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June 2001 Newsletter

     Web Page Address:                          Issue 06/01 June 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

June Meetings:

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

June 4th  -  Basic / Intermediate Class Joint Meeting (7:00 pm to 7:30 pm) - Business meeting and library open(7:30 pm to 8:00 pm); Class instruction by Sensei Akabane, Workshop (8:00 pm to 10:00 pm).

         Refreshments: Norm Wanek, Alex Schneider, Linda Soliven and Jim Merrill.

June 5th   Board of Directors Meeting at 7:30 at the CalFed Bank on Crow Canyon in San Ramon

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

June 9th - Field Trip to El Dorado Bonsai in Placerville to see Satsuki Azaleas in bloom.  Also we are to visit the Enchanted Gardens Nursery.  Both facilities are having their annual sale.  Maps and instructions will be handed out at the June joint meeting.  If you cannot attend this meeting, call Bob Evans at (925) - 820-0268 to get copies.  Carpooling from the Montgomery Wards parking lot on Monument Blvd departing at 7:30 AM.

   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

Please welcome two new members John Fuller of Walnut Creek and Loretta Hayes of Pleasanton

In last months newsletter, Don Meeker was left off as being one of the narrators for Sunday's demonstration at the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Thanks Don for your participation.

Also thanks to Byron Nobriga for organizing the Spring Garden Tour on May 19th.

In the April Board meeting, The board discussed and approved the club making a donation to the Danville Fine Arts Gallery fund raiser.  Our thanks tot Norm Wanek for donating a Shimpaku Juniper to this event.

The joint meeting on June 4th, an orientation class will be given for new members, who have joined the club and not attended one.

It is time to start thinking about and start making preparations for the October Show.  Every member is encouraged to have a tree in the exhibit.  Along with the tree you need also to have a stand to put the tree on.  If there are any members who would be interested in a workshop on sanding and finishing stands, bring it up in the June and July Monthly Meetings.

The best source of raw material for bonsai stands is:

                Artisans Burlwood Furniture, at 910 Ashley Avenue in Berkley  -  (510)-549-0664                                                             

                Store hours are 10:00 am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday.  &7th Street just east of I-80.


Bonsai Literature and Other Notes

by Don Meeker

There are three other special books in the Club Library that Id like to mention. The first is on the bonsai art of Kimura. Masahiko Kimura is one of the best known, at least in the U.S. of the Japanese bonsai masters, his work is well worth studying. More of his work is published here than other contemporary masters so we have more opportunity to study it. He is presented in Bonsai Today very often.

My sense is, that like many artists who become very popular, he constantly is pressed to do something new and impressive. And like most such artists, some is very good, some is good and some is not so good. I have not discussed any of his work with our Sensei, but my personal take is that Kimura, particularly in his later published work, tends to get into a highly stylized look that loses its naturalness. Some of his highly contorted Junipers with great masses of stylistic deadwood dont appear to me to be natural at all, and I grew up in Colorado, spent lots of time in the high country, where lightning, winds, snow, avalanches and rock slides leave a lot of great trees with a lot of deadwood. But those are personal observations, and obviously not the opinions of most, at least the editors of Bonsai Today. Still I think Kimuras work is worth our while, there is some that is superlative, and really helps give us a sense of the best in bonsai styling. There is a lot to learn from his work.

The second work is actually two. The two volume set, Bonsai Techniques, I and II of John Yoshio Naka. John, who lives and works in Southern California, is probably the best known of the U.S. bonsai artists. He has had a major impact on the development of bonsai, certainly in California, and generally in the U.S. Not only the understanding in western terms of the style and meaning of the art, but in developing the American interest in bonsai as an art and as a horticultural avocation. His books are study books, and reference books, devoted to developing an understanding of the basics of styling techniques. Dont go to these books with questions on culture and care. But study them carefully on specific styling and development techniques. Then when meeting with Sensei about our trees we have a better understanding, a more complete context in which to understand his instruction.

Finally, Id like to divert from the library topic to the subject of Wisteria. Wisteria can be difficult to flower when potted, in fact even in the ground some, not many, but some just never bloom. When selecting a wisteria always go to the nurseries in the spring when they are in bloom and buy one in bloom. Or if you are into doing cuttings select one that blooms very well to take your cuttings from. Seeds are a little chancy. Ive had pretty good luck with seedlings blooming, but there is no certainty.

Once growing and potted, they set their buds for the next year in late spring and early summer. So now, and even earlier, is the time to address their nutritional needs. Sensei recommends lime (for the calcium needed to bloom), and I lime most of my flowering trees. I lime in late May or June, again in the fall in late September or October and again winter in February. Also use fertilizer with no or very low nitrogen to discourage leafy growth, Sensei recommends 0-10-10 as the year round choice for Wisterias. I also use some high phosphorous in the late spring/early summer. Super Phosphate or I sometimes use a dilute bloom buster which has 10-52-10, I use this in a very dilute solution in the spring and fall, like 1/3 or 1/4 + a small amount of 0-10-10. Be sure also to use something with the needed trace elements. I use a chelated iron with copper, zinc and manganese. Also, very important, Sensei recommends keeping the new leafy growth or whips trimmed regularly so the energy goes into setting flower buds and not leafy growth.

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.

June 2 - Plant Sale - several varieties of plants, pot and stands available.  Hours 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  305 El Pintado Heights Drive, Danvile, CA (925) - 837-7804.  Take I-680 to El Pintado Road and go east on El Pintado Road to El Pintado Heights Drive..

June 3 - Monterey Bonsai Club 38th Annual Exhibition at the Monterey Buddhist Church, 1155 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA.  Hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Demonstration at 2:00 pm by Katsumi Kinoshita.

June 2,3  -  Sei Boku Bonsai Kai 18th Bonsai Exhibit at the San Mateo Garden Center at Beresford Park, 605 Parkside Way, San Mateo, CA.  Between 26th and 28th off of  Alameda de las Pulgas.  Hours are 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Demonstrations both days at 1:00 pm by Warren Clark and Mike Page.

June 24 - Napa Valley Bonsai Club 23rd Annual Bonsai Show at the Senior Citizens Center, 1500 Jefferson Street (north of  First Street, south of Lincoln Avenue) Napa, CA.  Hours are 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Demonstration at 1:30 pm by Dennis Makishima.

June 30, July 4- Marin Bonsai Club Annual Exhibition at the Marin County Fair, Highway 101 and North San Pedro Road,  San Rafael, CA.  Fair hours are 11:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.  Demonstrations by Bill Sullivan on Moday5:00 pm and Wednesday at 2:00 pm. at 2:00 pm by Katsumi Kinoshita.

The Garden at Heather Farms Spring Classes

1.    Aquascaping, create an easy maintenance pond and filter system in your garden. - Wednesday, June 6, (7:00pm to 9:00 pm).  Cost - $15.00 members, $20.00 non-members. 

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

Diablo Bonsai Look Ahead Schedule

July 2  - Basic Class - topic: Making jin or shari using Juniper, Workshop.

    Refreshments:  James Stalker and Ed Zamora.

July 9  - Intermediate Class - topic: Neagari Bonsai, Workshop.

    Refreshments:  Bob Brown and Daryl Bunch.

July 17 -  Board of Directors Meeting

         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