Bonsai in Wales Show 2012

What taste the Team from Bonsai in Wales have, for providing the Bonsai in Wales Show 2012 in the magnificent setting of the Orangery and Stables of the late 17th century mansion of Tredegar House near Newport – one of the wonders of Wales.



It is situated in 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands and the Orangery Garden appears like an intricate carpet, the surface covered with different coloured materials including sea shells, crushed lime mortar, brick and coal dust, and a variety of coloured sands and grass.

The idea of the Show all started a couple of years ago, when Cardiff Club Chairman, Peter Fielding and Glynderi Bonsai Club Chairman, Keith Wilson had a vision of holding a National Bonsai Show, exhibiting some of the best trees in Wales or of Wales origin.  With the help of Anne Campbell, and quite a few enthusiastic members, it has all now come to fruition.

The standard of trees of show was truly amazing, with Malcolm Hughes exhibiting his ‘Seigen Maple’, the first time it has been to Wales!  This tree was originally imported about 40 years ago by Peter Adams, possibly 100 years old at the time and featured in several of his books.  There was an abundance of top quality trees, one of my favourites being Tony Tickle’s cascading prunus spinosa with barbed wire stand!  Let us know what yours is?

Demonstration by Kevin Willson

Demonstration by Kevin Willson

Demonstrations took place in the ‘stables’ and ‘orangery’ and continued throughout the day.  Kevin Willson, wearing an attractive head bandana, and his Yamadori school showcasing their carving.  Meanwhile, Alex Evelyn was in great form styling and performing a complete transformation of his demonstration tree and Will Baddeley from Wildwood Bonsai, was not being outdone, also carving and protecting himself with some sturdy goggles.

There were several traders supporting the show, together with a good selection of pots from Walsall Pottery, John Pitt and Tony Remington – it is difficult not to treat yourself.

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9 Responses to Bonsai in Wales Show 2012

  1. Janice says:

    I couldn’t disagree more regarding Tonys prunus. Im my and many others opinions it shouldn’t of been displayed with such good quality bonsai. It looked so out of place. And that it not just the daft idea of emulating the amnesty international barbed wire affect on the stand. The tree was not in the league of those such as Kevin Willison and Simon Temblett.

    • Many thanks for your comments.

      So who will decide what is art, who will decide what is a bonsai?
      Are we going to endow or delegate some privileged individuals with that task? Or are we to have a committee to decide it? Are we going to award degrees or design tests or are we going to say “I know art when I see it!” and by extension “I know bonsai when I see one!”

      … and congratulations to the Organisers for such a brilliant Show.

  2. Tony Tickle says:

    Oh Dear Janice, so did you dislike the tree, or the concept? Its a shame because Dan Barton (My Sensei) considered the display to be ‘creative and beautiful’ but then again what does he know?

  3. Fiona says:

    He probably would at least know not to say “shouldn’t of”. 😉

  4. Simon Haddon says:

    I like what Tony has produced as I think it’s good to experiment and push the boundaries. Art evolves, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Andy Pearson used a tea bowl and Peter Warren had used a cricket ball as Accents at major Shows and some Accents now are turning into dioramas, does this mean that they are wrong? And as for us “artists” that use garden shrubs and turn them into trees, should we also be criticized for not using recognized material? If anything “we” should be seen in a different light as producing a “tree” from a border plant is an art in itself. Bonsai is constantly changing and we should embrace it or it, and we, will wither and die.

  5. Andy says:

    Personally I love the concept and the display of Tony’s tree. Very original and different. I am sure when Picasso painted the Weeping Woman, people asked what was he thinking when he did it as many still ask why, about Damien Hirst’s work. No artists should be put down or burnt at the stake just because people don’t like the work. It all boils down to taste.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I know it’s a cliché to say, I was thinking outside the box or in Tony’s case, outside the pot but I believe we must not stifle creativity and artistic expression with rigid rules. I must reiterate that these are my personal views and not necessarily those of the Sussex Bonsai Group, I merely write and administer the Blog. (from Ginette Thurston)

  6. David Cheshire says:

    An excellent display and event, credit to all those who’s trees were displayed, and a credit to the endless efforts from Peter and all those involved in staging this event.

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