better during that time. He, like me, is very surprised and disappointed that my surgery is goosing me so much more trouble and pain, instead of relieving or healing the problems! So you can imagine that there was not much reason for celebrating for me. That was particularity sad because this birthday also marked my 20Th anniversary in Bonsai! Exactly 20 years ago my wife bought me a little Ulmus for my Birthday that started my adventures in Bonsai! This wonderful gift turned out to be a big turning point in my life and since then, Bonsai has been the main driving force in my life! Today, 20 years later, I sadly have to admit that I feel I reached another big turning point in my life! I have been suffering from lower back pains and discomfort for more than a decade now, but was always able to walk, work or train it off. But that became harder and harder to do. The amount of painkillers I had to swallow during the last couple of years, just to get trough the day, had grown way out of hand, so this back operation was my big change to carry on living in a more doable way, with out having to be doped up most of the time. My lower back problems have over the last 5 to 6 years slowly forced me to give up weightlifting and other sports that I had been doing most of my adult live, this was not only a blow to my system, but it also left me very depressed. My night job and second love, being a D.J in clubs, kept me happy and in shape for a few years. So I was able to more or less get to grips with the fact that serious sports were a thing of the past. And off course, in the day time and even while I was a sleep, there always was Bonsai!  But those long club night’s started to slowly take there toll on my body as well and playing music from 10 in the evening until 6 in the morning  started to be a real struggle and less enjoyable. So eventually, because of the worsening back problems, I had to let go off my second big love. My DJing night were over! So at that point in time Bonsai became my only way to escape, to express my self and to relax. But also something to pursuit and accomplish. Full Hearted and stubborn, as with every thing I do! And even this goal has become harder and harder to achieve! I havend been able to go out and collect for 4 years now, and beside missing out on all the traveling fun and walking trough the wonderful mountain alps and the adventure of the yamadori search, this also means 4 years of no new material for me to work on. And that is a major setback to a Bonsai artist like me, that only likes to work on raw material that preferably is collected by himself. If you take in account that were I live, it takes at least 8 to 10 years to more or less finish a reasonable Bonsai, you can understand that every year with out a newly started projects is a big loss. Remember, I only make 2 or 3 serious pre bonsai in a year, there is no mass production in my work, so to built up a collection of more or less finished bonsai will take a long long time! No material also means, that I am stuck with a million idea and no real material to work  them out on. Like I once before sad: bonsai, as a medium, is pretty useless as a way for instance release of ones creativity. I have been lucky enough that 2 years ago I was invited to work in the U.S.A., that was my last real bonsai adventure and it took me weeks to recover from it.  Finally last year moving around and even normal light bonsai work become almost undo able for me, so I had to cancel or say no to most of the real fun things that I had worked for for so long. Among them were a few collecting invitations and possible workshops and demo’s in  America, Australia, U.K, Denmark and other countries. And my plains of finally starting workshop from my own garden had to be shifted to the future. In Jan 2009 I found a great specialist in Belgium, who after several long trips up and down to Belgium, told me that my problems might be solved with a new kind of operation that the preformed there. I was over the moon! Only to find out that my insurance company would not pay for this kind of “new” operation techniques! Even with the help of several good doctors behind me, I was not able to change their mind into my favour. So the rest of 2009 was spent visiting several hospitals in Holland to find a other solution to my back problems. It was my wife, who discovered on the web, a clinic in Nijmegen (Holland) that preformed the same kind of operating technique as the once in Belgium had planed for me. But in this case, the found a way so my insurance would pay for it. So I finally ended up with this specialist that in September preformed this  pretty new way of surgery on my lower back. If all would have gone well, I would have been more or less pain free in a mount or so, if not, like in my case, they just dont know! So instead of pain free, my problems have multiplied and that is hard to swallow! If in the next 6 weeks my situation those not improve, they might even have to take those two implants out off my back again! And than I have to hope and pray that my lower back falls in to its old place again! If not? Who knows? So now I stand before the difficult task of adjusting my bonsai goals and ambitions to this new situation. How that will end, I dont know yet?! But I lost to much time already and there is not much hope on catching up soon, so I think that to avoid any more disappointments, I have to be realistic about it!  I will miss working with other enthusiast around the world, but I will always be doing bonsai, but on a smaller scale. And luckily there still is the pleasure of having to work and finish a lot of my present trees into good Bonsai. I still want to make a point, dont I? 🙂 But I guess, that like with my trees, I will have to make my goals a lot smaller.  We will see! 🙂

So for my birthday, I bought my self a nice Nikon camera and 2 extra lenses! I love to walk trough nature to discover places of beauty to capture on film.  And because these pictures give me instant results, they are, for now, a brilliant solution to still my creativity hunger! The picture below is one of the first pictures I made with my new camera! It is taken a five minute walk away from my home on a snow covered beach!

