Golden State Bonsai Federation and American Bonsai Society presents 2014 Convention XXXVII “Bonsai Visions of the West” in Sacramento, CA. Register online today! Headliners include Peter Tea, Kathy Shaner and David De Groot, ABS Learning Seminars with Ted Matson and Jack Sustic, Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition, and Special Tribute to John Naka – 100 years. Demonstrations, seminars, critiques, workshops, excursions, benefit drawings, vendors, and much more. Register online today! Click Here!

John Naka 100 Years Celebration (1914-2014)

150_pic_11Bonsai Court at The Huntington, San Marino, California
Courtesy of Cheryl Manning

John Yoshio Naka (August 16, 1914, Ft. Lupton, Colorado – May 19, 2004, Whittier, California), considered the father of American bonsai. He was an American artist, author, bonsai master, horticulturist, and teacher.

During the months of August and September 2014, the Bonsai Court Collection at The Huntington, San Marino, California, presented a special bonsai display in honor of John Naka 100 Years Celebration (1914- 2014). On display, bonsai styled by John Naka and his students. Many of the trees were temporarily on loan by their owners. The other trees belong to The Huntington. Co-located at the Bonsai Court are bonsai belonging to the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) Collection. Below are some of the special bonsai on display in honor of John Naka. (more…)

Sierra Bonsai Club Annual Show 2014

sb-150By George Haas

Penryn, California, population 831 at the 2010 census. Elevation 627 ft (191 m), located in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento, California.

That is where the Placer Buddhist Church held their Annual Fall Food Bazaar this weekend, September 27–28, 2014. The Placer Buddhist Church (PBC) is a temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Buddhism, affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America. The church was founded in 1902 and currently has nearly 300 members. (more…)

GSBF to Open New Bonsai Collection in Fresno

GSBF_sq_stampBy Abe Far, GSBF President

I am pleased to announce the Clark Center Bonsai Collection is now GSBF’s third collection located at the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden, 114 W Audubon Dr, Fresno, CA 93720 (Central Valley). This is an amazing step forward for our organization. Congratulations to all those who contributed in bringing about the GSBF third collection. I would ask that all GSBF members join me in thanking the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, and to Libby and Bill Clark for trusting us with gifting their wonderful Bonsai collection to GSBF. Particular appreciation goes to Sally Ramage and her Board, along with Bob Hilvers, GSBF past president and the Clark Center Bonsai Curator, for their hard work in making this partnership and added Bonsai collection possible. Last but not least, thanks goes to GSBF’s Board for its support and vision in facilitating this new partnership and to the Shinzen Japanese Friendship Garden in the Central Valley. (more…)

Rock Planting By Kathy Shaner

feat_150Image300By George Haas

The Garden Juniper (Juniperus chinensis procumbens ‘Nana’) rock planting (see photo below) appeared on display during the 31st Annual Bonsai Show held by the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS) on August 23 and 24, 2014. The creation of the rock planting was by world famous Bonsai Master Kathy Shaner for its owner, Frank Bardella of Sebastopol, California. It was created in November 2011. Just how the rock planting was created was the subject of an article published in the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) publication Golden Statements (May/June 2012 Vol. XXXV No. 3). The original article is posted below. (more…)

Shimpaku Juniper Cascade Redo

150versBy George Haas

The tree is a Shimpaku Juniper (Juniperus chinensis Shimpaku), see first photo below. ‘Shimpaku’ is a dwarf, irregular vase-shaped form of Chinese juniper. It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that can grow to 3’ tall and 5’ wide over a period of 10 years. Scale-like gray-green to dull dark green needles are soft to the touch. Foliage remains attractive year-round. The bonsai is a yamadori style and in training for less than 10 years. It started as a single whip. Wired and potted and continued to grow and develop. About three years ago it was transplanted into the moon style pot as shown. (more…)

Accent Plants at the 31st REBS

rebsacc_150By George Haas

The annual bonsai show presented by REBS places great detail in the traditional display of its bonsai. Accent plants or companion plantings are traditional in the formal display of bonsai. Bonsai are formally displayed in a Tokonoma, which can consist of a tree, a scroll and an accent plant. The purpose of adding a scroll or in the following examples an accent plant to the composition is to compliment the tree on display and to create a sense of harmony (man, earth and heaven). (more…)

Shohin Bonsai at the 31st REBS

291_150By George Haas
(at the 31st REBS)

Shohin is a classification of bonsai measuring 20 centimeters or eight inches and under. REBS members and other bonsai enthusiasts are fond of creating and displaying shohin bonsai. They include most species of trees used for larger bonsai, and require the same if not more attention to detail in wiring and styling, care and maintenance. Shohin pots offer variety, shape and color not seen in the larger bonsai. They are prized for their beauty and true miniature size. Shohin can be displayed as companion plants, alone or in multiple wooden racks. (more…)

31st Annual Redwood Empire Bonsai Society (REBS) Show

pineGrv150By George Haas

REBS held their 31st Annual Bonsai Show on August 23 and 24, 2014, at the Veterans’ Memorial Building, Santa Rosa, California. It is one of the largest bonsai shows in the United States. Under the guidance of world famous Bonsai Master Kathy Shaner, the club’s Sensei, every detail of the displaying of bonsai is taken very seriously. The layout of bonsai, scrolls, accent plants, and other bonsai related items is planned and directed days before show set up on Friday. It takes a large crew of club members to assemble the backdrops and covered tables in the main Veterans’ Memorial Hall. Then the trees arrive and are turned over to Kathy for precise placement. Accent plants, scrolls and bonsai art objects are added to compliment the trees. (more…)

GSBF Bonsai Club Fund-raisers

GSBF_sq_stampBy George Haas

Just about every member club of the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF) holds at least one annual fund-raiser during the calendar year – the annual club show or exhibition. The purpose of the annual club show is twofold – to introduce and show the public and other clubs our bonsai and to raise funds to support club operations and scheduled activities during the rest of the year. Donations are greatly appreciated at such events. (more…)