Saturday Workshop

Attention Los Locos de Arbolitos!! Well, friends, this is the weekend you’ve been waiting for— the Superbowl, Armageddon, Your First Kiss, The Birth of Your Children, and the Oakland Roller Derby Finals all rolled into ONE !!!! We will meet at the palatial home of Janine and Gordon (contact Jesús or Karl for details if you’ve never been there) as close to 9:00 on Saturday as George and I can get there. I can’t remember the address, but maybe Jesus has it. I hope Burt has devised some fiendishly clever way to divvy up the trees, and we’ll get rolling as soon as we get our cheesy act together on that front. In a moment of lucid stupidity, I sent Nelson B. a “schedule” of how I’d like to see our work proceed, but I can feel it slipping into darkness as we speak. No matter— we are going to have fun if it kills us all. If you are new, and having any sort of reticent feelings about  digging in, get over it immediately!! Our Club has always been friendly to the Beginner’s Mind, and this will be no exception. Watchers are also welcome.

As I said, we will work both days and you will come away with something you like no matter how long it takes. We will also have a few souls who can’t be there Saturday, so we’ll review stuff on Sun. and if you want to do another tree or make a small forest, we’ll go for it. We can even change containers if you wish on Sat pm or Sun, but we will not drastically repot.

In the aforementioned vein, our semi-beloved host, Mr. Gordon van Wasabi, has announced that he will be in Fla. on Saturday, so we will depend on the tender mercies of Ms Janine on the first day. From past experience, this will be no problem,  since she has long been regarded as the Brains of that outfit in any event. I think sandwiches will be present for a Puttering Lunch— am I correct??

Remember that tools and wire will be present in quantity if you ain’t got, and money will not be an issue.

It’s time to kick out the jambs, tune up the instruments, and Stomp On The Terra!!!!

See you Saturday…..


October 15-16, 2016 Workshop

OK, Buckaroos, October is here, and we have some serious bonsai wrangling to do.  10/01 at the church.  Read the message below.  10/15-10/16 at Gordon’s hacienda.  I will send a map in another email.  Read about this below.  And, of course, a timely warm and fuzzy message from John.

Happy trails,//Jesús.


Hey Jesus,

Please remind everyone in your monthly meeting notice about the sale and raffle of bonsai pots, etc belonging to the late Bob Gasaway. I have a sturdy turntable made by one of our former members, a new set of soil scoops, a sharpening stone and 25 pots/sets of pots, glazed and unglazed, to be raffled off. Most of the pots are Japanese, a few are Chinese. Raffle tickets will be $1.00 each or 12 for $10.00 or 25 for $20.00 There will be a can adjacent to each of the raffle items. Anyone interested in winning a specific item will deposit a ticket (or tickets) in the can for that item. A winning ticket will be drawn from the can for each item. I also have 20+ 100 gram rolls of aluminum wire in varying sizes for sale at $2.50 each. First come, first served (no tax, no shipping.) There will probably be a few other surprises as well. Remember,half the proceeds of the sale will go to the club treasury and the other half to Bob’s wife Cheryl.



The last of the trees arrived yesterday. The final total: 5 blue arrow juniper (5 gal) – 15 Wichita Blue juniper (5 gal) – 13 Wichita Blue juniper (2 gal). All material is in very good condition but a number of the 2 gal will be better suited for a style other than formal up-right. We can get a count of workshop participants through email and at the club meeting. Kenn suggested we sort through the trees and number the formal upright specimens then draw numbers from a hat to match tree with club member. When do we want to sort them. Sat. prior to the start of the workshop or some other time before the 15th? My neighbor saw all the trees and wondered if I had finally totally gone round the bend and would be constructing an impenetrable wall of tree around my yard.. I have gone round the bend but am to lazy to dig that many holes. – burt


All right, you Nitrogenous Nimrods:

I hate to ruin your evening, but it is now time to remind you that our yearly cruise down the River Styx into Horticultural Hades will take place on October 15 &16. This workshop ordeal will have as its subject the study and creation of a formal upright–style (Chokkan) bonsai from nursery stock. Now, we know that many of you have had your Driver’s Licenses stripped by the courts, and/or are unable to bring your urine or breath up to the standards required by your interlock system. As a result, Burt went completely into lunar orbit again and has purchased 38 pieces of juniper nursery stock, which the club will sell you at drastically reduced prices. Here’s a list of stuff you will “need” ( though we can work around most of it if you’re brand new):

1) Basic tools— a decent pointed-nose trimming shears, a heavier pruning shears, and a wire cutter will suffice. Go to our website and FB and read my screed about tools.

2) Wire—- This will be your thorniest problem. I’ve got a lot of wire, and will be glad to give you some if you are helpless on this front. If you want to buy some, check either Dallas Bonsai Garden or Tian Bonsai on Amazon or ebay. Dallas is a bit cheaper, but Tian has some starter pack–type deals that might appeal to you, and are reasonably priced.  We’ll probably use–more-or-less– 1.5mm, 2mm, and 3mm. I have some huge ballbuster sizes if we need to straighten trunks or bend large branches.

3) As noted, the Club has trees for you, but if you want to get your own, by all means. HOWEVER, NO deciduous or broadleafs, NO goddamn Procumbens “nana” junipers, and please don’t tempt me with exotica or crapola too small to wire. I was going to forbid spruces and cedars, but Rikki Martin found a beautiful Atlas Cedar in Santa Fe last week. NO Alberta Spruce, unless the trunk is huge and powerful. If you want to go big, be my guest—- just don’t expect me to LIFT your POS, Get a straight (or straightenable) trunk!!

The purpose of this workshop is to learn the basic style and basic methods. I’m acutely aware that there will doubtless be a chaotic mixture of new and old hands. I am going back to old-school teaching style here, and will work step by step. If you’re more advanced, you can get out into  more exotic techniques, but if I see you being too cute, I’ll circumcise you with a root cutter to slow you down. You will emerge with something decent, not yet potted, that you must then learn to Winter over and start refining next spring.

We will cover a lot more ground on Saturday at our regular meeting at the Church.


July 2016 Workshop

THE POINT, Dear Ones, is that we will meet at the home of the Mistress of Mayhem this Sat. at 9:00am for another attempt to save face. We have a question about the effects a potassium-charged water softener has on trees. Most experiences with salt-charged devices are disastrous, of course, but what about the potassium? Any thoughts on this problem??

OK– dress cool, and we’ll do our special little thing!!

