All posts by bonsai eejit

Bonsai enthusiast since 1993 living in Northern Ireland

Connaught Bonsai Club?

Bonsai Eejit

Could it be that we could now bring bonsai into the last clubless Provence in Ireland?!

Nearly 3 years ago I, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society, helped start the Munster Bonsai Club and a year year the Leinster Bonsai Club. Both are still going strong. Cork and Dublin are the main anchor cities for these clubs and therefore offer a good population in which to recruit new members.

The hard part of bringing coverage to all of Ireland was always going to be the wild west! Connaught lacks the population density of the rest of Ireland but what a place to go hunting yamadori 🙂 I have contact with a few bonsai enthusiasts over that way in Galway and Sligo but never anyone willing to give setting up a club or study group a go…… until now 🙂

I’ve been contacted via my blog by Tim, who not…

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Bonsai Ireland

After some technical difficulties, the Hub for all things bonsai in Ireland, is back up and running. If you are already a member, check back in and get involved or follow the blog. If this is news to you then why not sign up to the site and join one of the groups listed by Provence that help bring enthusiasts in Ireland closer together.  Click on the image below to visit.

BI Square

NIBS Bonsai School



The second NIBS Bonsai school of 2015 is upon us soon. Saturday 6th June 10am to 5pm. There will be the usual sales and swap area for those members wanting to pick up a bargain and we have a packed session for you to enjoy. Tea/Coffee and biscuits provided all day.

For those attending for the first time this year, it will be £25 for the day, those who attended the February school get a discounted price of £20. School is open to our friends in the Munster and Leinster Bonsai Clubs as well.

We have listened to your feedback from the February session and have created a programme for the day to suit your needs and requests.

Programme for June School

Opening Session – looking at seasonal issues since the February School.

Defoliation – A look at why we defoliate trees and 3 different methods and techniques used to achieve different results.

Styling – The Fundamentals of Bonsai. A step by step guide to help you style your trees. The one you have all been asking for!

Critique – Using the same fundamentals of bonsai we look at trees to see how they could be improved.

Feeding Bonsai – What to feed our trees and how to feed them. Looking at what different trees need at certain times of the year and at certain stages of development.

Club Trees – The next step in developing the Pyracantha and Scots Pine donated to the club by Willowbog Bonsai.

Species Guide – Focus on Hawthorn.

Accents and Kusamono – In the build up to ‘Bonsai 30’ next year, we will look at what makes a good accent planting for different types of trees.

Style Guide – Focus on Root Over Rock Style


An Introduction  to ‘Bonsai School’ 

It’s very difficult to pass on much information about the many aspects of bonsai in the scenario of a typical hands-on type of workshop where the focus, understandably, tends to be on getting quite specific tasks carried out on a tree or trees.

There are so many details relating to such as, the horticulture, patterns of development, techniques, artistic interpretation, species characteristics and so on, that we would like to impart. It is this body of knowledge that it is hoped can begin to be passed on in the school situation.

The intention is that the participants will meet on three Saturdays in the year, in the early Spring, early Summer and the Autumn. This will enable topics relevant to the seasons to be dealt at the appropriate time.

Though each Saturday will be themed upon a specific topic, for example, re-potting in the Spring session, it is intended never to spend the whole day on one subject but to try to keep it interesting by covering other questions, perhaps as raised by the students themselves. It may be that we split the day into four sessions to do this.

To achieve the aims of the school it will mostly involve the students sitting down and listening, but an element of demonstration will clearly be involved, as will joint discussion, and question and answer sessions.

It cannot be a school based upon any sort of curriculum, the subject is just too big and too varied for this to work, particularly with the limited time available. More, it will be based upon seasonal subjects, basic techniques, horticultural fundamentals, design principles, tree species characteristics etc. and we will at all times endeavour to respond to the students own problems, experiences and contributions.

Create A Companion Planting For Your Spring Bonsai Show

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Its show time and the time for spring bonsai shows is rapidly approaching. In order to complete the presentation of your bonsai an appropriate companion planting, suiseki or figurine is often utilized next to the tree. Formal bonsai display requires study along with fine taste, which is a lengthy topic. Rather than to attempt to cover the theory, design and background of bonsai display, I’d like to present a quick and easy solution to creating an instant companion planting, which may enhance the presentation of your bonsai for your bonsai show.

Perennials are often used as companion plantings for bonsai. There are almost an unlimited number of different perennial species which are suitable for bonsai companion plantings. Dwarf or low growing plants work best. Often, when pot bound the foliage reduces in size and is more delicate. Pot bound companion plantings usually dry out quickly so keep many of them in a…

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Spring Watering Tip-

Michael Hagedorn

There are a lot of things we might say about watering bonsai. I’ve tried a few times on this blog to mention some of them. Some are hard to make sense of in words, but as ever I’m willing to try. This one is about watering recently repotted trees.

At post-repotting time we need to be awake to one change-up, and that is that the interior soil mass (the part that was returned to the pot) may dry out much faster than you’d think.

  • If that interior area is full of fine roots, it will dry out fast after repotting.

DSC_1145 This pine is beginning to develop a solid mass of soil and roots, and this is the area that we’ll take our moisture ‘read’ from when deciding when to water. When dry, it will look very light colored compared to the surrounding new soil.

If you cut all the fine…

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Monday Night Club Night

Tomorrow night, Monday 28th July, is our next meeting of LBC and we are back to Balbriggan Community Centre.

This club night will be the start of our workshop format. We ask that members bring along a tree for display, critique or styling. When we come to meetings, we all want to see bonsai 🙂 We want the majority of our meetings to be ‘hands on’, with members working on trees and the more experienced helping the beginners get started. If you have tools etc, please bring them.

It’ll take us a while to find our level but we want to push on and make this an active club with ever improving bonsai.