After a 30 years break from it, I even bought all the stuff to start to make pencil drawings again. But up to now, I have not been able to actually start any drawing! I cant be bothered to do much of anything lately, but that will change as soon as I have made one or two! I still have that lovely habit of trying to improve my self . 🙂

 3-1-2010 056 Hans van meer 2 web

So my dear bonsai friends, it all looks a bit gloomy for now and all I can do is wait for what the future has in store for me. I will keep you informed, thanks for all your well wishes and for listening!






Hi, everybody,

It was just before dinner time and about to get dark, that I realised that I had to still clean up my working area, from the work I had don, that afternoon! From the repoting of the Hawthorn, I kept the little Alpine plant that was growing in the same pot. This Alpine plant was growing in the roots of a Yamadori Pine I bought in the mid-nineties. From that original plant,  I repotted some in small pots. The one that has been growing alongside, this Hawthorn, must have landed there by excited. I don’t like to waste anything that’s alive, especially when it is something so pretty as this plant! So I looked for some pots to put the plant in. When I had a brainwave :), I have some beautiful stones from the English shores, that were given to me, by my dear friend Terry Foster, that were not yet used for anything. So I divided the small plant into two and planted it on the rocks in a mix of Kato clay and Akadame dust. I think they look cool now and I have a good reason to display these stunning rocks as well!


While I was making room in my winter shelter, to get to a  Hawthorn I needed to work on, I bought this “Itogawa”  Tanuki outside. Now just before dark,  I bent, without any wire, some of the new growth, trough and under need the deadwood. So It can grow in the right direction. And I think it is starting to make a pretty image. This way, this beautiful piece of deadwood is not lost, but can still be appreciated in this marriage with the vibrant green Juniper. As you can see in the pictures, it was already dark, when I made them! It was about time to go in, and wash up before dinner, Kato clay makes your hands look awful. I could do with some nice Chinese food and a beer, it was a great Bonsai day! 🙂

                  I like doing those silly little things, just acting on a hunch! 🙂


Here the Juniper is standing next to the Shohin Hawthorn I worked on this afternoon.
Here the Juniper is standing next to the Shohin Hawthorn I worked on this afternoon.
I only rewired this small Hawthorn and did some re positioning of the branches. I think this little gem is going to be beautiful some day!
I only rewired this small Hawthorn and did some repositioning of the branches. I think this little gem is going to be beautiful someday!


Hans van Meer.




Hi, everybody,

I am a bit sad today, I have been looking forward to yesterday for quit a while! I really wanted to start working on my Pine again! But 2 days ago at the store, while bending over to pick up a PlayStation one game of the floor, my *##*GR## lower back popped out again! So instead of having fun, while working on my tree, on my day off, It took me 10 minutes to go to the toilet and 20 to get back to bed! GGGRRRRR!

I hope that it gets a bit better soon so that I can start working on my trees again. It might take a while, but they will be styled! 🙂

So I will post as soon as I am fit enough to do Bonsai again…sad isn’t it? 😦


Hans van Meer.



Hi everybody,

today I received a wonderful gift from the German potter, Horst Heinzlreiter. He sponsored one of his unique pots, as a prize in an online Knowledge of Bonsai forum contest and I won it.  

Horst would specially custom make this one of pot for me, so I asked him to make my pot with the cracked and damaged surface that he created so beautifully on some of his other pots that I had seen before and admired so much. I was also able to choose the colour I liked and the size of the pot! 27cm/10,5 inch by 23cm/9 inch.

And today the pot arrived at my place of work, like a well-packed surprise birthday gift! It was so exciting to unwrap this pot, that I had never seen before! And I was not disappointed when I first laid my eyes on it! I was really amazed and then impressed! I think it is so beautiful! The colours, the texture and total impression this pot gives to me, I love to look at it and I love to touch it!