— je

I’ll be bringing my Wisteria stump for Kenn to grind on with his manly power grinder.  Should be fun… and messy.

— kh


July 2016 Meeting–Not at the Church

From Will Arthur, brave volunteer hosting our monthly riff-raff:

When: Saturday, July 9th

Time: 9am – ?

Where: Will Arthur’s home

Address: (Contact the web guy for exact location)

Here are the major streets by cardinal directions bordering my home:

South: Lomas

North: Constitution

West: Washington

East: San Mateo

For anyone so wishing, my pools open & I’ll have some breakfast goodies and fruit juices – sorry, no coffee though.

The gate on the north side of my home will be open leading into my backyard. Just come on in with your plants. If you need to call me, here’s my cell: 505.401.0133

I look forward to seeing everybody this Saturday.


July 2016 Meeting Postponed

Back during the frosty weeks of winter when we were laying out the year’s schedule, it seemed reasonable to think that we’d have nothing to do but work on our bonsai over the 4th of July weekend.  But last month, suddenly everyone remembered the picnics, the trips to the mountains, firework-caused wildfires, and the in-laws coming to visit.  So with a voice vote the club agreed to postpone the July meeting until the 9th.

Just to be absolutely clear, if you show up at the Presbyterian Church this Saturday, you will find yourself twiddling your thumbs with the rest of the members who don’t check the club website and Facebook page.  (Speaking of which, someone call Connie and remind her!)

Is it just a coincidence that a few weeks after our “dramatic and unprecedented” change of schedule, the UK decided to reverse it’s 60 years of EU membership?  Nuff said.

June 2016 Workshop

The monthly workshop will be held at Ms. Connie’s Marvelous Madhouse of Maples.  Saturday June 18, 9:00 until the last tree is chopped.  Considering that temps will be over 100°, this might be a weekend to work on tropicals and succulents.

May 2016 Thank You Note

Thank you for another outstanding bonsai show!  It was just gorgeous, as usual, and it is a true hit with visitors.  I love, too, that it happens over Mother’s Day weekend. 
You and your club are just a true dream to work with!  Thank you also for participating in National Public Garden Day – it means a lot to us to have you (Susan and Nelson!) there.
The attendance for the weekend was almost 5,000, so hopefully you got a good crowd.
Please thank all your excellent members, too, for us.
Thank you again –

June 2016 Meeting

With the success of the annual Mother’s Day Bonsai Show, John has stopped sniffing Superthrive and gone back to his daily tot of Rootone mixed with MiracleGrow.  We now return to our regularly scheduled monthly meeting, this Saturday June 4 at the Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  All are welcome.  There are usually a number of prospective new members who were inspired by (aka “not frightened off by”) our club’s comportment at the Botanic Garden.  Established club members should take all their meds and be on their best behavior next weekend so as to not frighten off prospective newbies.

Countdown to the 2016 Mothers’ Day Show

Will be this Saturday (4/16) at Connie’s house.  John must not be sniffing the Superthrive as his note below is unusually brief.


Just a mercifully short note to remind everyone that we will be freezing our nebaris off at The Stinging Nun’s backyard on Sat. AM @ 9:00. I was in ABQ yesterday, and purchased a couple of flats of little plants for you to play with making shitakusa and kusamono for the show and/or your yard. What I’m short-of are small pots. I have a few, but if any of you have a stash that you’d be willing to contribute, or just have the ones you want to work-up for yourself, please bring.     My intent is to regale you with show lore, display aesthetics, and other such BS, but remember that we are in prime (re)potting season for conifers right now, so I’ll bring the soil bucket along.

The weather forecast is kind of poor for Sat., so the layered look will be in…..

We Show No Mercy


April 2016 Meeting

Heads up, Frond Fidgeters!!!
Oh, Man—– This is an opportunity that does not come along very often. If you can con, wheedle, demand,or assert your right to disappear for awhile, try to take some time this week to join Kenneth in his Orgy of Bonsai Shame over at Connie’s this week. This will be your reward for all the help and kindness you showed to the Draggin’ Queen while she was out of it. And I’m not kidding about this…. You would have to pay Big Bucks for an experience anywhere near this one anywhere else. Don’t underestimate what you have here!!
I will be having my own bonsai debauch in Santa Fe this week, so I will expect a blow-by-blow next Saturday at our meeting. Now, if you are a new member and feeling hesitant about going to The Old Broad’s back yard, suck it up and plunge ahead. Call Kenn, get directions, and mince your way into a crazed wonderland of weird obsession unlike any other between the coasts, and maybe not there, either. If you are among the few remaining ABQ Clubbers who are gainfully employed, get the Bonsai Flu immediately. Many of you will need to notify your probation officers, and assure them that those threadleaf Japanese Maples are not, in fact, dope. Those of you in psychiatric care or halfway houses may need notes/confirmations that I will be happy to provide from a form that we developed years ago— I’ll give each letter a personal touch or two which will reassure your PO. I would expect to see a ragged line of you pilgrims making your way along I-40 as there has been this weekend, and you will have the same opportunity to throw away your cheap wood crutches AND BE HEALED!!! CAN I HEAR AN AMEN??
See you Sat AM

March 2016 Meeting

I expect to hear from Burt or John with some choice words about the meeting scheduled for this Saturday, March 5th.  It’s the beginning of high season for spring bonsai work.  Prune, shape, transplant, fertilize, wire — don’t just sit there!

Maybe someone will remember what the program is supposed to be.  I’ve got my leaf anatomy presentation ready, but you’ll have to wait until April for that.  Oh, yes… there’s that Bonsai Show in May, too.

Addendum:  As per usual, John did not disappoint.

“OK, Bonsai Brutes— We will re-announce this on Saturday, but the program I foolishly volunteered for is at Cherry Hills Library, somewhere North of our meeting room, at 6:00 pm on Tues, 3/8/16. I scooped-up a bunch of NM Olives at Jackalope last week, and I’m going to put the whole wretched mess together in a forest planting. This will cause those who work at the library— and who thought they wanted this demo– to regret ever HEARING the word “Bonsai”, and to immediately unfriend/delete all references to the ABQ Bonsai Club. As always, there will be dirt and branches flying everywhere, combined with a LOT of foul language and Strong Drink. If you want to help/watch/kibitz, you will be welcome. Ms Vickie made the grave mistake of offering to help, though I know she plans to have Ken out in the SUV with the engine running in case things spiral out of control, and all her senses compel her to flee the crime scene. Some of you, too,( like Crazy Cousin Will A.) may wish to enjoy a career–pathing experience in the Janitorial Arts by cleaning up the tons of crap we will leave behind. This training should give you the inside track to getting hired to shovel elephant dung at the Biopark—- a job recently held by our own Dr. R Fox, who referred to it as “my little corner of Show Business”.

