Friends of Bonsai

Known affectionately as the “Saturday Morning Club”, the membership has grown very rapidly, and we all strongly believe that this is due to the “Down to Earth” and “Practical” way in which the art is being expressed. All teaching is carried out by involving its members through a hands on approach. This coupled with the friendly rapport and Craic (good humour) within its membership
A totally different approach has been taken in the setting up of the club. With no fees for membership, or no committee etc we have, in effect, done away with usual rules and regulations which tend to dominate any club or society, thus leaving people free to concentrate on what is really important. BONSAI.  As we have a non-fee paying membership all our funds come from voluntary donations, sponsorships and fund raising.  Each year we bring over to the province a bonsai master /demonstrator from Friends of Bonsai was formed in 1995 to provide the means to deal with the overwhelming demand for knowledge in the Art of Bonsai. From the very basics  like pruning, watering,  repotting  to the more advanced styling techniques  required to convert nursery stock and collected material into fabulous Bonsai. Its founder members Cliff Farley and Louis Hook brought with them a vast pool of knowledge with a combined 30 years experience between them training under some of Europe’s top masters which they enthusiastically passed on to its members
Europe. In the past we have been privileged to have had Kevin Wilson,(England)  Chi Tan, (Holland) Salvatore Liporace,(Italy)  Hotsumi Terakawa, (Holland /Japan) Marco invernizzi,(Italy)  David Prescott,(England)  Steve Tolley (England) and Marc Noelanders  ( Belgium).Marc presently joins us every September to conduct a Bonsai school.   (Places are strictly limited).
Friends of Bonsai meet on the first Saturday of every month.

To start our new series of reviewing Bonsai clubs, we visit Friends of Bonsai in Northern Ireland.

Known affectionately as the “Saturday Morning Club”, the membership of ‘Friends of Bonsai’ in Northern Ireland has grown rapidly since it’s foundation in 1995.

Cliff Farley, co-founder strongly believes that this is due to the “Down to Earth” and “Practical” way in which the art is being expressed. All teaching is carried out by involving its members through a hands on approach. This coupled with the friendly rapport and Craic (Irish good humour) within its membership.

A totally different approach has been taken in the setting up of the club. With no fees for membership, or no committee etc we have, in effect, done away with usual rules and regulations which tend to dominate any club or society, thus leaving people free to concentrate on what is really important ‘BONSAI’. As we have a non-fee paying membership all our funds come from voluntary donations, sponsorships and fund raising.

Friends of Bonsai was formed to provide the means to deal with the overwhelming demand for knowledge in the Art of Bonsai. From the very basics  like pruning, watering,  repotting  to the more advanced styling techniques  required to convert nursery stock and collected material into fabulous Bonsai. Its founder members Cliff Farley and Louis Hook brought with them a vast pool of knowledge with a combined 30 years experience between them training under some of Europe’s top masters which they enthusiastically passed on to its members.

In the past we have been privileged to have had Kevin Wilson,(England)  Chi Tan, (Holland) Salvatore Liporace,(Italy)  Hotsumi Terakawa, (Holland /Japan) Marco invernizzi,(Italy)  David Prescott,(England)  Steve Tolley (England) and Marc Noelanders (Belgium). Marc joins us every September to conduct a Bonsai school.   (Places are strictly limited).

Check out the clubs Gallery on Flickr .

Location: George Green Hall, Rathgill Parade, Balloo, Bangor.

Time: First Saturday of every month from 10 am to 1pm.

Email:

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Craig Coussins Shishigashira Bonsai


(c) Craig Coussins
(c) Craig Coussins

Craig Coussins will be exhibiting a ‘Shishigashira’ Acer Palmatum at the John Hanby Newstead Show in September.

The tree was grown from a cutting taken in 1970 by the well respected Bonsai UK Master Ken Shalliker . The tree came into Craig’s possession in 2005. It had not been maintained for a number of years.

Craig started to work on bringing the tree back to some shape and in 2008 it was re-potted into an Antique pot signed Shuho (1750).  In 2009 the maintenance was taken over by Bonsai Master Peter Foele from Belgium. Peter helps Craig maintain the Coussin’s Bonsai Collection.

Other facts on the trees to be exhibited.

