April 2002 Newsletter

  Web Page Address:                       Issue 04/02 ¨ April 2002

www.angelfire.com/ca2/diablobonsai

2550 Camino Tassajara

Danville, California 94526

(925) 736-7600

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600

President: Scott Couture (925) 735-3535

Editor: Daryl Bunch (925) 830-8790

April Meetings:

All meetings held at Heather Farms Garden Center, 1540 March Banks Dr., Walnut Creek. 7:15 – 10:00 PM

April 1st  - Basic Class  Meeting. 7:15 pm to 7:30 pm - Business meeting and library open. 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm - Class instruction topic: Kengai (cascade style) by Sensei Akabane; 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm – Workshop.  Every member should bring material to work on during the Workshop.

         Refreshments: Nancy Norris and Gary Parker

April 2nd  -  Board of Directors Meeting at 7:30pm. CalFed Bank, San Ramon

April 8th – Intermediate Class Meeting. 7:15pm to 7:30pm - Business Meeting and Library open. 7:30pm – 8:00pm – Class Instruction Topic: Branch Development II by Sensei Akabane. 8:00pm to 10:00pm - Workshop. Every member should bring material to work on during the workshop.

Refreshments: Norman Wanek

Notes:     - (1) If you are listed to bring refreshments and cannot attend, please call Scott Couture at (925) 735-3535

     -  (2) Don't forget to bring a piece of plastic to cover your table during the workshop.  After the workshop, clean-up around your table and help put away the tables and chairs. (two rows of tables and chairs at the south end of the room.)

      -  (3) Wear your name tags to class every month to make it easier for everyone to meet each other.  If you need a name tag, call Scott Couture at (925) 735-3535 to order one.  The cost is $2.00.  

Club News

Notice: This will be the last newsletter for individuals who have not paid their 2002 Club dues.

From the Chair:

Welcome to new club member John Case.

Getting a little busy? I hope you've had time to read and study a little in your bonsai books on those few rainy days we've had since the last newsletter. I'm sure with the warmer temperatures, you'll be pinching and fertilizing and trying to keep up with your plants soon enough. After encouraging you last month to resist the warmer temperatures a little longer so you could spend a little time with your bonsai books, I almost feel guilty writing this article for the newsletter. But, it's my job this year, so I'll endure it.

Guess what? Bonsai shows are in full swing! Golden Statements lists 5 shows in March and almost twice that number in April. In our area, we have the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco and the Sacramento Bonsai Sekiyu Kai show in Sacramento, both on April 20th -21st; And the Napa Valley Bonsai Club show is April 28th. There are a few more shows not too many hours away. In May, there are nearly as many shows and then they taper off to just a few in June and July. So, one of the richest times of year for shows is upon us. Why care?

Visiting shows during different times of the year and in different locales is greatly educational. You'll find that different clubs emphasize different things - some seem to have preferences for different types of trees - some more fruit, some more redwoods - it varies a lot. Others seem to show trees that are mostly what I would refer to as in the maintenance stage - not much training or development going on, but meticulously cared for. One reason I like our Club and our Fall show is that we have many different types of bonsai trees of widely varying ages and stages of training. However, the spring-blooming trees don't look like much in October. So, there is a lot of value in visiting other shows. You can do some real studying if you visit a show that has a lot of examples of a certain type of tree. Which trees of each species look more mature and/or the most alive? What makes one look older than another?

If you have to pick just one show, try the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco. The Diablo Bonsai Club has shown trees in this show for years. "K" and the club have quite a long relationship with the show. Announcements about participation in this years show will be made at the April meetings.

A few unrelated notes - try to take notes in class to reinforce what you are learning. I found in college that if I scribbled notes as fast as I could and caught most everything, I could go back to my room, organize the notes a bit and rewrite them (neater and nearly readable). By the time I got through reorganizing and rewriting, I had little trouble getting ready for tests. K's sketches are great to capture and refer to later. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions of K during class - better now than later when you could miss a full season of training.

Pay close attention to K's lectures this spring so you can get the most out of the season. And, I still encourage you to try to spend a few minutes or hours each month reading about bonsai - maybe during your carpool to a bonsai show!

 

Best Wishes. Scott

Events Elsewhere

Golden State Bonsai Collection at Lakeside Park Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Avenue, Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.

Garden House Hours - Wed, Thurs, Fri – 11:00AM to 3:00 PM - Sat – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Sun – 12 Noon to 4:00 PM. Call ahead to be sure they are open, (510)-763-8409.