Very well. Also this Saturday, the Bombastic Burns’s will present a program on Penjing– the Chinese style of bonsai and saikei. AND, El Presidente will hopefully have licked his Dengue Fever bout, and be able to present much long-dormant business re: the Show, and a mob program like last year’s.

I worry that we have not paid much attention to our latest hellbroth of new members— be patient and belly-up to the Bar. Any of you who are unwilling to be loud, demanding, and obnoxious probably are just not material for this Club anyway…….

See you Sat, 9:00 am, at our usual room at the Church.



Saturday February 20th , 2016 Members-only Workshop

The question is how many of you new folk we can squeeze into Fox’s shop this Saturday for our workshop. In the “loaves and fishes” tradition, we always seem to have room, and we really want you newbies to show up. Maybe bring a folding chair if you’ve got one. Richard’s address is … [ha ha, only if Burt has seen your 24 greenbacks]. You will need to proceed around the side of the house, past Fox’s Folly (his greenhouse), and into his shop at the rear of the property. If you see any degenerate homeless types vomiting on his lawn, those are your fellow club members in Sat. AM form. We will begin at 9:00am and go until the last tree is ruined. Bring some material if you want to do some work. Do not be shy about this— you’ve already pee’d away your 24$$, so you may as well join the lunacy full bore…..

See you Sat.

(New members, if you have paid your dues but don’t know the super secret location, send a message to the web guy via the Contact link on the homepage.  Be there.  Aloha.)

February 2016 Meeting

All kinds of excitement this month:  George and John’s report from the distant shores of the California bonsai scene (the Baikoen show), updates on the Queen’s condition, sage advice on the selection of pots, pandemonium re: the Mothers Day Show (only 3 months away, ahh!), and much, much more.  Don’t miss it!


December 2015 Meeting

The December bonsai club meeting is our traditional holiday potluck and festival of decorated bonsai trees.So bring a dish to share and decorate your favorite tree.We will start the annual collection of dues, $24 per household, and make another try at completing the program schedule for 2016.
Happy holidays – burt

November 2015 Meeting

Remind me, Dear Hearts, when I am making fun of ignorant superstitions, that last Friday– 11/13– was indeed a day when the Croaking Ravens came home to roost and crapped their filthy white feces into my life like a nightmare— a bad movie in which I was the unwilling star. When George came home from work Fri.PM, he was approached by about 6 DEA agents in full combat gear and ski masks, wishing to use our backyard as a point to fire upon our neighbors as they came running out the back door of their apparently heroin–filled house. I regret not getting a photo of them lined up along our side wall, with AK-47’s ready to reduce any escaping soul to human hamburger— a bracing sight. It no longer seems curious that our beloved neighbors kept to themselves, though they always seemed to have a stream of visitors…… They painted their house regularly, and always mowed their lawn— NICE people, Good folks— much like YOU, dear Clubbies— but obviously with a similar nasty little addiction that was only shared with their most intimate friends.

        And thus, in this spirit, we will once again share our Dirty Little Secrets on Saturday AM @ 9:00 at our Winter Quarters in the workshop of Mr. Richard Fox @ 1017 Virginia NE— right behind Garcia Honda. For those of you who have not been there, you will need to park in front and wind your way back to the shop, past Richard’s greenhouse which he bought cheap and immediately put $50,000 into to make it work. You should see several degenerates milling around the front yard whom you will soon recognize as your fellow Club members. Now, the workshop is smaller than Connie’s yard, so prepare for a bit of Forced Intimacy, but we should be fine. We will discuss the ever-present problem of acquiring good material and some other basics. Please bring something to work on, especially junipers and other tough material that we can still tweak. The forecast is for pretty cold weather, but the shop is warm— especially with all the body heat that junkies generate when doing our equivalent of “Using”…..
        I have a gift for The Evil Empress that will come from the class— we’ll see if she sneers at it, since it’s not one of her snotty Masakuni tools.
        OK— Let’s get it on one more time, and to hell with the DEA…..

November 2015 Meeting

It has been a while since our last meeting at the church so tomorrow will be busy. On the agenda is a discussion of the wind swept and the slanting style. a discussion of the Artisan Cup which was held in Portland, Oregon. I have served my year as president and Richard as vice president – Richard is a brilliant fellow  and therefore has no interest in becoming President. So, officer nominations will be solicited..Elections will be held at the December meeting which leaves time for the formation of super-pacs and the distribution campaign funds..  We have to fill out our show committee and I am proposing a new position.
John will have some 0-10-10 fertilizer for sale. See you at 9am at the church- if you have not seen the Artisan Cup photos which are circulating let me know and I will forward them.
– Burt

First Frost for Many

Clearing skies mean colder nights. The Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for tonight. Weather Underground forecasts temps near 30° in the North Valley for the next 3 nights. Probably right around freezing in the Heights. Bundle up when you come to Saturday’s meeting–near 40° at the start, into the 50s by the finish. Sunshine will make it feel warmer.

Your tropicals and tender plants should be inside while it’s time to think about putting the tough ones in the cold frame.

October 2015 Meeting – Field Trip

Post-field trip note from John:

