Joyous, joyous winter!

The bacchanalia of bonsai has past and all that’s left are the memories. What to talk about? The food, the people, the trees! It was humbling to be amongst so many great bonsai-ists. Unlike many classes I’ve attended, Jim Doyle and Walter Pall regularly attract folks with decades of experience, even owners of other nurseries in their own right. Even with that vast experience pool, a relative novice like me felt continuously engaged.

I arrived on Friday night and, would you believe it, my car didn’t start. I had to take a tiny compact that couldn’t carry any of the trees I had thought about working on. No matter, one called to me and demanded to come home with me.


I thought this little clump of european hornbeam was absolutely gorgeous. Very much a fairy tale tree, it speaks of haunted woods and long journeys to me. Something that Bilbo Baggins might have rested underneath before the spiders came for him and his crew! I had to have it, and managed to wedge it into my car before the long drive back.

Walter and Jim kindly let me work on some of their other trees as well, even taking a die grinder to carve out some funky deciduous trees!
IMG_1614 IMG_1625

The first is another little european hornbeam, the second a grand old trident maple. Oh well, I think they came out ok, what about you folks?

One of the things I most appreciate about working with Jim and Walter is the attention paid to the aesthetics of bonsai. Many bonsai courses I’ve been to lectured on the craft of bonsai – the horticulture necessary to grow trees in pots, the method of wiring and pruning, etc., etc. Here, Walter and Jim started with the assumption that you knew all that, and instead chose to lead us in discussions about correct pot choice,


the feeling behind bonsai,


and we even had time for a little fun.


I might have even walked away with a tree that is far too nice for me…



Anyone looking for more information should refer to either:

Whether you’re new to bonsai or an old hand, I recommend checking out both sites and stopping by Nature’s Way! Shout out to all my great friends there, I can’t wait to see you this spring!

One thought on “Joyous, joyous winter!

  1. So good to have met you this past December at the winter study. Your enthusiasm was infectious. I hope you continue to work with high level material, I know I wish I had done so earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

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