I think that the important work that potters do for bonsai is underrated. And I do believe that some are great artists, that deserve a lot of credit from us artists, that use their beautiful Art as a home for our Art to live in! This pot deserves…no demands, a special tree as his partner. And that’s a sign of a good pot for me!


Thanks, Horst, I will try to find the perfect tree for your wonderful pot!

Below: Well, I think I did just that!

You can see more of Horst his work here:

Hope you like it as much as I do?!


Hans van Meer.


Marry X-MAS and a very happy New Year!

Dear Bonsai friends,

thank you all for visiting my Blog so often. I am honoured by your interest in my work and it inspires me to go on in the direction I have chosen for my Bonsai. I have high hopes for 2008,   I am already asked to do workshops and demo’s in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and England and a long visit to the USA in May is in the making!  To do so much travelling to show what I like to do so much is like a dream come true!  To see so many new countries and places to meet many new Bonsai friends…I can hardly wait for the New Year to begin! And, only in just a few weeks, it is off to Belgium for the annual Noelanders Trophy. I will be showing 3 Bonsai in the show and more important will have 2 days of fun with all my Bonsai mates that come every year to this very friendly event,  from every corner of  Europe!

 And some of my Yamadori are up for their second and third styling, so that is exciting to for me. I will take lots of pictures and post them first here on my blog as soon as possible! You are welcome anytime here to visit my blog or my YOUTUBE channel, where you can find lots of videos of my work and progressive stories of my Bonsai.

Thanks for visiting, it is highly appreciated!

Hans van Meer.



Hans van Meer.




Irene removed the branch I recommended and mailed the Pictures from the angle I asked for.                                   (see pictures below)

100_9350-1.jpg     100_9351-1.jpg     100_9352-1.jpg

100_9353-1.jpg   100_9355-1.jpg   100_9356-1.jpg

OK, for now, lets use this side as the front.

From this side, the too large root is on the backside and will be (after some reduction), not so much in your face “anymore. The placement of the main branches show possibility’s from this side and there is a nice see through between them, to see the back branches. Creating dept to this broom like tree.

I  think that Irene likes here bonsai to look natural, so I will discuss that option first.

If you look at pictures of old Yews in the wild in Europe, you will see that the most often grow in an almost deciduous tree looking broom style.

yew.jpg     yew-4.jpg     yew-8.jpg

And often with stunning deadwood on there massive trunks.

yew-6.jpg     yew-9.jpg     yew-11.jpg

This next perfect drawing of an English yew, by an unknown artist,  next to the perfect example of an old and free growing broom-style Yew.  Shoot by my wife nearby the town of Santander, North Spain.

Look at the amazing small lifelines on this bettered old survivor.

yew-3.gif         santander-2006-063-kl.jpg

Looking at this fine drawing and picture; I believe that this natural broom style is a  logical and possible option for Irene’s Yew!

Here Tree has the typical straight trunk, that splits up at a certain height into several trunks that grow almost straight up, just like in the drawing.

In the drawing, U can also clearly see the long and thin branches that grow from these multiple trunks.  In there search for light, they bend down under there own weight and length, creating the broom-like appearance.  To create this on Irene’s Yew, we must first stimulate the tree into new growth lower on the trunks. But that’s for later. First, lets look at one of the possibilities I see to create Irene’s  tree into a believable broom style bonsai. Using Irene’s last picture (see below), I made a drawing. I only just the outlines of the bare trunk to show you what could be done to create this style.

100_9351-1.jpg     yew-drawing-1-kl.jpg     yew-drawing-2-kl.jpg

In the first drawing (dotted line), you can see where the two thick branches were cut and made into a Jin and Shari. This point depends of course on where the new growth will appear, but this is only an example of how I think when looking at a tree and what I might do to style it. I drew the tree with more or less (not too good I must admit) bonsai like foliage layers, so you might get an idea of how it could look as a bonsai. In the real live bonsai, the foliage layers would be closer together and heavier than in my drawing. But it is just to show you that this tree in this style, could be nice and believable as bonsai. And even more important, doable.

I’ll Be back with more soon!




Welcome, all to my new Bonsai blog!

                              A close-up picture of my old Mugo Pine  “Big Ron”.


Welcome to my bonsai blog!

Here I will keep you updated with my bonsai work, my yamadori trips, my demos and workshop and everything else that has something to do with bonsai I come across!    

Have fun,

Hans van Meer.