January 2017 Newsletter


January 2017 Newsletter

Richmond Bonsai Society 2014 – 2016 Officers
President: Ron Edwards  Vice President: Jon Warkentin Treasurer: Jack Frye  Secretary: Thomas Sones
Board Members At Large: Betty Lou Lagis

Regular Meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held the 4th Monday of every month at 7 pm in the Community Room at St. Mary’s Woods, 1257 Marywood Ln., Richmond VA, 23229.

Contact us at info@richmondbonsaisociety.org  or visit us at www.richmondbonsaisociety.org or on Facebook.

Bonsai information, common questions and answers, monthly growing advice, and bonsai links can be found here.

RBS 2017 dues are $25 per person or $30 per family, which includes PBA membership. Checks should be made out to RBS and can be paid at a meeting or mailed to our treasurer (email us for address).

In this issue…

RBS Officers

Richmond Bonsai Society 2016-2018 Officers and Board of Directors:

President Ron Edwards
Vice-President John Warkenton
Treasurer Jack Frye
Secretary Thomas Sones
Past-President Randi Heise
Board Member at Large Betty Lou Lages

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Secretary’s Message by Thomas Sones

Welcome to the new year. So far, it seems that winter is treating us pretty mildly. Of course, it’s not over yet. February still looms out there. However, if the temps remain mild, and February come without any lasting deep freezes, we may want to start thinking about collecting trees from the wild a bit early this year. The best time to collect is after the threat of deep freezes, but while trees are still mostly dormant. If you would like to discuss collecting opportunities more, feel free to use our Face Book page for that.

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Calendar of Bonsai Events:
Richmond Bonsai Society Events
January 23        Regular Meeting- Pines with Julian Adams (Part 1)
February 18      Growing Bonsai Presentation, The Great Big Green House, 10 am
February 27      Regular Meeting- Pines with Julian Adams (Part 2)
March 11 RBS   Beginner Workshop
Save the Date:
May 12-14 PBA Sring Bonsai Festival and World Bonsai Day Celebration, National Arboretum, D.C.

Recent Activity Reports

RBS Holiday Diner 

We had a great dinner and fun at Maldini’s Ristorante Itanliano. The food was great and we enjoyed exchanging bonsai gifts.


Upcoming Event Details

January Meeting- Pines with Julian Adams -Monday, January 23, 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Woods. 

We welcome back our friend, Julian Adams, who will spend January and February sharing his knowledge and wisdom about pine tree bonsai. As always, if you have questions or need advice, feel free to come a few minutes early.

Growing Bonsai Presentation, The Great Big Green House, February 18, 10 am. 

This presentation is part of the GBGH’s February Lecture Series. In addition to the main presentation, RBS members will showcase a few of their trees and be there to answer questions for customers.   GBGH is also offering 20% on all bonsai supplies that day.

Bonsai Beginner’s Workshop, Saturday, March 11, Great Big Green House.   We are planning for 30 participants again this year and registration information will be forthcoming. We will need RBS members to volunteer and help at the event.  Sign up to help at the January meeting.  GBG has ordered 48 Procumbens nana junipers so there will be plenty to choose from that day

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Article: Bonsai Road Trip, part 1    Thomas Sones

As some of you know, I took a week long road trip across the deep south visiting bonsai stores, shops, nurseries, and collections along the way. I started out in New Orleans, then went to Memphis, Atlanta, and one to the Charlotte area. I am finally getting around to sharing some of my experiences in this and the next few newsletters. While writing about these places, I don’t want to be seen as “endorsing” them, and so I will try to share my experiences and opinions from as neutral of a standpoint as possible. That being said, almost all of my experiences were good.

ggnola2My first stop was in New Orleans at Guy Guidry’s new shop  (New Orleans Bonsai) near the French Quarters. The place was the first floor of a home converted into a closed in porch showroom, and a nice work space. He had a few pre-bonsai plants, a and a number of starter type trees or sale in the showroom.  The work space was a nice sized room with a large table that 8-10 people could sit around and work. In addition, he had a few shelves with tools, books, stones, and pots for sale. Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by the “store” aspect of the place. There was a lot of potential, but there just wasn’t a lot there at the time. I don’t even think I took any photos.


ggnolaOn the other hand, Guy was in the shop and I arrived, he was working with some customer’s treed. When they were finished, we had a really nice conversation including some work I watched being done on his magnificent tree at the National Arboretum in D.C. He explained that he was still in the process of closing down his nursery (which I did not get to visit) and establishing the shop and explained that If I had called ahead, I might have been able to make an appointment to visit the nursery instead, which is good advice for anyone who wants to visit in the future.





bb1The next top on the trip was completely different, Brussels Bonsai near Memphis. This place is a commercial wonder. It’s a huge complex which includes a reception, office, and lounge space, a nice “showroom” style hot house with beautiful specimen trees, an open “pad” of larger potted trees and shrubs, and then  over 175,000 sq. ft of hot houses of all kinds of trees in all stages of development from new cutting and seedlings to aged, developed trees. According to their website, they are the largest in the U.S. They have a great website, newsletter, and Face Book page. In addition, they hold regular events including three day “Rendezvous” in May.

20160713_091034After you enter the reception and lobby, where they have some pots and tools stocked, you can go through the hot house that is more of a show room of beautifully designed, aged, specimen bonsai. In particular were many beautiful trees planted on stones. These trees were amazing, but very expensive.




20160713_091536 (1) 20160713_091626 (1)

20160713_095619From there, you can visit the hot houses, bott tropical and non-tropical.20160713_095523


20160713_102355 20160713_093008 20160713_111956

20160713_101030There is an outdoor nursery section with larger pre-bonsai potted plants. They also have shelved of that same stone for sale, and a large selection of Chinese pots, including a lot of larger pots. All in all, I probably spent 3 hours looking and shopping. In the end, I purchased a few medium pots, a trunk full of stones, and two of these large dawn redwoods pictured.

I enjoyed my visit there. They greeted me and then pretty much let me wander around until I asked for help, which was nice. Again, the only drawback was that their prices are fair, but not cheap. It is definitely worth the trip if you want to shop.


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Other Announcements and information

Donate a Book or Magazine: RBS maintains a lending library available to members. The lending selection includes many magazines, books, and some videos. If you have books or magazines that you no longer enjoy, please donate them to the club.

PBA mailing list – PBA is compiling an email list to make communications more streamlined. Sign up here.

For sale:

Mixed BonsaiSoil -regular and shohin soil (fine) 5 gal bags. Call Lee (320-1257) to place a special order.

Pumice (as a planting medium). Randi has pumice in two sizes, 3/8 and 5/16. Both sizes are priced the same, a 79 pound bag is $93 otherwise the pumice is sold at $1.25 per pound. Contact her for orders. randiheise@yahoo.com

Notice: RBS mails printed newsletters upon request. We encourage members to update their member records and switch to electronic versions of the newsletter when possible. If you receive a printed version, but would prefer electronic, please inform the club secretary or reply to this mailing.

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