Dearest Twig Necks,

             Those blessed among us who showed-up in the bowels of Los Lunas/Tome yesterday were treated to a display of horticultural expertise of serious proportions. The owner, Michael Melendrez ( the “r”is correct), gave us about two hours of high-speed Basic Chemistry which had the vicious ring of truth, and opened further possibility that we may yet be able to create conditions in which our trees THRIVE, rather than just survive. Now, you all know that I resist bonsai fad/breathless expose’s from the Tiny Tree Elite, but Mr. Michael is another beast entirely…. You can check out his roll on several websites, including his company Soil Solutions.
            That’s right, leaf lips— you must now become Organic Chemists!!! And we are going to do just that! Kenn and Vickie have already greased the wheels to have Michael come to do programs with us after the first of the year, and I guarantee that you will stand in awe of his knowledge and zeal. I’ve been privileged to know a few High Priests of Plants ( Julius Nuccio, Jack Catlin, Ryuzo Nomura, etc.), and Mr. Michael is one of them.
          I’m going to give you a couple of his tidbits that exposed my own ignorance, and caused involuntary bowel movements among those present:
  1) Liquid fish fertilizer is bad  because of chemical additions used to make it safe ( Mr. Nomura in L.A., mentioned above, used to make his own fish emulsion and manure teas in a thoroughly revolting process which I’ll never forget).
   2) Mushroom compost is bad because of its calcium-producing tendencies.
   3) Our efforts to acidify chemically are creating more salinity.
   4) We are overusing compost, which also tends to boost PH.
          There were numerous other proclamations which I don’t remember. I AM NOT suggesting that we immediately throw everything away and obey The Gospel Of St. Michael……. yet. But, lets get hip to the fact that we can and must do better so that we don’t slip away from our beloved little art out of discouragement ( San Patricio!!! You shyster rata!!! Are you out there??).
           Some good news: All these magic potions are available from his nursery, AS WELL AS his potting soil at $7.00 a bag. I am thus able to steer us away( get it?) from Miracle Grow toward this well thought-out mix. A cubic yard is cheap, so let’s pressure the pickup owners to volunteer— which reminds me, email that linthead Richard Fox and shame him into no longer malingering over a cheesy new knee. I am going to apply pressure on Mother Burt to devote a little club $$$ to get some of these mixtures.
           Which further reminds me, what do you think about getting the club set up to video future demos/programs ??  Gordon van Scratchy is a wizard at this, as is my Techogeek son. I keep hearing about some $500.00 required to become pros in this area — think on it.
         Which, quaternally, reminds me to report that Geo had a productive time in London— more ammunition to be able to put Dad in a nice Home in La Jolla with a balloon-tired wheel chair for beach sand maneuvers ……
         OK– I’ll remind you of our workshop on the 17th at a later date. Meanwhile, consult all websites on the Artisan’s Cup in Portland which occurred last weekend, and was either the Second Coming of Bonsai Christ, or an ostentatious episode of grandiose feces-flinging— I’m not sure which. Look at all photos, and reread “Spirit of Bonsai”on our website. We will discuss further, with Heavy Input from our members who attended. Be sure to check Michael’s websites for info on the Happy World of soil chem.
Saikei Susan!!! Stop saving lives and get back to Treeland!!!

Labor Day Weekend 2015 Meeting

Despite it being the holiday weekend, the diehards of the club will be holding their monthly meeting at the Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 5.  Program details below from El Presidente Burt.  See you there.


The bizare bonsai behavior continues – I will again be standing in front of you on a very early Sat. at the church and I have been saving up a boat load of club business (I admit that my boat along with my brain is a bit leaky). We will talk a few minutes about fall going into winter for our trees.  Discuss a new committee set-up for the show – an ad hock committee of the last three club presidents has a suggested committee format. We will begin the work on the 2016 program schedule. Sept. program is on plantings which involves  rocks. Bring trees! Oct. odds and ends – Forest plantings is the scheduled program but we still do not have a presenter. October is our traditional officer nominations and elections. We will switch location of our workshop meeting in Oct. or Nov. — see you Saturday.
Please attend the October meeting in order to prevent your election in absentia.
– burt

This Sunday… (2015)

Well, Peanut Heads, did you enjoy Saturday’s meeting?? I hope that those of you who showed up at the church Sat.AM will admit your error—- we will not laugh at you, we will laugh NEXT to you….. However, you will notice from the attached flyer that our strange boy Willie Pentler many months ago conned me into volunteering US for his Open Space program, and, as always, I thought the day would never come. But it HAS come, and it’s Sunday at 9:00 (which hour I sure-as-hell don’t remember volunteering for). I know you will want to turn out en masse for this sensational event, which surpasses in grandeur the Stuporbowl, the World Cup, and the Oakland Roller Derby finals, all rolled into one. You will WANT to be there!!!! If you’ve never been to the place, it’s quite a marvelous campus— pretty much unknown to the average Burqueno. Besides, attendance is usually pretty sparse, so we can turn it into a mini-Connie’s if you want to bring something to work on. Pentler is desperate for public attention, and he seems to enjoy having us work around there as long as we want. He had more fun than we did last year.
Also, I found my copy of a speech given in the 70’s by Kyuzo Murata, a REAL Japanese Master who owned Kyuka-en nursery in Omiya City, where I studied. It is the Real Deal, and an immaculate inoculation against the Bonsai B.S. that gets thrown around— unfortunately including much of my own. If you remember the flesh and bones of the speech, you will never go wrong. It puts all of our flagrant foolishness— which I dearly love— to shame. I’ll get my renegade son to type it up, and I’ll send it out this week.
What else?? We will meet at the Wicked Queen’s on the 18th, but first we must survive The Savage Sabbath…….
Show up, or be forever cursed….

A Word or Two from the Sensei

A word or two from the Sensei:

“I turn to simplicity; I turn again to purity.”
—– Genghis Khan, 1221 AD

Yes, friends…. Even the Great Khan ( whose methods and politics many in our Club still revere) wished for rest and quiet in his last years. And, my fondest desire was to follow old GK into the peaceful Gardens of Tranquility, where only an occasional veiled dancing girl would provide a counterpoint to the contemplative mood……. But, then I went to the ABC meeting on the fateful Saturday, June 6, and I was confronted by a crazed gaggle of new members demanding with a desperate fervor to be shown the mysteries of bonsai. I shuddered…… like a poodle passing a peach pit.

So, ye new folk, abandon all hope and enter this beautiful world with its surpassingly strange participants. You have, to your probable dismay, wasted your money on dues, and now, for good or ill, you’re thrust into a world beyond your ken. Let the following serve as an incomplete introduction to this world.

Those of you who are completely new to the art have a distinct advantage— you don’t have to unlearn any of the B.S. that floats through the bonsai world all too often. Enjoy your Beginners Mind while you can.

First, get a book or two and try to absorb the most basic ideas. The book I like is by Yuji Yoshimura and Giovanna Halford, now called “The Art of Bonsai”. You can get it cheaply used thru Amazon— Unless you’re a collector, why not buy used books that you can beat up??. Note that it used to be called “The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes”— same book. The other great book is John Naka’s “Bonsai Techniques, Vols. 1&2”. These are wonderful books, but are relatively expensive, especially when autographed. If you’re working on the cheap, the Sunset and Ortho paper bounds are very decent, and are almost free on the used mkt. Remember that the club has an extensive library, which Burt quixotically brings to each regular meeting.

