Bonsai Today

Online magazine for Bonsai lovers

Column

Living the dream

I am sure that at some point during a work day our minds have wandered to the trees in our gardens and dreamt that we could leave the mundane job...


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Photograph everything

Tony Tickle explains why it's important to keep an organised photographic record of your trees.


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Do you have too many trees?

I have visited the gardens of numerous bonsai enthusiasts and what surprises me most is that frequently they have far too many trees to maintain.


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Bonsai Legacy

The concept of leaving a legacy is the need or the desire to be remembered for what we have contributed to the world. In some cases, that contribution can be so exceptional that the universe is unalterably changed. For most mere mortals who walk this earth, however, the majority will…...


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Zeitgeist of bonsai

Tony discusses who or what is driving the bonsai zeitgeist in the West. Who or what is making a real difference to the Western world of bonsai? I am privileged to have witnessed many of the top artists in action and I have visited major exhibitions around the world. The…...


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Raising the potters’ bar beyond Japan

I’m sure that I am not alone in having shelves of beautiful pots created by some of the best potters outside the boundaries of Japan, as well as a couple from Japan itself. My collection has generally been bought from potters selling their work at bonsai shows, although several have…...


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How far can we go?

It is fairly safe to say that bonsai in the West has reached a very high level because major exhibitions such as the Gingko Award and the Trophy brought together trees from many nations. And this has evolved even further over the last 25 years with shows of higher quality…...


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Like or Wow!

The Internet is not always good for bonsai By Tony Tickle with the assistance of Banquo I have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and, in a bid to boost her skills, she uses online sources rather than formal educational courses. In a short time she has discovered that…...


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My favourite tree

By Tony Tickle with assistance from Banquo. ‘Which is your favourite bonsai?’ is a question I am often asked when I have visitors to my garden. My usual reply of: ‘The one I am currently working on.’ is often greeted with dismay or even disbelief. Surely everyone has a favourite…...


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The final one

This exercise ends here: When I was invited to have a regular column, I had guessed I would have lasted a couple of years; it’s been more than five and 25 columns. I had never before done such work and I hesitated a good deal before trying it. I was…...


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Trees talk to me

As Clint Eastwood once famously sang in ‘Paint Your Wagon’, ‘I talk to the trees’, I find that trees talk to me and I suspect that they ‘speak’ to many of you, too. Recently, scientists discovered that trees talk to each other, but it seems we all like to talk…...


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Bonsai addicts because therapy did not work

This was the slogan I saw on the back of a shirt when I was in South Africa. It turns out the ‘Bonsai Addicts’ are a group of enthusiasts, but it was the sentiment ‘because therapy did not work’ that hit a nerve with me. In all the years I…...


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I dreamed a dream

My 28-year-old niece recently viewed my bonsai collection and I was fascinated by her reactions to the trees. She is creative and inquisitive and was captivated by many of the plants. And yet curiously, neither dramatic deadwood creations, nor the large trees, drew her attention; what fired her up most…...


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Abstract bonsai, possible?

Contemporary Western art requires that focus be given not only to the aesthetic but also the intellectual contemplation of a work. It follows the belief that the artistic experience happens in the contemplative space between the artist, the work, and the viewer, and that in this space an artist can…...


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The end, or a new beginning?

I don’t know if it’s a generation issue, or simply that the first wave of serious bonsai enthusiasts in Europe has reached an age whereby they cannot maintain their collections, or simply want to move on their trees to the next generation to take them further. With a number of…...


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It pays to show

The letter has arrived. Anxiously you pick it up. The postmark tells you all you need to know about where it has come from. Your heart thumps. With trepidation you open the envelope. YES! For anyone with a passion for bonsai, that day when your tree is accepted into a…...


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Women and Bonsai

Over the last few years the discussion as to why there are ‘so few women in bonsai’ has spasmodically raised its head and a recent well-intentioned thread on social media went as far as to ask for suggestions as to how the perceived lack could be remedied. If you are…...


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