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May 2001 Newsletter

     Web Page Address:                          Issue 05/01 ¨ May 2001

2550 Camino Tassajara

Danville, California 94526

(925) 736-7600

Sensei: Kunitoshi Akabane (925) 736-7600

President: Bob Evans (925) 820-0268

Editor: Daryl Bunch (925) 830-8790

May Meetings:

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

May 7th  -  Basic Class Meeting (7:00 pm to 7:30 pm) - Business meeting and library open(7:30 pm to 8:00 pm); Class instruction - Topic will be Spring Care of Bonsai, Workshop (8:00 pm to 10:00 pm).

         Refreshments: Barbara Richards and Nick Nickelson.

Note:  Sensei Akabane is visiting Japan so the scheduled basic bonsai class of Basic Branch Development has been changed to the Spring Care of Bonsai.  K will give the Branch Development class later.  Otherwise class and workshop will be the same as every month.

May 14th Intermediate Class (7:00 pm to 7:30 pm) Business meeting and library open; (7:30pm to 8:00 pm) Class Instruction - Restyling of Old Bonsai; (8:00 pm to 10:00 pm) Workshop.

        Refreshments: Mineko Montoya and Gale Newcomb

Mat 1st -  Board of Directors Meeting at 7:30 at the CalFed Bank on Crow Canyon in San Ramon

May 19th - Spring Garden Tour - See the details below.

          Notes: - (1) If you are listed to bring refreshments and cannot attend, please call Bob Evans at (925)-820-0268.

             -  (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 Bob Evans (925)-820-0268 to order one.  The cost is $2.00.  

Club News

Diablo Bonsai Club participated in the Cherry Blossom Festival Bonsai Exhibit on April 21 and 22.  Our club was complimented by the organizers and thank you for all of our help during the weekend.  The club would like to thank the following members for helping at the exhibit:   Alan Jones, Patrick Corbiere, Kevin Coppa, Nancy Norris, Hollis Hardy and Billie Morenz.  We would like to thank the following members, who had trees in the exhibit:  Norm Wanek, Mineko Montoya, Gale Newcomb, James Merrill, Bob Eden, Don Meeker and Bob Evans.  Our Sensei was the demonstrator on Sunday, assisted by Mineko Montoya , with narration by Norm Wanek.

We have still not heard fro the person who borrowed the John Naka  "Bonsai Techniques Volume 1" from the library.  If you have the book, please bring it to one of the May meetings or give Pat Hines 944-1246 or Linda Soliven (925)-934-2875 a call.  Club members have donated new books to the library and we thank them for it.

A club member asked about car-pooling to the Bonsai Exhibits that are listed in the newsletter.  If there is an interest, bring it up at the business meeting and organize a car pool in the monthly meetings.

When we visited the El Dorado Bonsai Nursery, several people asked about when the azaleas were in bloom - which is normally late May or early June.  Sign-up in the May meetings if you are interested in going so we can get a field trip scheduled.  Byron Nobiga will be coordinating the event.


Spring Garden Tour May 19 2001 

Club members will be meeting Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Lakeside Garden center at 666 Bellevue Ave. (Lake Merritt) Oakland Ca  (Across from Boathouse).  We will be touring the Golden State Bonsai Federations Collection North inside the garden center. The tour will be around two hours. After the garden tour we should all go to the Bay Area Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Show at the same location as described above and see all the blooming azaleas.  The show Dates are Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th.  Hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm both days.  Demonstration on Saturday at 1:30 pm by Bob Gould and Ruben Guzman and on Sunday at 1:30 pm by Johnny Uchida.  For all basic club members this is a great opportunity to see Bonsai at it's best.  A must see!  A beautiful bonsai garden and a bonsai show with a live demonstration all at one location. Carpooling is a good idea.  The lake Merritt park charges $2.00 per car for all day parking.  If you would like to carpool we will meet at Wards north parking Lot in Concord at 9:15 am and we will leave Wards at 9:30am sharp.  Make sure to talk with who you may be carpooling with to find out what time they would be leaving the garden center.  The show does go till 5:00 pm.  Hope to see as many members as possible show.  It should be great a experience.

2nd Article on Bonsai Literature for the Club Newsletter

In the last issue we discussed why studying the literature is important, and mentioned a few articles in Bonsai Today. Let’s consider some of the books and other periodicals then continue to look at Bonsai Today,.

The library has several of the most important books, which you’ll want to be familiar with. You may want to use the library books to research or study specific topics, or to review to determine if you want to invest in them. The Club recommends that each member purchase their own copy of the Sunset Bonsai book. It is an excellent introductory text with good quality pictures. The one reservation I have is to their recommendations for potting soil. I have followed Sensei’s potting soil recommendations since I joined the club and have had excellent results. I had lost a couple valuable trees, primarily because of poor soil, following the recommendations of the older texts. As you read the literature you’ll find many suggestions on soil, I’ve found it is pays to stick with Sensei’s instructions.

The library has two copies of Yuji Yoshimura’s The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes. This is an excellent work. Master Yoshimura was the first to describe the style classifications as we now know them in the West. The book, which is still generally available, was first published in 1957. Some methods of culture have changed over time, but the basics are excellent and the styling instructions are classic. The pictures are not of the quality we expect today, but this is still one of the most frequently recommended books, and I have heard it praised by many respected amateurs and professionals.

The library has a number of back issues of Golden Statements, published by the Golden State Bonsai Federation. It is an inexpensive publication, and a pretty good bargain. There usually are several good articles and these old issues are a good source of information if you are researching information on technique or on a specific species of tree.

