BCI Taiwan 2017
4 months ago Nebby 0
Source: Bonsai Tree Blog.
Currently, I am attending the BCI (Bonsai Clubs International) Convention which is being held in Taiwan. I came with some very specific goals and one of them was to see some incredible Celtis sinensis, for which Taiwan is rather famous for. I have not been disappointed, however aside from the Celtis, there are some amazing trees of many other species including Bougainvillea, Ficus, Murraya, Hibiscus and quite a good number more.
The following photos are but a few from a much larger gallery that I have amassed, however I am sure you will still enjoy them.
Gallery Part 1
Image caption. Juniper shimpaku on display, which was actually the “poster” tree for the convention also.
Image caption. A defoliated ficus (species is currently unknown as the name tag was only in Chinese)
Image caption. A incredible Bougainvillea spectabilis in flower.
Image caption. Another wonderful ficus, defoliated to appreciate the incredible ramification. Of course it has a functional reason too.
Image caption. The China Pine Association also had a display area in one of the gardens we visited. This very nice 3 point display of accent plant, scroll and pine tree (Pinus massoniana) caught my eye.
Image caption. For the final tree in this first part of the gallery I’d like to end with a bang. This is a Hibiscus tiliaceus. Would you like to grow one? If so you’d be glad to know its indigenous to South Africa and goes by the common names of wild cotton tree, coast hibiscus, lagoon hibiscus, tree hibiscus, wildekatoenboom or kusvuurblom.
Gallery Part 2
As VIP guests, the participants of the post convention tour were treated to quite a number of special events, venues normally closed to the public and to trees not frequently displayed.
One such venue was the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum where we were privileged to see more amazing trees including shohin, which is not a size tree you often seem to see in Taiwan.
Image caption. Another gorgeous Premna, a tree which is also indigenous to South Africa yet very few are actually cultivating as bonsai.
Image caption. The Celtis sinensis (Hackberry) are simply fantastic here and I cannot get enough of them!
Image caption. This is a Cork bark variety of Celtis sinensis which I have never seen before. The ramification is something I dream about achieving.
Image caption. I have not seen too many olives here, in fact I think this is the first one. A wonderful little shohin sized tree it is indeed.
Image caption. I am not a fan of Portulacaria, to be honest. However seeing trees of this standard is a good example of what is possible with them, and I might be converted yet.
Image caption. This has gone to be one of the best shohin Celtis sinensis I have ever seen. What baffles my mind is the ability to grow these trees with such trunk girth but yet no visible scarring.
Image caption. I am sorry that I cannot tell you what this species is as the name tag was only in Mandarin. If you know what it is (100% certain) please let me know and I will update this caption. Wonderful tree though, no matter what it is.
Gallery Part 3
While still on the tour arranged by the Taiwan Bonsai Association we were granted access to a private bonsai collection. Apparanetly the owner is a very wealthy businessman who has amassed an incredible collection of Juniper which has actually now been recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the largest collection of Juniper bonsai over a certain age. Nothing is for sale at this nursery yet it spans an immense area, filled with really amazing trees of all species.
Image caption. A very large and shapely Beefwood. These trees are considered invasive in South Africa as they propagate so easily from seed and they are also used as windbreaks on Cape wine-farms. Strange that nobody has taken the time to develop these trees back home.
Image caption. I am really not a fan of this approach to bonsai styling ie the clearly defined foliage pads with a upward tilt to them – it looks too much like topiary to me. However I put this image in as it is a magnificent tree nonetheless. For those of you who cannot get or cannot grow pines this tree might be considered a substitute.
Image caption. In this garden, as is the case of most Taiwanese bonsai in fact, you cannot move them by hand but need access to a crane.
Image caption. When one sees what the Taiwanese have done with the humble Syzygium or commonly known as Water berry or Brush cherry then I think we are missing out on an opportunity. Most of us only grow them as hedges!
Image caption. Another example of the same species as mentioned before. One can create truly natural forms with these trees. Their new growth has a beautiful red or burgundy colour, they have white flowers and will bear fruit. Their bark has an interesting colour too. They grow quickly and break back easily on old wood. What more could one ask for in a species for bonsai cultivation?
Image caption. I don’t believe I have ever seen a Hackberry in a cascading style. This tree is magnificent. Its sheer size is enough to create immense presence, but the level of detail in the ramification is really pleasing also. Personally, I cannot stand the container but it does seem to be the preferred style here.
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