Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event…..be inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow.
I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.
Memory Lane – Joy of Bonsai, Bath 2003..Huge landscape!
I was truly honoured when my friend and mentor Dan Barton asked if my school would be interested in taking over the stage and putting on a display at one of his prestigious “Joy of Bonsai” events.
Having wholeheartedly agreed to do it the big question then was quite simply what do we do???
An exhibition of trees on one side, a work in progress display in the middle and on the other side a …………….???
I still don’t know where the idea sprung from but it turned out to be one of those “inspired” moments! (These days all I seem to get are “senior” moments!)
I knew we had a lot of group plantings within the school so what about putting them together over 4 six foot tables to create one really large landscape. I arranged a day when anyone interested could simply turn up with their forest planting.
Getting the groups was one thing, putting them together to make a plausible arrangement was something much more difficult. It was good that we had some different varieties and different heights. This would enable us to create interest and depth.
The rehearsal went well and we were not only able to make a selection from the groups but also a layout plan showing precisely where they would be in the finished landscape.
And so it came to pass that the bonsai convoy set out for Bath around Friday lunchtime ready for setting up early on the Saturday morning before the show opened to the public.
Setting up went surprisingly well no doubt due to good planning and rehearsals beforehand. Everyone “mucked in” and the result was well worth all the hard work.
The tables were angled lengthways on the stage and the landscape arranged so that visitors climbing the steps on to the stage immediately saw the largest trees first and then a vista through the landscape to the smallest trees at the rear.
None of the trees were removed from their pots or slabs.
The creation was brought together using moss and chicken wire. We had a simulated river bed and thanks to David being a model railway enthusiast we had a cottage, some sheep and a man fishing. ( In fact if I hadn’t reined them in we could well have had “The Flying Scotsman” steaming through the glen!)
The creation was really well received throughout the weekend. It was something a little bit different, something that both enthusiasts and the general public could relate to. I was really grateful to Dan for giving my students the chance to exhibit the fruits of their labour and dedication.
I truly hope they did him proud…………I think they did!!!