April 6 & 7 – San Jose. San Jose Betsuin Bonsai Club 32nd Annual Spring Bonsai Exhibition, San Jose Buddist Church Betsuin, 640 North Fifth Street, San Jose. Saturday noon to 5pm. Sunday 11am to 4pm. Demonstrations both days by Harry Hirao from Huntington Beach.

April 20 – Sacramento. Bonsai Sekiyu Kai of Sacramento, 25th Annual Bonsai Show – “Vine of Stunning Beauty – the Wisteria”. Saturday, April 20th, 12:00 noon to 6:00pm and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm, at the Buddhist Church, 2401 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento. Demonstration by John Uchida each day at 2:00pm.

April 20 and 21 – San Francisco. Cherry Blossom Festival. Bonsai & Suiseki Exhibition, Radisson Miyako Hotel, Sakua Room, Japan Town, Post and Laguna Streets, 10am to 5pm. Bonsai Demonstrations Saturday 1-2:30pm by Warren Clark, Seiboku Bonsai Club and Sunday 11am-1pm, by Dr. Seiji Shiba, Golden State Collection. Suiseki demonstrations Saturday and Sunday 3:30-4:00pm by Ben Yoshikawa and Mike Iwasaki of the S. F. Suiseki Kai. Note: this is a schedule change- originally scheduled from April 27 & 28.

April 28 – Napa. The Napa Valley Bonsai Club will present its 24th annual bonsai show on Sunday April 28, 11am to 5pm at the Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson St., Napa. Demonstration by John Uchida.

May 5 – Watsonville. Watsonville Bonsai Club 29th Annual Bonsai Show, 10am – 4 pm, at the Watsonville Bridge Street, Waltsonville, CA.

Note, only local events are listed here, other events around the state and in other states may be found by checking the Golden State Bonsai Federation and other websites.

Diablo Bonsai Look Ahead Schedule

May 5 – Information Booth at Heather Farm .

May 6 – Basic Class. Topic – Yoseue (group planting style). Workshop. Refreshments: Barbara Richards and Alexander Schneider

            May 7  -  Board Meeting

            May 13  -  Intermediate Class. Topic – Balance of trees in the Bonsai pot. Workshop.

                Refreshments: Bob Brown

May 18 – Spring Garden Tour

BONSAI SOIL MIXTURES

 

MANY BASIC MEMBERS HAVE ASKED ABOUT GOOD SOIL MIXTURES FOR THEIR BONSAI. TO GET A PROFESSIONAL MIXTURE I RECENTLY VISITED THE TASSAJARA NURSERY AND TOOK UP SOME OF MR. AKABANE’S VALUABLE TIME DISCUSSING SOIL MIXTURES. I WILL LIMIT THIS COLUMN TO OUR DISCUSSION AND THE SOIL MIXTURES USED IN OUR POTTING SESSIONS THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

PLANTING MIX

 

1 TO 1.5 BAGS OF PUMICE 4 QUART SIZE.

2 BAGS OF PERLITE 4 QUART SIZE.

2 BAGS OF CHARCOAL 4 QUART SIZE.

2 TO 3 BAGS OF COURSE SAND 1 QUART SIZE.

2 CUBIC FEET OF ACID BASE PLANTING MIX.

BROADLEAF PLANTS ADD .5 CUBIC FEET MORE PLANTING MIX.

 

CACTUS PLANTING MIX

 

USING THE ABOVE INGREDIENTS, REDUCE THE PUMICE, PERLITE, AND SAND BY 50% AS THE CACTUS PLANTING MIX HAS A PERCENTAGE OF PRODUCTS IN THE BASIC MIXTURE. DO NOT REDUCE THE SAND IF MIXTURE IS FOR CONIFERS. SUBSTITUTE CACTUS PLANTING MIX FOR THE ACID BASE PLANTING MIX. DO NOT USE ANY ACID BASE PLANTING MIX IN THIS FORMULA.

 

SUMMARY:

IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO DISCUSS SOIL MIXTURES WITH OUR INTERMEDIATE MEMBERS YOU WILL FIND MANY OPINIONS AND ALL OF THEM WILL BE GOOD. THE SOIL MIXTURES OUTLINED ABOVE WILL PROVIDE THE BASIC MEMBER WITH A PLATFORM THAT CAN BE USED AS WRITTEN OR BE ADJUSTED TO FIT AN INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENT WITH PRODUCTS THAT ARE READILY AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL NURSERY.

RICHARD CRAWFORD