Big Changes For NIBS In 2019

Happy New Year to all our Members and followers here on the Blogsite.

2019 will will see some changes being made in the programme for the club during the year. If you want to get all the ‘Nitty Gritty’ of the changes and even influence the direct we take, then I’d advise that you attend the Club meeting and AGM this Friday 11th January at Cregagh Youth and Community Centre, Belfast at 8pm.

However, the short version, or as short as I can make it, is as follows….

In 2010 we changed the club meetings from ‘talk based’ to ‘workshop orientated’. This proved successful but during the last few years we have seen numbers attending meetings vary widely from month to month. We have looked at this and encouraged feedback from the membership and now feel that 2 hours on a Friday night isn’t sufficient for most people to bring a tree along for serious work. We however didn’t want to roll back to the old format either.

So, as a result, this year we are changing it up a little with each Friday night session being a presentation, talk, demo or focused workshop. This will cover design, techniques, species, etc. Each night will have a show and tell critique to ensure we get plenty of trees at each session. As always, members are encouraged to bring along anything bonsai orientated that they want to sell or swap. We will also be adding Saturday morning workshops to the programme this year running for a 4 hour minimum as a trial to see how attendance goes.

We are also looking into the use of technology to bridge the geographical restrictions we have in Northern Ireland to give us access to teachers and professionals outside for Ireland and even the UK for that matter. Stay tuned for more on this during the year.

The calendar page for 2019 has been updated. Friday night topics will be updated as things fall into place. We are being led by what our members have requested to be covered but this is subject to change.

We hope this adds an extra element to what the club already offers and will boost learning among our membership.

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Peter Warren Weekend

On Friday 9th November we are delighted to have Peter Warren of Saruyama Bonsai back with us again and spending a weekend with Club Members.

All starting onFriday the 9th @ 8pm Cregagh Youth and Community Centre, the evening will be open to all, members and non-members alike. If you are a member and attending, bring a friend. If you interested in bonsai and not a club member, come along and see what it’s all about with no pressure to join on the night.

Peter will be taking 6 trees, different species and different levels of development through a in depth 5 year plan. He with set out goals and targets looking specifically at Repotting, fertilising, growth, pruning and wiring. Some of this will be work done on the night showing the first steps. Two of the trees will be raw material, two well established and a few in between.

This will be a great practical learning with an open invitation to ask questions as we go.

Saturday and Sunday are member only workshops with Peter being held in Newtownards. All places are filled months in advance.

For further info contact

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Back After A Summer Break

The club is back this Friday after our usual Summer break. We hope to see you at our meeting at 8pm this Friday at Cregagh Youth and Community Centre, Belfast, for our usual workshop.

Also this weekend, the Belfast Parks Autumn Fair at Botanic Gardens Belfast. Lots for the family to see and do, and of course there is the bonsai element to the Horticultural Show.

Trees can be entered on the Friday from 2pm and on the Saturday morning up to 10.30am before judging begins.


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Have a Go Weekend @ Greenmount

This weekend, Saturday 4th August 10-5pm and Sunday 5th August 1-5pm the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society will be in the Walled Garden at Greenmount Campus in Antrim. We will have a small display of bonsai along side a ‘Have a go at Bonsai’with club members working on their own trees and allowing the public to watch and join in.

Why not come along for a walk around the walled garden and also visit the Koi show taking place as well.

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Sad News: Bertie Greer

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Bertie Greer, a long term member of the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society.

You often hear people referred to as a ‘true gentleman’, indeed it’s a term that can often be over used. In Bertie’s case, he truly was one of life’s gentleman and a good friend to many in the club over the 20+ years he was a member. His passion for bonsai was evident in his own every growing collection of trees. He was a past committee member and regular attender at club meetings, exhibitions, and indeed exhibitions further afield. He never missed an opportunity to learn when we had guest artists over teaching.

On a personal note, I will miss his level headed advice, our chats about football, both Liverpool and Northern Ireland. He had good taste in teams. We also had a running battle with him dodging out of photos at club events, a man who liked to stay in the background but always willing to help where he could.

After many years of ill health, suffered without complaint, Bertie passed away last weekend. There will be a memorial service held on Wednesday 11th July at Ballycrochan Presbyterian Church, Silverbirch Road in Bangor at 11am.

Above Bertie back in 2003 attending a workshop with Marco Invernizzi at Willowbog Bonsai.

Another workshop above, this one in 2012 with Peter Warren.

Bertie perusing the sales tables at a club event. 

As we were used to seeing him, sitting at a club meeting chatting with friends.

Above you can see one of the usual pics I got of him ducking out of view of the camera. He had it down to a fine art. Just a subtle lean back to disappear from view. Sometimes you’d swear he hadn’t even been there from the photos afterwards!



Rest in Peace Bertie, you’ll be missed by us all.



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