For the 9th year running we had a weekend of workshops with Nobu.
As usual we started with a bit of a recap on work we had done in the previous years and then Nobu concentrated his attention on Helen and Aaron to ascertain what their knowledge of bonsai was so he could tailor his talk to include material that the rest of us ‘old hands’ should know (although it is always best to have a bit of a refresher now and then).

The major discussion this year was around the soil mix we use and the results of the latest trials using a reduced organic component in the mix. This was brought home when a small pine brought in by Aaron was repotted into a much more open and free draining mix.

As usual a number of species were looked at. This year we had, amongst others, red pine, trident maple, totara, juniper, chinese elm, escallonia, cotoneaster, dawn redwood. Each was looked at and the correct pruning techniques discussed. A number of trees were repotted.

The Saturday evening meal provided a relaxing environment for swapping anecdotes and having a laugh.

One disappointing item over the weekend was the number of people who booked some of the limited places on the weekend and did not bother to turn up or let us know they were not coming. We did have club members who wanted to come on the weekend but the places were all taken. We did have apologies from a couple of people and one who had a vehicle breakdown on the way down from Auckland.

For 2016 the committee have decided that payment will be required in advance so that members and the club are not disadvantaged.