Winter is almost over! There was almost no winter here in Florida so our trees haven’t had much rest. Even the citrus is confused, but bonsai enthusiasts, tourists and snowbirds are loving it. Yaay! Come on down (or up or over or whichever direction is appropriate) because Walt Disney World’s 20th annual Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, presented by HGTV, runs for 75 days from March 6–May 19, 2013. And members of the Central Florida Bonsai Club, are once again at the Festival Center, the Wonders of Life building (the one with the golden dome near the Test Track), displaying bonsai and answering the guests’ questions about bonsai. I will be there on March 9 and several other times throughout the Festival. Check out Orlando Bonsai’s Facebook page frequently for upcoming pix that I will take this year. At Epcot, where people visit from around the world, it is easy to feel a connection with everyone through the shared love of plants and bonsai.
Last month, I had the privilege to attend a Deciduous tree workshop at D & L Nursery near Ocala where Owen Reich shared information and demonstrated skills learned as an apprentice at Fujikawa kouka-en in Osaka, Japan. Owen stressed that it takes time to create the “perfect” tree. He talked about how important it is to look for a good trunk as it is the hardest thing to change on a bonsai. Owen also encouraged us to make large cuts on trees over time so they will heal faster and not stress the tree. Making a lot of major cuts on the tree in the same year is not good for the health of the tree. He said you will have a better looking tree in the long run by using this method. The goal is to not even know that the branch was cut. He also talked about wiring the roots which happens all the time in Japan but not so much in America. He demonstrated wiring branches using a ‘rhythmic wrap’ while introducing movement – up, down, left and right. There were many little tips and tricks that Owen shared along the way as he demonstrated using each participant’s trees. I really encourage you to attend any event where Owen is teaching; he has a ‘laid back’ style and shares a lot of information as he goes. He plans to go back to Japan in a few years to continue his studies.
In February I went for a walk in nearby Fleet People’s park where old live oaks abound and dogs too. It’s a dog park so if you visit, be prepared for them to be running free. They are very social and love their park. It’s a fenced-in lakeside park and has a war memorial walk nearby and connects to a walking/bike path that goes for miles. If you want to see the pictures of the most amazing movement in the branches of these old oaks, look for the pictures on our Facebook page. I promise it will be worth clicking on the link! These pictures are my reminders as I try to emulate their aged look into my bonsai trees as I am wiring branches.
As you are looking for your spring bonsai supplies, if there is something you are looking for and don’t see it in Orlando Bonsai’s store, let us know as it is likely we can find it at one of our suppliers if we really don’t have it. We always have trees and supplies that aren’t displayed on the site yet. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Speaking of Spring, remember to spring forward 1 hour as Daylight Saving Time starts in the USA & Canada this Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2:00 am.