Bonsai 30 Fast Approaching!

Not long now until our Bonsai 30 Exhibition in September. Details on the flyer below, please share freely thank you.

Bonsai 30 poster FINAL DRAFT

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BE 2016 @ Botanic Gardens Belfast

The Bonsai Experience event ran by our club in partnership with funding from Belfast City Council took place on Saturday at Botanic Gardens Belfast. This is a pop up event appearing first thing on Saturday morning and gone by 6pm. As a club it’s a fun event to do, with us only needing to bring trees along and everything else already in place for our day ahead. We opened to the public at 10.30am  and had a decent amount of people through the doors in the first 2 hours. Our Children’s workshop ran during the day but we had a real surge of participants at the start and, with lots of hands assisting, we created some nice Larch starter bonsai for the kids. It was great to see them wiring and pruning away.

A big thank you to Belfast City Council for funding us again this year, however, the biggest thanks must go to our own members who did a sterling job of setting up, running the day and taking it all away again. I have no doubt that we’ll gain new members from this event.

I have added a gallery of the photos from the event below that capture the day. Perhaps not many shots of the bonsai themselves as a marquee isn’t the best place to capture good quality snaps of trees, but these will give you an idea of what a fun day we had.

With close to 1000 visitors, despite the football match and other local events, we were delighted with the days impact on bringing bonsai to the people. A great experience all round.

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Join us Tomorrow @ Botanic Gardens

A last reminder that the Bonsai Experience 2016 is tomorrow. All details on the flyer below.

Bonsai Experience 2016 Poster  BCC Final

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Bonsai Display @ Springhill Moneymore

It’s not often the NIBS gets to venture into the West  so to speak but on the 18th & 19th June we will have a small display of bonsai at the beautiful Springhill National Trust property in Moneymore.

If you live over that side of the Bann and feel starved of bonsai, why not come along. Trees will be on display as well as a rolling demonstration during both days. If you have a tree you want advice on, bring it along for us to see. There will even be some bonsai and related products for sale.

See a full run down of the event below.

Garden Fete Leaflet-1Garden Fete Leaflet-2

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Josh’s Garden Visit In Full Colour

It’s been two days since our club visit to Josh Reynold’s Garden and I’m only now getting around to posting the photos from the day. To busy soaking up the sun and watering trees!

Our visit started with setting up the tea and coffee for the arrivals of the others. I managed to run around and take a few quick tree shots before the rest arrived. Josh was still running around pulling weeds and watering his trees. I brought my son with me to record the tour, and once the weather turns wet again, I’ll spend a little time editing the footage and get it up on YouTube for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s some of the trees.


Korean Fir

Wytch Elm


Mugo Pine




Blue Cedar




Mugo Pine


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Lonicera Forest


Garden Tree Larch

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Field Maple


Hinoki Cypress


Mame Lonicera (he does do small ones!)

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May son earning his wages.


It was great to watch everyone reactions to seeing some of Josh’s bigger trees sitting in his driveway. We had several new members with us who hadn’t experienced Josh’s bonsai before.

People arriving.

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Once everyone was gathered up we had a little surprise for Josh. We gave him a Bonsai 30 T-Shirt for hosting the visit and made him an honorary member of the club. As a founding member and also after his very generous donations to the clubs auction, it seemed only right.

Josh is a self taught bonsaist and all of his trees were collected by him, grown from seed by him or were garden centre stock. No Japanese Imports insight.

He started his tour talking about the history of each tree and how he developed it. We even got a chat about trees that were in the ground, but you can check this out on the video later. Here’s some tour photos.

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Pay attention Kris !

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Talking through trees in the ground.

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Talking through the development of the big Korean Fir.

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Look up it’s Air Lingus. He was actually pointing out the trees  near him where he collected the seed for many of his bonsai, but Air Lingus did frequently break the tranquil setting during the tour. You’ll hear that on the video no doubt.


His Contorted Hazel that was exhibited at Bonsai Europa last year. Now has a chair leg being used to reposition the apex. Josh is the ultimate improviser.

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Moving round the back of the house we get to see the beds where he develops bonsai in the ground. He apologised for the mess but I don’t think anyone even noticed as we were all peering under leaves to see what was in there.

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Two of his best bonsai, both beeches, are back in the ground to encourage more vigour. A real pity they won’t be available for Bonsai 30 in September as they would for sure be show stoppers.


Peering into the foliage we can see his work in progress to develop branch structure with taper.


A great morning. More images can be found on Futterwithtrees blog as Michael was also busy with his camera. Videos coming soon.

A big that you to all those who supported the day. One member drove 150 miles from County Rosscommon to see the trees! What a cosmopolitan bunch we are with Scots, English, Swedish, American and even the odd Northern Irishman thrown in.



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