In the library is a bound index of Bonsai Today. There two parts, first is the Magazine Article Data Base, by issue, species and subject. This covers issues 1 through 63, which I believe covers all the issues in the library. This is followed by the index of issues 1-36. There is also a diskette with the data base on it. Note that the diskette label indicates the files are Lotus and Word Perfect, but they show up as Word and Excel files.

I’ll note just a few articles from Bonsai Today which may be of particular interest or value. Issue 5 - Pinching Guide – Part II; Selecting the right container; and Training and refining white pine (Pinus parviflora); and Training Japanese maple. Issues 6 – Flowering and fruiting bonsai; and Tool maintenance and care. Issue 8 – Pruning deciduous trees and Training flowering cherry. And finally Issue 10 – Pinching and pruning specifics.

The articles on pinching and pruning are of great importance right now, because learning these techniques and their proper use are critical to the development of fine bonsai.

I’d like to close with a recommendation for Issue 67 of Bonsai Today, (May-June 2000) it is, in my opinion one of the best issues. The article on Bonsai Design Techniques, by Kunio Kobayashi is worth many times the cost of the magazine, and is well worth studying, more than once. It was not in the Library, but I got another copy at Tassajara Nursery and I’ll make sure it gets into the Library.

We hope all goes well for you and with your Bonsai. April is a big month with lots of changes. Maybe one of the most exciting and rewarding months.

Don Meeker

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 at (510)-763-8409.

May 5, 6 - Shikishima Bonsai Club 43rd Annual Bonsai Exhibition and Demonstration at the Japanese American Cultural Center, 3165 Treat Boulevard, Concord.  Hours are 11:00 am to 5:00pm on Saturday and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday.  Demonstration by at 1:30 pm by George Fujita.

May 5, 6  -  Sacramento Bonsai Club 55th Annual Show at the Buddhist Church, 2401 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento, CA.  Hours Saturday  12:00 noon to 6:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Demonstrations both days at 2:00 pm by Mas Imazumi.

May 6 - Watsonville Bonsai Club 28th Annual Bonsai Club at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge Street, Watsonville.   Hours are Saturday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Demonstration at 2:00  pm.

May 19, 20 - Satsuki Aikokai of Sacramento Annual Show and Sale at the Sacramento Garden and Art Center, 3330 McKinley Boulevard, Sacramento.  Hours are: Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Demonstration both days by Kathy Shaner at 1:30 pm.

June 3 - Monterey Bonsai Club38th Annual Exhibition at the Monterey Buddhist Church, 1155 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA.  Hours 11:00 am to 4:00 pm  Demonstration at 2:00 pm by Katsumi Kinoshita.

June 24 -  Napa Valley Bonsai Club 23rd Annual Bonsai Show at the Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, CA  Hours are: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Demonstration at 1:30 pm by Dennis Makishima.

The Garden at Heather Farms Spring Classes

1.    Sogetsu Ikebana - Japanese flower Arranging - May 3, 10,17, 24, 31 and June 7 (7:00pm to 9:00 pm).  Cost - $90.00 members, $110.00 non-members.  Class Materials fee - $10.00.

2.    Hummingbirds and Butterflies in garden - May 4 (10:00 am to 1:00 pm).  Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members

3.    Garden got Bugs? - May 5 (10:00 am to 11:30am).  No Charge.

4.    Gardening with Herbs - May 12 (9:00 am to 12:00 non).  Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members.

5.    Solving Garden Pest Problems (insects, weeds, sick plants) bring samples of insects, damaged plant material and questions.  May 19 (9:00am to 12:00 noon) Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members.

6.    Perennials and Decorative Grasses - May 22 (7:00 pm to 9:00 pm).  Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members.

7.    Choosing Trees for the Home and Garden - May 26 (9:00 am to 12:00 noon).  Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members.

Use the form at the end of the newsletter to apply.

Diablo Bonsai Look Ahead Schedule

June 4  - Basic/Intermediate Joint Class

    Refreshments:  Byron Nobriga, Norm Wanek, Alex Schneider and Linda Soliven.

June 5 -  Board of Directors Meeting  -  Note: The June Board meeting will be devoted to the October Show.  All show committee chairpersons and co-chairs should plan to attend.

        July - Basic - Making Jin or Shari using juniper.  Workshop

                    Intermediate - Neagari Bonsai.  Workshop

        August - Basic and Intermediate Joint Meeting

       September - Basic - Final Review and care of exhibit and project plants.  Workshop.

                                Intermediate - Manicuring Bonsai.  Workshop

       October - Basic - Ikadabuki (rafting) Style.  Workshop

                            Intermediate - Bunjin Style.  Workshop

        November - Basic - Preparing Bonsai for Winter. Workshop

                                Intermediate - Discussion on Winterizing and Trimming Bonsai.  Workshop.

        December - Joint Meeting.  Review this Year's Projects.



Class Registration Form                                Send to: The Gardens at Heather Farms

                                                                      1540 Marchbanks Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94598

                                                                       Phone: 925-947-1678        Fax:  947-1726


Name ________________________________________        Phone  _____________________________

Address  __________________________________        City  _______________________    Zip  ___________

Name of Class                                                          Date & Time                                                               Fee                                  




                                                                                                                                                                              Total  _________________

_____ Member        _____  Non-Member        _____  Check Enclosed                    _____  Visa          _____  Mastercard

Card Number  _________________________  Expiration Date  _______________

Signature:  _______________________________________

OPTIONAL: Membership Fee    ____Individual $25    ____ Family $35   ____ Sustaining $50  

                                                                             Make checks payable to:  The Gardens at Heather Farms

                                                                Refunds for canceling attendance will be made only until one week before class