The internet is a vast mixed bag. I like a Brit named Graham Potter, who has numerous lessons on many topics. He works on especially good material, which will give you a sense of our main problem, which is the lack of good bonsai material UNLESS you are willing/able to collect. The other guy, who is a part of a New Wave of young hakajin who have been well-trained, is Ryan Neal. We will give you other suggestions as we go.

In terms of supplies, keep it simple at first, unless you are rolling in $$ and have a need to go ape-crap to disguise your insecurities. A decent pointed-nose trimmer, a wire cutter, and maybe a heavier pruning shears will get you going—- all available at Wal-Mart. Check and see what the old fools are using at the workshop— we’ll spend some time this Sat on the subject.

Wire for training is important, and not many el cheapo alternatives are available, unless you are among those fine citizens of our State who steal copper, Years ago, copper was the standard, but in the 70’s, anodized aluminum almost totally replaced it. Annealed copper is still the best, but is a lot harder to work with unless you have King Kong hands. Many of us buy aluminum wire from Dallas Bonsai Gardens, who always seem to have the best prices. It’s a helluva lot cheaper in bulk, so maybe we’ll try to make a buy and share. I have a lot of wire, if you need some to do your workshop material.

Remember that most any woody trunked, small leaved material is usable as bonsai stock. Junipers are best to start, though some of you will want to use tropicals that you can keep indoors. I’m not a tropical fan, but the principles are about the same. We’ll teach you what to look for in material— a matter of primary importance.

In NM, it is of paramount significance that you work to provide an environment favorable to the cultivation of your trees. Just about everything that bonsai don’t like is the weather norm here— dry air, strong winds, intense sun, abrupt temperature change, lousy water, etc., etc., etc. If you are unable to negate most of these problems, you will lose interest and go back to your old hobby of psycho-active drugs. There are NO bonsai prodigies— everyone is a geek for a year-or-two, at least. But if you can’t keep plants alive and happy, you’ll have to settle for being a viewer/appreciator, rather than a participant. I cannot stress this enough!! When you see Connie’s yard, you’ll understand what I mean.

Since I’m going to be in Santa Fe later this week sponging off Richard and Susan, I won’t send out any further workshop notices— unless I can get Boy George to do it. The workshop is free, though I strongly suggest that you tithe according to your quarterly gross income in order to curry my favor. Any freewill offering you choose to make will pay my gas and lavish lunch. Bonsai — like much else– is in danger of becoming the province of those who “fart against the silk”, as my Dad used to say. Money is screwing up a lot of stuff—- let’s resist that trend. Save your $$$ for material and pots— and your tithe.

Can you all figure out how to get to Queen Connie’s house??? Contact the web guy if you’ve paid your dues but didn’t get the e-mail version of this massive missive.  The crazy old broad has no internet, and has only recently purchased a propane-operated cell phone. I’m not much better, but maybe one of our Gear Geniuses can provide a map. The club bought some chairs, but if you have a portable folder, bring it. We may run out of room….

What else?? As a result of fast progress made by our earlier wave of beginners, I’ve rethought many of the teaching principles that I learned all those years ago. It seems to work well to just throw our beginners into the mix and let them start swimming. The old Zen proverb applies–” If you want to climb a high mountain, start at the top”. Who am I to argue……..

See you at Connie’s @ 9:00 am, 6/20/15. Show no mercy!!!!

Botanic Gardens to host Bonsai exhibit (2015)

Follow this hyperlink to see Burton’s interview:
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- The Albuquerque Botanic Gardens is hosting a miniature event.

The ABQ Bonsai Club will be showcasing their beautifully designed bonsai trees during the Annual Bonsai Club show.

Bonsai, pronounced bone-sigh, is a Japanese art of creating miniature trees and landscapes. Bonsai creates the illusion of a fully grown tree in a smaller form.

There are two components of this tree and the first is the horticulture. It’s all about keeping the tree alive wile growing it in a small container. The second is creating the illusion of a mature tree.

The Botanic Garden will be hosting the Bonsai show May 9th and 10th showing a formal display of the trees from the collections of the club members.
Club members range from beginners to those who have been practicing this art for over 20 years.

The club was founded in 1975 and is open to anyone who is interested in learning the art.

Oh, the Humanity!

From the desk of John Egert regarding this Saturday’s meeting (9:00 a.m. May 2 @ Heights Cumberland):
        Well, I have now entered the yearly phase of Bad Bonsai Dreams. Last night, I dreamt that a rival bonsai club– full of charlatans who showed artificial trees and strange papyrus-like plants— were horning in on our show. They were bullying us and stealing/destroying our plants with dismaying impunity. We finally decided that violence was the only solution, and my last image was of Connie– dressed in full leathers– wailing away with a wicked Hell’s Angels-style chain whip………. the horror….the horror.
       But I know that those of you with Real Lives don’t have these visions. I did get a couple of questions about the show, which I’ll go over now and on Sat. 5/2 at our meeting.
       First, we have rarely–if ever– had as many new members in the ABC as we have now, and I’ve never had as much fun with the gang of bull-goose loonies that have apparently been sent by their parole officers to the Club— God knows why. My whole approach to teaching newcomers has changed as a result of watching our earlier wave of new people, who have learned very fast. If you are new, and want more basic teaching/info, let me know. All my mental thrashing around over the show may have resulted in giving less attention to those who are totally new to the art, and I’d be glad to spend extra time after our meetings, or?? Hang in there, and keep reading and watching Graham Potter and Ryan Neil on youtube.
        #1: What about this stand issue?? If you have stands for your trees, that’s good, but usually everybody brings whatever they’ve got and we mix-and-match( making it a good idea to tag the bottoms with your name, BTW). So, if you’ve got something good, bring it, and we’ll find a stand for it.
        #2: How about training wire?? Some wire on show trees is OK. In the post-Kimura era in Japan, it is now seen as a sign of willingness to improve even old, established trees by wiring, and it is acceptable there. Big wires on the trunk would probably be considered too crude.
        #3: How many trees?? My three tree limit idea was an effort to improve the overall quality of the show, which is always better uncluttered. If you’ve got more than three good trees, bring ’em. I have no idea what will show up each year, and with lots of new members, this year will be especially surprising, for good or ill….
        #4: If I don’t have anything to show, what can I do to participate??  The Friday afternoon/evening setup is always a tableau of some weirdness, and is always entertaining. Generally, several tragedies are narrowly averted, and occasionally old friendships have been sorely tested— though things have been fairly quiet and smooth in recent years. We now have a number of action-oriented new youngbloods in the club, who could probably set up the whole damn thing in 20 min….. Therefore, I have taken steps to provide a taste of the old personal invective and bitterness which lent color to the setup and takedown….. more about that at the Sat. meeting.  Also Google-up “Shitakusa” and “Kusamono”, and see if you can put together an attractive accent plant— we usually need quite a few, and they can be done at the last minute.
        Also, we need to have a group of members doing docent work during show hours. It’s fun to do, and you hear some of the oddest comments by viewers. Even if you’re a beginner, you know light years more than our average visitor. We’ll have a signup sheet for this at the meeting.
         I haven’t thought too much about the Sat. demonstration…. George wanted to get a bunch of small junipers and let viewers try their hand. We’d need some experienced hands to help…. we’ll discuss.
        What else?? God knows that should be enough….. Keep talking to me with ideas— even if I start laughing hysterically. I’m really looking forward to what you brainiacs have in store….
Oh, I forgot.. Burt is going to do a segment for the KRQE AM news show on Thurs. this week. He’s supposed to be in the 7:00 am hour, which, I THINK, means it’ll be seen on KASA Channel 2, but I’m not sure. I’ll call the station tomorrow and try to clear that up and let you know. Burt has apparently had his Duck Dynasty-Style hair and beard greatly subdued, so don’t be deceived if some Young Republican-looking guy is yammering about bonsai on Thurs.