The Shishi Pot,  is Turquoise drip glaze Tokoname Kilns made by the Yoshimura to-en-(Family). The Shishi is on a 18th century Japanese table and the scroll is a recently restored 18th century tea house scroll of a stone lantern with falling autumn leaves.

Another tree to be exhibited is a 20 year old Mame Rowan tree four inches tall and covered in pink berries. That is on a 17th century lacquered stand.

Read Craig Coussins, Styles of Bonsai

Show Location:

Newstead Bonsai & Garden Centre

Newstead Lane (B6428)
Havercroft
Wakefield
West Yorkshire
WF4 2HW
Telephone: 0044 (
0) 1977 61004

Date: September 18′ to 19′ 2010

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Other September 2010 shows:

September 5′ – Bonsai Boot Sale being held by Dragon Bonsai at Bonllyw.

September 9′ – Marc Noelanders (Belgium) workshop. Friends of Bonsai Northern Ireland. Contact Cliff Farley – cliff.farley at btinternet.com

September 26′ – Bonsai Traders Association stands at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield. Club displays, demonstrations, competitions, shohin and suiseki displays. Details from Alan Harriman (China Mist) 0044 (0) 1427 890434.

What Bonsai Tree are YOU

As Bonsai and garden lovers we spend alot of time getting to know our trees, we get intimate with shaping, trimming and styling. We water and feed, but how close are we to our trees! If we were a Bonsai tree what type of tree would we be.

In the following list, map your birth date against your tree type and then take a look at you description. Let me know how accurate it is and above all have fun.

January 2 to January 11 Fir

January 12 to January 24 Elm

January 25 to February 3 Cypress

February 4 to February 8 Poplar

February 9 to February 18 Cedar

February 19 to February 28 Pine

March 1 to March 10 Willow

March 11 to March 20 Lime

March 21 Oak

March 22 to March 31 Hazelnut

April 1 to April 10   Rowan

April 11 to April 20 Maple

April 21 to April 30   Walnut

May 1 to May 14 Poplar

May 15 to May 24 Chestnut

May 25 to June 3 Ash

June 4 to June 13 Hornbeam

June 14     to June 23 Fig

June 24 Birch

June 25 to July 4 Apple

July 5 to July 14 Fir

July 15 to July 25 Elm

July 26 to August 4 Cypress

August 5 to August 13 Poplar

August 14 to August 23 Cedar

August 24 to September 2 Pine

September 3 to September 12 Willow

September 13 to September 22 Lime

September 23 Olive

September 24 to October 3 Hazelnut

October 4 to October 13 Rowan

October 14 to October 23 Maple

October 24 to November 11 Walnut

November 12 to November 21 Chestnut

December 23 to January 1 Apple

Apple (Love) … quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous sensitive,loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash (Ambition) … extremely attractive, vivacious,
impulsive, demanding, does not care
for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented,
likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic,
reliable, restless lover, sometimes money
rules over the heart, demands attention,
needs love and much emotional support.

Ash (Ambition) … extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech (Creative) … has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sport, etc).

Birch (Inspiration) … vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves live in nature and is calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar (Confidence) … of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut (Honesty) … of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others’ feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress (Faithfulness) … strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but does not necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm (Noble-mindedness) … pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble minded, generous, good sense of humour, practical.

Fig (Sensibility) … very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, few sexual relationships, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir (Mysterious) … extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut (Extraordinary) … charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam (Good Taste) … of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egotistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgement in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime (Doubt) … intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple (Independence of Mind) … no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak (Brave) … robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feed on the ground, person of action.

Olive (Wisdom) … loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine (Peacemaker) … loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar (Uncertainty) … looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan (Sensitivity) … full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egotism, likes to draw attention, loves live, motion, unrest and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut (Passion) … unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, not compromise.

Willow (Melancholy) … likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal steadfast partner, loves to make others laugh.

For reference I am a Pine (Peacemaker) and it is very accurate.

The original author of this piece is unknown…

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Aronia, Great Super Food

Chokeberries at Tinytrees Wicklow
Chokeberries at tinytrees wicklow

Every year at the Tinytrees garden I try something new to grow, mainly anything healthy and that can be eaten. Last year I planted some bareroot Choke Berries (Aronia) and this year it produced its first crop. Their are two varieties available Black (Aronia melanocarpa) and Red (Aronia arbutifoilia). The variety I grow is Aronia melanocarpa.

