This post is a little late in coming, but, as they say, better late than never, right? The show has about a week left to run, still plenty of time for you all to see it while you “Drink Around the World”.
This year there were some spectacular trees selected. And then there was my own.
It’s been a bad year for moss in my backyard. I had to import some all the way from Palm Bay.
The Disney guys hamming it up for the camera.
And Mary herself. She’s known as the Buttonwood Queen but I would also give her the additional title, The Duchess of Taxodium, too. Chances are that, if it’s a quality bald cypress in Florida (or even the rest of the country, I’m pretty sure that Ryan Neil’s taxodium was collected by Mary) it came from her. She’s one of my favorite people, a living legend. She’s in her eighties, yet still goes in the swamps and on the coast collecting. I think that she and Dan Robinson found the Fountain of Youth one day back in the 70’s while digging buttonwood in The Keys. I hope so. If there are two bonsai people who should live forever, it’s them.
One good thing about writing this post so late in the show is I can compare some of the trees from when they went in. Let’s use this cypress, in March.
Or we have this Japanese maple now.
And in March.
Big difference. That’s Mike Rogers’ tree by the way, one of the best bonsai artists and most knowledgable bonsai person in Florida. I consider him a mentor and friend. He should be more nationally known than some of the rest of us Florida artists, he deserves it. My two cents (have you ever thought that it’s kinda conceited that we ask for only a penny for someone else’s thoughts but insist on double the price for our own?).
Let’s get to the rest of the trees before I get into trouble.
A sweet bucida spinosa (or, if we are using the correct name, terminalia mollinetti. It’s weird about bonsai people and their penchant for misnaming things, isn’t it…..whoops, I’m encroaching upon that “get in trouble” area again….).
One of the better jaboticabas I’ve seen. It even has a decent root spread. (They’re only grown from seed, contrary to some people’s shared knowledge recently. And seed grown trees usually have ugly surface roots)
A big full bald cypress. Some people call this the juvenile style because old bald cypress tend to grow as flat tops. (Edit* I got an email from a prominent bonsai professional (who shall remain nameless) excoriating me because they thought I was saying, in the caption on the blog, that all bald cypress should be flat tops and I thought that this tree was immature because I used the word “juvenile”. Let me set the record straight on my beliefs about styling trees. I could care less what the “natural” form a tree may take, it is the individual tree that should tell the artist how it wants to be styled. Louise’s awesome bald cypress is actually a harder style to maintain because of the apical dominance that a cypress has. If it were my tree, it would be the same exact style because of that trunk, that base. It almost screams “formal upright!” It was the New Orleans artist Vaughn Banting that used the word “juvenile” to describe a bald cypress in an upright conifer style (I don’t think I would have used it myself) He is and was a respected, albeit controversial (in his day) bonsai artist. He gave us the bald cypress flat top style though, and has earned his place in the American Bonsai pantheon of great artists. Don’t worry about me making enemies with the nameless bonsai professional, we hashed it out and I promised to buy them a round next time we are in the same hotel bar. Some people take bonsai a little too seriously and personal. Thanks to Louise for the great tree and know that you have friends looking out for you.)
Two ficus microcarpa. You’ve seen this one in a blogpost from last year (Click here)
Paul Pikel’s podocarpus.
A Chinese sweet plum. Which, I must apologize to Boyd, the owner, I don’t have a recent pic of the tree. It’s the fullest and best looking sageritia I’ve seen.
You’ve seen this tabebuia in the Heathcote post a few posts ago.
And, if you follow my Instagram, this Australian pine was very popular.
Lastly, but not least, two buttonwoods.
This old, elegant beauty from Julie.
And this natural style masterpiece (meaning it’s mimicking how one would grow full size)
All it needs is a seashore and Suzy selling seashells while sunbathing in a swimsuit sipping sangria and slowly savoring shrimp salad.
Like I said, some beautiful trees this year, hope you got a chance to see them in person.