April 2015 Members-only Workshop

That’s right, you Pine Knots!!! Revelations!! And it is now upon us!! In 23 days, you will not be read your cheesy “Rights”, nor will you be offered legal assistance!! On the afternoon of 5/8/15 you will be sucked down the burning hole of Bonsai Hell, and the crusty undead will grasp at your alabaster ankles….  And “Why”, you bleat like sheep?? Because I sense a lack of full commitment on the part of some of you— an unreadiness to plunge into the Lake of Fire in support of your beloved Show Chairman and Humble Sensei!

You may yet save me, if you can pull your collective heads out in time. We will meet at the Mini Ranch of the Grieves clan on this Saturday, 4/18/15, at 9:00 am. [ Did you GET THAT, Suzanne??] The address is way out East where the bonsai-killing winds howl through the pass. Call Kenn or Ms Vickie @292-7023 if you can’t figure it out otherwise. We will pot up a monstrous juniper that Kenn has been torturing for some years, and play with anything else which you bring. I will also regale you with the tragi-comic saga of the show flier this last week. The weather may be a little brisk, but we will soldier on.

So there it is, Tree Toads! The unclean spirits are upon us, and there’s not much time to swat them off our spines!!

April 2015 Meeting

We’re on track for the monthly meeting 9:00 a.m. Saturday April 4th at Heights-Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Lots happening this time of year, so bring your questions and your trees.

It’s just over a month until the Mother’s Day show at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden — preparation for that big event will be a topic of discussion.


March 2015 Meeting

Well, people—- I have finally triumphed in the techno-wars!!! Burt’s son– like mine– is gainfully employed and is no longer readily available to show Old Dad how to hit the “ON” button on his computer, so, it has fallen to me to remind you that we will meet at 9:00 am tomorrow at the Church. We should have enough going on to justify you fighting through your hangovers in order to attend.
Man…. when we have to look to me to provide technical expertise, this group is even more screwed-up than I thought…..

Matthew 7:15

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” — Matthew 7:15

As George and I were driving home from the Saturday meeting, we passed the buffalo ranch near the Rio Grande crossing south of ABQ. It occurred to me that, as a penance for beating my gums at top speed during these meetings, I should stop, climb the fence, and subject myself to being trapped and mauled by these huge beasts. Upon further consideration, and being aware of my luck in these matters, I feared that they might, instead , be sexually attracted to me, and as with King Kong and Fay Wray, you ain’t done ’til the buffalo’s done. We drove on. I began to consider how to change the show a bit to try to improve it, and have come up with the following ideas. As you are already aware, none of this will be written in stone, and anything that seems stupid deserves to be placed at a point in my anatomy which never ( or at least VERY rarely) sees the sun.

1) We are going to limit each member to three main trees and three smaller accessory plantings. I have never liked to send home any trees which are alive and might be thought of as bonsai-like at least… but our shows look better when they’re not jammed. You should be considering which trees you might show now, and prepping them accordingly.

2) Though this dubious honor should go to Connie, since I am that one about whom St. Matt so carefully warned, I am going to commandeer one table for my porcine self and delicate son and set up a sekikazari. I would like for us to be able to give each member a certain space to set up her/his own display next year, if this works out. Besides, after the show I will have been drummed out of the Club anyway– more room for others next year!!

3) Your opinions always are somewhat welcome, so I  we will enhance the People’s Choice award, etc., and try to get more interactive with our viewers.

4) I really want to honor Nicholas in some way this year, especially by devoting a tokonoma to him. If any of you want to step up and manage such a project, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll ask Connie to do it and she can choose some people to help her with it. Flowering trees will be exempt from rule #1.

For you new members, if you don’t have a showable tree yet, here are some ideas:

1) Offer to help Queen Connie with her stuff. She is finding it more difficult to get it all together each year, and we’ll need to assist her.

2) Google “kusamono” and/or “bonsai accessory plantings” and put something nice together that will be a splash of color or other interest— remember small scale. These can be put together almost the day before the show, so their blooms will be good. Osuna and Plants of the Southwest are good sources, and small pots are readily available. Viewing stones— google “suiseki”— are also good to collect, and are easier to grow

3) With a hoarse cry of determination, come early-ish on Friday pm and help set up the tables, covers, etc. In recent years, it’s gotten pretty easy, and there has been a drastically reduced level of sputtering rages, the occasional fistfight, and stalking out of the building in a Capital Snit. I miss those days, though I know many of you who had large, meaty bites taken out of your posteriors do not. Perhaps one of you newer folk can rise to the occasion and inherit the title of which is currently vacant.
4) Don’t be tempted to run out and buy a “Mallsai” to show. You’ll have something good soon enough. Anybody who brings one of those “S curve” elms with a damn mudman in the pot will be terminated with extreme predjudice.

Again, if you think that any-or-all of this is a cheap load of crap, I welcome violent, free-ranging debates. Many of the small -minded among you will  doubtless consider this screed in the same category as listening to 12 year-old girls yammering about Justin Bieber— so be it. I know that many others will be awed by the gemlike gleam of the above thoughts……..


