The Bsf/Epcot Flower and Garden Festival bonsai trees: 2016

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. 

Thanks to my one and only true friend, Seth, for risking his job at Heathcote and stealing it off the Jim Smith trees for me. This was at set up, I still had the PT Loser as a vehicle. 

The Disney guys hamming it up for the camera. 

This is Jesus looking at Bobby’s tree, trying to find out if it’s a boy or girl maybe. 

Jesus’s powder puff. He has a much nicer car than I. 

Here is Mary Madison’s tree, a pond cypress

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. 


And now. Big difference. 

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….). 

Jesus’ powder puff. Not the dwarf but the regular I guess. 

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 spectacular buttonwood. 

Rob Kempinsk’s elægnus. I love those trees, I wish we had more available but they’ve been put on the “almost” invasive list for Florida. 

This is Mary’s pond cypress with leaves. 

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.)

An impressive wrightia religiosa.  They call it the water jasmine because the flowers hang down and the only way to view them is in the reflection in a pool of water. 

Or when they fall. 

A foemina juniper belonging to Jason Schley. 

A chunky ficus salicaria from my bud Ronn

Two ficus microcarpa. You’ve seen this one in a blogpost from last year (Click here

And Bobby Block’s tree. 

My tree when it went in. 

And now. It’s an American hornbeam. 

Paul Pikel’s podocarpus. 

Nice carving job. 

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. 

It’s one of the best I’ve seen anywhere. 

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. 

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in goings, Horticulture and growing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Bsf/Epcot Flower and Garden Festival bonsai trees: 2016

  1. remotecontrolhands says:

    Any chance you have a higher res image of the jaboticaba? I want to go on more than faith that it is a great tree, but the lo-res 2in x 2in image makes it pretty hard to tell.
    Love your blog!

  2. Jim says:

    Great photos of the Epcot displays. I just repotted a Chinese Elm in St. Augustine. I know I’m a little past the suggested time frame for this action but it’s not an expensive tree so I thought I’d take the risk. It’s starting to drop some leaves after several days of the repot. Should I defoliate it or let it do its thing?

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