We just returned from an awesome trip to Oregon, where we met some great bonsai people, ate delicious food and saw truly amazing bonsai everywhere we went!
The purpose of our tip was to attend Michael Hagedorn’s Winter Seasonal. The main focus for this seasonal is Repotting but we learned far more. Maybe instead of the “Repotting Seasonal” it should be called the “Chopsticking Seasonal”.. .where you chopstick, then chopstick… .and then chopstick some more… LOL! Just kidding! But we did far more chopsticking in three days than we have probably ever done.. .ever 🙂 Beyond learning to chopstick, we learned how to make our own “custom” chopsticks, and how to use these in numerous ways; often in ways I never would have imagined when re-potting! —
Steve and I were able to re-pot a limber pine collected by Michael 3 years ago, as well as spruce, maple, holly, stewartia and a few other trees. There was no shortage of spring bonsai work to be done! And the entire process was covered from soil components, tools, sifting, mixing, mossing, pot prep… .etc. You get the idea. We built boxes and did a few other related tasks as well. — The lessons we learned are invaluable to us. 🙂 — I ought to mention that the food was AWESOME too!
If it’s starting to sound like we had a great time… .well we did!.. .lol
Please check out his site, http://crataegus.com/seasonals/ We highly recommend the seasonal classes if you are not from the Portland area. If you are from the Portland area then you have many more opportunities to study with him. Again… highly recommended!
Michael also graciously led us around his garden critiquing the finer points of his own trees. We learned how to identify the most valuable characteristics in collected trees. I would say the main point went something like this: Foliage can always be repositioned, but the base mechanics of Yamadori material will either make a tree great or always hold it back. — This will likely be one of the most valuable lessons in regards to our future business.
On top of everything else we made some good friends in the west coast bonsai community. Michael for one. John and Andy were in the class with us; It was great studying with you both! — We also met up with Tom, a Portlander I met a while back and have been emailing back and forth with, who led us around on Sunday before the class to some local private nurseries. We saw spectacular trees at all locations, including his own collection! Thanks Tom! Thanks also to Greg and Scott for allowing us to visit! Another big thanks to Diane from WeeTree for meeting us at the Garland Nurserie! It was wonderful meeting you all and we look forward to coming back.
The last day, before we hit the road, we were privileged with the opportunity to visit Ryan Neil’s home and nursery. It is certainly a must see, with probably one of the largest collections of spectacular bonsai is the USA. You can see his place at http://www.bonsaimirai.com — Thanks Ryan!
All I can say is, Portland is on fire with bonsai and bonsai talent! It was awesome being there and learning from one of the best!
And more pic’s: (Also look for an upcoming blog form Michael http://www.crataegus.com about this seasonal)
Thanks Michael for a great class!
Thanks for reading,