January 2014 Social Media Update

The Albuquerque Bonsai Club has had a Facebook page since July 2014 and now (January 16, 2015) there is a Twitter feed — @ABQbonsai where all the latest may be found.  Even if you don’t tweet and don’t have a Twitter account, you can see what’s there by pointing your browser at

Meanwhile, don’t forget John Egert’s workshop on Jan. 17 at a location given only to dues-paying members.

And in February, don’t miss the monthly meeting for a discussion about seiryu stone, bonsai stands, formal upright style, and preparing for the May bonsai show.

The Resources page has been tidied up and of particular interest might be this new article on Suiseki —


Celebrate Nicholas Ng’s Life

Come Celebrate Nicholas Ng’s Life on Sunday October 5th !!!

Nick’s friend of 30+ years, Sally Price, has graciously offered to host Nick’s celebration at her home in Four Hills this Sunday afternoon.

Meet and Greet Mixer from 4-5PM, Food Will Be Served at Five PM

Sally’s address is : 1024 Wagon Wheel SE

Sally’s Phone # is : 292-2737.. Sally says that EVERYONE gets lost .. so DO CALL AND SOMEONE WILL COME GET YOU UN-LOST!!!

Here are the directions —They seem simple enough — We will See You There.

Exit EAST I-40 at the Tramway exit.. Heading South, It’s a RIGHT TURN..

Stay in the THIRD LANE FROM THE RIGHT, the 1st two turn onto central.. You want to go straight across Central.. past the Smith’s grocery store on the left..

The road curves around to go EAST ..Go until you get to the STOP SIGN.

Turn RIGHT at the stop sign onto Four Hills Drive, go about 0.8 miles.

You’ll want to turn RIGHT ONTO STAGECOACH .. which is maybe the third turn.

There’s an UNEXPLAINABLE NAME CHANGE from STAGECOACH TO WAGON TRAIN somewhere…..You’re still on track to get there..

Stay on WAGON TRAIN (i.e. StageCoach) until You come to a 3-WAY stop sign.

Go straight until you come to the 4-Way Stop Sign.. still go straight until you come to RATON, which ONLY turns RIGHT. That’s a little over 1 mile.

Turn RIGHT turn onto RATON. Go 300 ft.

Take another RIGHT onto WAGON WHEEL.. Sally’s house is the 7th or 8th on the RIGHT, 1024 Wagon Wheel.. it’s a WHITE SLUMP BLOCK HOUSE WITH BLUE TRIM. Park anywhere in the street.

It seems to me that it’s all RIGHT TURNS.. and Sally’s House is on the RIGHT

… so If Your Car Wants to Turn left.. DON’T DO IT!!!

Bring Yourself,

Bring Your Stories,

Bring Your Pictures,

Bring Your Bonsai

Nicholas Ng

We recently learned of the passing of Nicholas Ng, long time club member and authority on flowering bonsai.  He will be missed.

For our new people, who didn’t get a chance to know Nicholas very well, John Egert submits the following:

NicholasNgNicholas Ng was one of those rare people who marched to a very different drum than the rest of us— so different, in fact, that I think only he could hear it and only he could understand its cadence. We all have the conceit that we “understand” people, but anyone who claimed that he/she understood Nicholas Ng was either lying or delusional. He embodied simplicity and he embodied complexity, often within the same moment. He revealed nothing about himself, and he revealed everything– again, all at the same time. He laughed at things I found extremely serious, and frowned at things I found hilarious. He occasionally took me aside and whispered advice to the effect that I was acting like a fool, just when I thought I was being cute and generous. Whenever we thought we had considered every possibility around an issue, he produced an opinion so contrary to “logic” as to be breathtaking. I never thought I’d heard the Final Word on anything until I heard what he had to say…..

Nicholas lived with intense physical pain. Every step was agonizing, but he made them as an artist, which ultimately seemed to be his reason to keep going. He was a marvelous painter, and we remember his bonsai as graceful and delicate, often the tiniest twig carrying two or three blossoms. He had no concern for bonsai rules or aesthetics beyond what he loved to see. With characteristic irony, he was a health care professional with a deep distrust of the medical system—- though maybe that isn’t so paradoxical as it appears. He resisted his Dr’s advice to operate for years. I believe he had a knowledge that he would not leave the hospital once he submitted. He lived constantly in the balance between continuing to live and accepting death as a release.

At our shows, he could be counted upon to be there at all hours, and a couple of years ago, we conned him into using a little counting machine to try to accurately measure our attendance. Though there is no way to prove it, I’d be willing to bet that his count was extremely close to perfectly accurate. Nicholas was not one to half-bake anything.

You don’t get to experience truly unique individuals too often, but Nicholas was a one-off prototype that The Creator probably considered far too complex for mass production. As I’ve tried to say, he was contradiction incarnate— intensely private yet utterly generous, carefully reasoned yet off the wall, wonderfully congenial yet closely reserved, skeptical yet sentimental, on-and-on. He didn’t have much close family– never married– but he had the ABQ Bonsai Club. I don’t know how his death will be memorialized, if at all, but come Mothers Day 2015 he will be— guaranteed.

We’ve lost a remarkable friend. He was a source of color and richness in an increasingly homogeneous world. Our lives will be substantially leaner for awhile, and those fluorescent lights he disliked so much as “artificial” at our meetings will burn noticeably dimmer when they find out that Nicholas Ng has gone to another room.

Upcoming Events

Dave Ellis sends his thanks for the turn out for Nicholas’ memorial:

I’m really happy that members of the Bonsai Club were able to attend Nick’s send-off.  I know that it meant a lot to Simon and Theresa.  I hope that everyone took home some of Nick’s Bonsai library… I sure know that I did.. There were still quite a few left-overs when all was said and done that evening..

In Nick’s last days, he was pretty much unresponsive, as they say.. and while sitting with him, I read to him.. the only reading material he had with him.. the JOHN YOSHIO NAKA Commemorative issue of the JABS. cover to cover.. and then to later find out that Mr. Naka had visited the Albuquerque club.. made it all that much more meaningful.

February 2014 Meeting Location

The club generally meets at the Heights-Cumberland Presbyterian Church 9:00 AM on the first Saturday of most months.  We meet in the multipurpose building indicated by the letter ‘A’ in the Google Maps image below.

Enter the multipurpose building via the only door (on the southwest side under the portal). We are down the main hallway and then to the right when the hall makes a ‘T’.  Abq Bonsai ClubLook for friendly people with a bunch of trees in small pots.