The Chokeberry or Aronia is a member of the Rosaceae family and is most commonly grown as a garden shrub. It is claimed to have great health benefits and have the highest level of antioxidants. See references below.

How to Grow.

If you want to grow the Choke Berry, don’t worry they are not that difficult. They are very tolerant plants and don’t have many pests or diseases to deal with. They are suitable for beginners.

  • Plant in well drained moist soil.
  • After choosing your location, dig a whole about a meter deep (three foot three in old type) and about two times the width of the root-ball.
  • Before planting put some stones in the base of the hole to help with drainage. Fill the hole with plenty of water and let it drain off.
  • When planting fill up with good rich soil. I normally place the old grass sods upside down on top of the soil. Then water again once planted.
  • Water well in first couple of months.

The plant over time does throw out some suckers, so make sure it has room to grow.

The Fun Part, Eating…

Raw berries are extremely tart (hence the name “chokeberry”), so they’re best when cooked and made into a health juice, jam or wine. Myself I prefer warming them slightly in the oven and adding  some natural sugar. See list below for more details.

Can you Bonsai them? I have never tried. Let me know if you have…

4 c. chokecherry juice
3/4 to 1 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. farina or cream of wheat
Cream
Heat the juice to boiling and slowly add farina, sugar and salt.
Stirring constantly, cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until; farina is
done.  Transfer to a large bowl and cool to lukewarm.
Beat with mixer at high speed for about 20 minutes until mixture is
light and fluffy. Serve chilled with cream.
—————————–
Chokecherry Cordial Pie
Crust
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
Press into 9″x 13″ pan. Bake 10 minutes @ 350°F
Chokecherry pudding sauce
2 cups chokecherry juice (process described later)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Add cornstarch to 1/2 cup cold juice. To the remainder of the juice
add sugar and bring to boil; add cornstarch/juice mixture. Cook to
thicken. Add salt and almond extract. Cool.
Chokecherry Juice
Cover chokecherry fruit with water, mash and boil at the same time.
After boil, simmer for a half hour mashing occasionally. Squeeze
through a cheese cloth or push through a jelly press taking care not
to crush pits. Crush to extract as much flavor as possible! Pits are
very sturdy and will be very hard to break open
—————————-
Chokecherry Pie
1 9″ baked pie shell
2 cups chokecherry juice
3 level tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
small pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Cook ingredients until thick, stirring constantly. Cool.
Pour into pie shell and chill.
Serve with whipped cream or cream topping.
——————————-
Chokecherry Crown Rolls
ingredients for the recipe
4 1/4 cup flour unsifted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 package yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup margarine
1  Egg — room temperature
Chokecherry filling:
2 cup Chokecherries — pitted
1 cup Chokecherry juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
recipe preparation
Blend chokecherry juice with sugar and cornstarch. Cook, stirring
constantly until thickened and clear. Add pitted chokecherries. Cool.
In large bowl mix 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast.
Combine milk, water and margarine in sauce pan and heat over low heat
until liquid is very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Margarine doesn’t need
to have melted.
Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of
electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1/2 cup flour.
Beat at high speed 2 minutes. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff
batter. Cover bowl tightly with foil. Chili 2 hours or overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let warm up and raise slightly, about
1/2 hour. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board, divide into 18 pieces.
Roll each piece into a rope, 15 inches long.
Hold one end of each rope in place and wind dough around loosely to form
coil. Tuck end firmly underneath. Place on greased baking sheets about
2 inches apart. Cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Make indentations about 1 inch wide in center of each coil. Pressing to
bottom. Fill with chokecherry filling,
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove from pans
and cool on wire racks. When cool. Drizzle with thin icing.

Where to buy in Europe:

If you want to grow your own see Future Forests.

See the following links for more health information:

Article I wrote on antioxidant-fruits.com on Chokeberries, the poor mans Gogi berry


http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/choke-berry.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/aug/20/sciencenews.cancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aronia

http://www.discount-vitamins-herbs.net/aronia_chokeberry.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_4519054_understand-amazing-health-benefits-chokeberry.html

Recipes:

http://www.antioxidant-fruits.com/aronia-berry-recipes.html

http://www.superberries.com/recipes/recipe-detail?fdid=965549