Bob Brooks – End of an Era

dscf8190 It is with great sadness that I share the news that Bob Brooks passed away on Monday morning. Bob, a founding and honorary member of the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society was one of few true gentlemen I have ever known. Until ill health in recent years, he was a stalwart at our monthly meetings and a font of knowledge on all things horticultural. A published author of his own gardening book and a driving force behind nearly every Specialist Horticultural club in Northern Ireland, he has left a strong legacy. He could always be easily spotted at any flower show, straight backed, cane in hand, often more for effect than for balance, and shoes so shiny you could shave in the reflection. His witty quips will be sorely missed. When the topic at a meeting about 5 years ago mentioned the option to start bonsai from cuttings Bob was heard to say," Cuttings! I don't even buy green bananas!" Heaven's flowerbeds will now be colourful for sure. Rest in Peace Bob. You'll be missed. DSCF1708 The boss
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Ian Baillie Weekend with the NIBS

We had the pleasure of having one of the gentlemen of European Bonsai with us last weekend. Ian Baillie, bonsai potter from Scotland, sailed over to the Emerald Isle on Friday to give a talk at our monthly club meeting. This was followed with two more sessions on the Saturday and Sunday including demos, critiques and workshop. Ian brought a fantastic selection of pots with him and a fair few of them stayed. Thanks Ian for a wonderful weekend. A first visit to our club but hopefully to be repeated. Here is a gallery of the photos taken over the 3 days.
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Friday the 13th!!!

A meeting on Friday the 13th! Are we mad, and there might be snow! Well yes, we are still having a meeting, our usual workshop at Cregagh Youth and Community Centre, Belfast at 8pm. We'll also be taking 2017 membership and booking for the Ian Baillie weekend in February. See you there will a woollie hat on. DSC_0195
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Ian Baillie Weekend

dsc_0565 It's with great pleasure that we welcome Ian Baillie over to Northern Ireland between Friday 10th and Sunday the 12th of February. Ian was recently featured in Esprit Bonsai Magazine seen below. dsc00156 dsc00152 dsc00154

Some more of Ian's pots can be viewed here.

Ian will be joining us from his native Scotland with a car packed full of pots for our members to purchase. However, that is just a small part of what the trip is about. The NIBS is keen to make 2017 a year focused on learning and this is our first instalment. The weekend is designed to increase our knowledge of pots, potting and aesthetic design. Here is the run down of events available. Friday 10th February 8-10pm @Cregagh Community Centre Ian will be offering a wide selection of pots for sale at the centre and this will be your opportunity to get first pick of his wares. The main feature of the evening will be Ian talking about his four decades of experience creating Bonsai and how this has led him into the world of bonsai ceramics. Ian will be also be showing us a selection of pots from potters across Europe and comparing them to Japanese/Chinese pots. This will be illustrated using pots from his own personal collection. This session will cost £5 per head, payable at the door. No need to book ahead. dsc_0556 Saturday 11th February 10am to 4 pm @ Newtownards Again Ian's pots will be available to buy during the day. Ian will start in the morning with a talk about matching trees to pots helping us to appreciate the aesthetics of bonsai and selecting a suitable pot for a tree. Members are encouraged to bring trees along for discussion during this portion of the day. Ian will also cover aspects of repotting and how the design of the pot can impact on the options for individual trees. A snack lunch of soup and sausage rolls will be served. After Lunch Ian will hold an open demo on repotting either potting trees brought by attendees into his pots selected by him or into pots brought by members. The cost of this session will be £15 per head (lunch included.) , please book asap via email to info@nibonsai.co.uk  Sunday 11th February 10am to 4pm @ Newtownards Sunday's session will be a styling and repotting workshop with Ian sharing knowledge gained in close to 40 years as a bonsai practitioner. Spaces are limited to 10 people and a snack lunch is included. Again Ian's pots will be available to buy during the day. Workshop places will cost £30 per head and will be filled on a first come first served basis.Book asap via email to info@nibonsai.co.uk 6977872581_21c7a5bf0d_z  
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NIBS AGM This Friday Night

Just a heads up for our members that this Friday's meeting will all be our AGM. After the election of our committee and office bearers we are going to have a small auction of 15 trees and a selection of Books and videos. These have been donated to the Society by John Cooke, a club member. Unlike our last auction back in April, this one is only open to those who attend the meeting. Expect a few bargains to be had. After this we will get back to working on trees and perhaps advising the new owners of the auction trees and where to go next.
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