Cascades & Phoenix grafts at our monthly meeting

Yesterday was our monthly club meeting as always there where great topics to discuss. The chosen topic for the day was cascades. We covered both cascade styles, Kengai (full cascade) & Han-kengai (semi cascade). It was interesting how everyone in the club had they own interpretation of the two styles. We had an in-depth discussion on tree species that are suitable to grow as cascade bonsai. The two tree species that was mentioned by most of the members were Junipers and Cotoneasters.

We took trees along for discussion. Always difficult as you need to be open for feedback. With that said you can choose weather you want to take the advice or if you want to continue the tree by using your own interpretation. Bonsai is an art form and if all of us use these rule or as I like to look at them guidelines to the “T” all the trees in the world would look the same. For this reason I believe that we need to respect other artists trees and only give feedback if asked to do so. Here is a few photos of trees that other members brought to the meeting:

The tree below was an interesting one. It is what we call a phoenix graft. Its a Juniper grafted to a Wild Olive that died. The owner spent a lot of time shaping this piece of deadwood so he did not want it to go to waste.

After the meeting I took a walk through the Stellenbosch botanical gardens. We are tasked as a club to look after the bonsai collection. We replant, prune and care to the trees as a club. We have volunteers that help with this huge task as there are a lot of trees in the collection. One of the trees in the collection dates back to 1945.

Here are a few photos of the collection:

It’s been a great day. As always I got back home with a new passion for bonsai and had plans for all my trees. I looked at my trees with ideas and methods that I would like to try.

Hope you enjoyed the blog. Any comments, questions and feedback is welcome.



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