NZ Bonsai Convention 2010

The Opening Ceremony

Following a welcome from Peter Mudie, Hamilton Club President and Lindsay Muirhead, NZBA President, the delegates and guests were entertained by the Wai Taiko Drummers before Dr Peter Sergal, Director of Hamilton Gardens, gave a short speech and announced the Convention formally open.

Peter and Lindsay then drew back the screens hiding the exhibition and allowed the delegates through to see the trees. A few of the 150+ trees on display.

New Talent

Friday afternoon saw the New Talent competition. The three entrants were given 4 hours to create a bonsai from material they were provided with.

After the four hours were up, the trees were judged and the results announced during the Convention Dinner on Saturday evening.

Robert Steven

Robert was given the whole morning to entertain and inform the delegates. During his demonstration Robert expounded his theories on how bonsai should be styled and illustrated his talk by working on two trees.

The first tree was a Dawn Redwood dug up from Fern Valley Bonsai in Tauranga in 2005. This tree had then been allowed to grow in the ground for 3 years before being dug up and given an initial styling.

Robert’s first decision was to change the planting angle to give a reason for the one sided root flare. Robert then went to work on the top of the tree, reducing the number of branches to give the impression of an old tree recovering from a major disaster. The deadwood at top of the tree will be carved later on.

For the second part of his talk, Robert went to work on one of two 40 year old Chamaecyparis that the Hamilton Club had found. Due to time constraints Robert was unable to finish wiring and placing the branches. This was done during the workshop on Monday.

The Four Ring Circus

After lunch we had continuous demonstrations by four members of the Hamilton Club.

Dianne Miller (with assistance from Gordon Bowers) reduced a very large tree to a more manageable size.

Les Simpson created a group planting using kahikatea. And Louis Buckingham worked on a large multi-trunk tree.

Peter Mudie created a single fused trunk tree from 32 maple saplings.

Convention Dinner

During the Convention Dinner on Saturday evening the awards for the various competitions were announced.

Congratulations to all those who won – especially to Jan Letts for winning the New Talent competition. Jan’s winning tree.

Four Ring Circus

Sunday started with the four demonstrators from Saturday going through what they did.

Robert chipped in by showing how Louis’ tree will develop foliage pads using wire branches dipped in polystyrene to show development in the future.

Robert on Saikei

After the break Robert completely restyled a larch landscape.

This attracted some comment on the suitability of the time of year to redevelop this planting but the trees are currently in a shade house and regularly misted to help them recover.

Sandra Quintal

Sandra’s demonstration for the afternoon session was entitled ‘Saikei to Shohin’ – in it she took apart an old landscape planting where the trees had grown too big and replaced them with smaller mugo pines.

The old trees she potted up and they will be restyled as shohin.

Tree Critique by Robert

After afternoon tea, Robert gave a critique on 10 trees he had seen in the exhibition and one from Adriaan and Poppies’ stand. This went down very well as Robert was able to demonstrate many of the points he had raised over the weekend. The owners of several of the trees have since taken Robert’s advice and altered their trees.

Convention 2012

The last presentation of the weekend was by Brian Ellis of the Otago club who told us about the forthcoming Convention in Dunedin in March 2012. The focus being on the connection between Dunedin and China with the main speaker Quingquan ‘Brook’ Zhao.

Workshop for Hamilton Club Members

Monday was set aside for a free workshop for members of the Hamilton Club as a thank you for all the hard work they had put into running the Convention.

The chamaecyparis from the Saturday demonstration is wired and the branches start to be positioned. A large juniper is examined by Robert where an alternative front is found and the foliage is reduced.