Sorry it’s been so long between posts but I’ve had a busy life, a Holiday parties, an all day, multiple event demo/carving/private session, and a second private session since, trees to water, kids to pick up from school etc, etc, etc. Plus I need to sleep and all.
Anyway, it’s also taken me a while to edit all the pics (all the pics!). As I might have mentioned in the last post, the lighting was a challenge at the venue (the beautiful UNC Nutrition Research Intitute). My poor iPhone 5s and its camera were going crazy trying to focus.
A note: I think I got all the trees but I am probably wrong about that. So I apologize if I did miss your tree, and, consequentially, if the pic is not the best. If you see that I missed your tree(s) or it is a bad pic, send me your photo and I’ll add it.
Also, I’m not going to identify the owners of the trees for privacy reasons, even though they were identified at the show. This blog has a large reach and the exhibitors don’t need to be worried about their trees. Although I do identify some professionals for their exposure. And I’ll keep the comments to a minimum. Maybe…….
Ready? Here goes!
And another Bill Valavanis tree, a Japanese maple. I have to comment here. I’m picking Bill’s tree because Bill can handle the comment. There were many people who asked me “What do you think of the twin trunk?” Or said “I’d cut that off!” Or some such thing.
My answer was always, “I like the tree, it took great technical ability, great patience and diligence to grow it.” And I meant it. To explain, a classically styled Japanese maple tends to not have a twin trunk like this. Or, if it does, the split isn’t so high up in the trunk. And one trunk should be bigger, taller than the other. But I didn’t really say that to any who asked. Why? Because it’s Bill’s art. I wasn’t taught to view art with a hypercritical eye the way almost all bonsai practitioners do. I just don’t understand it the obsession with picking another artists tree apart. Don’t get me wrong, if the owner asks, I’ll look at details, but there’s a huge difference between solicited and unsolicited advice. Bill wasn’t asking. I like the tree, because it’s just annoying enough to make you look at it again and again. And that, my friends, is one purpose of art, to get you to look at it.
And then this cool tree, another juniper, but this one a shimpaku grafted onto California juniper stock. Classically coifed. This trees owner actively sought criticism and I believe he’s going to turn the front clockwise a bit.
And next to it is a great little seiju elm. I am partial to the small trees. Unfortunately, they get drowned out in shows like this. Shohin are twice as hard to make into convincing trees. And I don’t like the shohin groupings you see in shows. I believe (and it’s my belief) that to stuff three or more trees together actually lessens them.
This is an awesome example of a trident with almost perfect moyogi characteristics.
I’ll also use the photo to show you how much I had to edit the pics to make them viewable. This is the original photo. The white marble caused my iPhone to super expose the background and lose details and colors. When I got close for detail shots, my iPhone was fine. But as soon as I pulled back it was a horror show.
This next grouping consists of an unusual but cool Japanese maple. And grass. The number in front of the grass actually belongs to the crepe in the previous pic. I was taking pics during set up so the identifications are a bit difficult at the time of this writing. If I get something wrong, please, let me know.
Aha! One of my co-conspirators display.
Representing the James J. Smith collection at Heathcote Gardens, we have Seth Nelson’s submission: A ficus microcarpa “kinman”. You would not believe how many people wanted to cut off that big aerial root. It was like dogs marking their territories.
This next is a mixed planting with:red maple, Japanese hornbeam, spirea, dry land blueberry, and something called withe-rod. By Arthur Joura of the Asheville Arboreteum. It’s tough to have a mixed planting because you have to make sure the plants can grow together as far as light and water requirements are concerned.
This is my friend, Bobby’s, celtis lævigata. It won best in show.
And a penjing planting, on a marble slab, of ulmus parviflora. The ramification on it is impressive. If I would pick my favorite (as Seth keeps bugging me to do) it would be this penjing. The colors, the skill, the composition, they all just work. And I don’t tend to like penjing. Well done sir.
And that all the pics I have. Sorry if it takes forever to download, but there were over 60 trees.
I’d like to thank the organizer, Steven, for organizing, and for Rob and Seth for putting up with me for the weekend.
What a great show, right?
Will I see you next year?