WINNER! SPRING GIVE AWAY #1

Congratulations to Dale Mushinski, the winner of East Van Bonsai’s 2021 Spring Give Away #1.

The prize; 3 bags of bonsai fertilizer and 8 rolls of bonsai wire. Just a little something for this years bonsai season. Thank you to those who entered by email, website comments and the entries on the Vancouver Bonsai facebook group posting. It was neat to read all your favourite tree species. Only one winner could be chosen out of over 70 entries. Best of luck next time. Speaking of next time… Stay tuned for Spring Give Away #2 later this month.

A TRIP TO BENS FARM & GARDEN CENTRE

Located in Surrey, this old family-run nursery is rather un-assuming from the road. I have driven by on my way to another nursery at least twice in the past, and never considered going in. That was a mistake.

Seemingly off the radar, Ben’s is a great source for various tree stock destined to be bonsai. While the price points can seem way up or quite cheap from tree to tree, there are deals to be had. More importantly, there is new rotating stock and older plants overlooked by the common people. This was the first resource that I have considered keeping under my hat. A local hidden gem which I can see myself going back to again and again. Bonsai, for me at least is about sharing. So if you haven’t been, do yourself a favour and check it out. I had to show restraint on my first visit. There were two old Spruce with outrageously fat trunks. The bark, the movement and the price, at only one hundred dollars had me bug eyed. They among other things had to be left behind. I blew my early spring budget on my other purchases. The Chinese Dogwood, Cornus Kousa Chinensis was high on my wishlist, and there it was. With all the characteristics it needed for bonsai greatness. Magnolia Kobus, another wishlist tree was not there, but a very shapely “Susan” variety caught my eye. It was also far cheaper than any magnolia I looked over at other places. And I’ve been looking. Finally, I picked up a beautifully structured Pomegranate for fifty. I spent a couple hours walking the grounds and exploring the rows of trees. Just to name a few other things worth mentioning, there were large and old Wisteria, Witch Hazel, Japanese Maple, various Dogwoods, Spruce, some Pine, Pyracantha, Honeysuckle, Quince, the common fruit trees(all grafted), a very short and muscular Olive variety, and even more. I would have taken pictures to share, but when I began, I was asked to stop and not take any photos. Oh well. Go and see for yourself, but don’t tell anyone. Let’s keep this between us.

Ben’s Farm and Garden Centre is located at 18341 Fraser Hwy, Surrey, BC V3S 8H6.

604 574 4135. Open daily from 9am to 5pm.

WILD TREES

Deciduous trees! For those who have come to our bonsai nights or know me personally, well you are probably aware of how much I love deciduous trees. Apart from five conifers, all my bonsai are deciduous. European artists like Walter Pal really grab my attention with their natural looking, collected trees. Bonsai artist Marija Hajdic in Croatia is another to take note of. Her deciduous bonsai are incredible. Especially the collected prunus and carpinus. Here is a short video produced by Bonsai Empire (bonsaiempire.com) which shows one of her trees. More on Marija Hajdic below.

The website is meledabonsai.com . There are trees available for sale, but only shipped across Europe. We can dream. Have a look at her website to see the outstanding work she has been doing. For a deciduous bonsai fanatic such as myself, she is nothing short of inspiring.

MINOR FACELIFT & NEW RESOURCES

The East Van Bonsai website has undergone some small cosmetic changes. New resources have been added under the bonsai stockists and suppliers section. Check out all the bonsai related resources and stay tuned for more updates this spring. We are hoping to put together a show and sale this year. Fingers crossed, but we shall wait and see. Use the menu buttons or click HERE for the resources page.