Occasionally, we meet at a member’s home.  If so, it will be announced here at least a few days before the date.


February 2014 Meeting

Saturday February 1 at 9:00 AM
Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Look for us in the SE side of the facility in one of the multi-purpose rooms

Words from the Prez:

This saturday at the meeting we will be having a raffle for the two pots that the club has bought, John’s donation. If you go to this site third row down far right, blue heritage, is one of the pots and the fith row down first one, the Jim Barrett, is the second pot. These will be useful for John’s group planting class.

For those few, John, people who have not donated their monies for the year it would be appreciated at this time. After this meeting I will be putting together a roster for the year.

We will be discussing civilly, soil, dirt, growing medium or what ever you feel like calling what you are putting
your trees in. Maybe a little about what John thinks we will need, i.e. muck?

I got a new harbor freight flyer and they have a 12′ by 20′ mesh sun tarp for $49 instead of $69. This is what I
have over my tree house for protection for those of you who have been by my place.

January 2014 Tree Barking

Wake Up And Smell The Liquid Fish!!!!

And yet AGAIN, we are firing-up the monthly Affront to Botany which will be held at the palatial estate of Richard Fox in his workshop, which houses a many-thousand$$ woodworking machine of rather hazy purpose, which, in any event, has now been shunted into obsolescence by simple 3D printers which will soon be owned by every pimply geek on his block. It is vaguely akin to some senile geezer who keeps a steam locomotive in his garage in the pathetic belief that “They’re a comin’ back!!”. ( Kenneth— will you print Richard’s address for the New Folk???).
But let us not dwell on such digressions…… I intend to cover some basic material since we have a pretty good group of people new to the club, at least, and several new to the art. Ms. Joanne and others have had to jump in to the deep end with no water wings, so we’ll do some basic talk which some of you Anasazi could use as well. I will also bring a smallish pinon which I hope to restyle, with emphasis on visually shortening leggy branches.

ALSO, I know you are lusting for information about the up-coming group planting debacle in March. As we said in the meeting, Geo and I have a few good yosue pots that I want to get into the hands of those of you who are strapped for cash, so that you, too, can make fools of yourself in March. Obviously, nobody wants to talk about being broke, so I have given the task of getting these pots to you to my semi-beloved son, who is broker than any of you, and is almost psychotically close-lipped about this sort of thing. Send him an email at, and he will take care of you. We have one pot set aside already, and we have 2 or 3 more. There are other options, too, like stone slabs or Burt’s Concrete Oatmeal that he hyped at the meeting. You may also want to make a wood box and wait a year or two to see if the planting is worthy. Let George know.

What else??? I guess that’s it…. See you Saturday, OR ELSE.

January 2014 Meeting

This Saturday Burt will be explaining about hypertufa.

This is the beginning of the new year, so it will be appreciated if everyone remembers to bring their club donation.   For those of us who are having memory problems, it is $24 for the year or $2 per month or $0.462 a week or $0.066 a day.  I am sure Athena would appreciate receiving the entire yearly donation.

Upcoming Events October 2013

Instead of the usual class by John Egert, the October 19 get-together will be a field trip to Trees That Please.  Plan on meeting at #9 Gilcrease Rd. Los Lunas at 10:00 to take advantage of club access to their 1 gal. material. See Athena’s e-mail for details.

Afterwards, people are encouraged to go to their nursery for their Fall sale, which continues through the month.  Their website is  The nursery is located at 3084 NM Hwy 47 in Los Lunas.  This is a great opportunity to have club experts help you pick nursery stock that can be part of your group planting project for the March Master Class.  Our esteemed Sensei summarizes the salient points:

It’s Tree Time in the Rio Grande Rift!! Did you all get Kenny Boy’s message about where we’ll be on Saturday?? If you can break loose with a few bucks, you may be able to get your forest planting started— or even finished— if we see some good things there. Remember, you will need at least seven trees of all sizes to do the job— five is OK, but looks wimpy unless they are all strong. If you’re hurting for $$, I would suggest looking for one substantial main tree( maybe to be found at the Nursery itself among the larger stock), or two fairly substantial trees to begin the group, then fill out your numbers later.  I’m really curious to see the Dawn Redwoods—- RICHARD MARTIN–ARE YOU LISTENING— A very nice group could be made with them, and it sounds like this guy likes them. Some of you may want broadleaf or deciduous material— we’ll see what’s available. I have a few forest pots that I will be happy to give to anybody that can arouse my degenerate sympathies, but everybody needs to consider a proper pot OR a suitable box as soon as possible. If I can be pried off my delectable butt, maybe I’ll bring some of the loose pots and see which of you can be most pathetic…..
OK— Be there or be square!!!!

The November meeting will take place on the 3rd at the Cumberland Church as usual.  Karl Horak will give a presentation on plant anatomy as it applies to bonsai.  A sneak peak of the slides is online (still a work in progress, though).


People’s Choice Winner 2013

Connie Gardner’s Trident Maple carried away the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Albuquerque Biopark Bonsai Show.  Two days of voting saw every tree in the exhibit gather some votes, but in the final tally, Connie took the prize.

Connie Gardner wins the People's Choice Award
Connie Gardner wins the People’s Choice Award during the 2013 Mother’s Day Show

2013 Mother’s Day Show

Once again the ABC put on its annual Mother’s Day bonsai show at the Albuquerque Botanical Garden, May 11-12.  And just  in time… the ABQ Biopark has been included in a listing of the top 10 botanical gardens in the U.S.

ABQ Biopark Staff at the Mother's Day Bonsai Show
ABQ Biopark Staff at the Mother’s Day Bonsai Show
Bonsai Show public demonstration
George (left) and John (right) Egert finish a public demonstration during the ABQ Bonsai Club Show



















Metasequoia group planting
Metasequoia group planting












Saikei landscape planting
Saikei landscape planting






















The show continued on Sunday and the weather was outstanding.

2013 Meetings

May will be getting ready for the Mother’s Day show at the Botanical Garden. Mother’s Day show May 11 & 12. Please let Kenn, John or Susan know who has what in the way of setup material.

Some conferences coming: ABS Saratoga Springs, New York Sept. 12-15

There is an Deco-Japan exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum Feb 9 through April 21. Sunday 9-1 admission is free. Site below.

July 2012 Meeting

The July 7 meeting will be the traditional midsummer potluck.  This year it will be at Connie Gardner’s house.  Members only, please.

The August 8 meeting will once again be at Heights Cumberland Church.  The topic will be pest control.


2012 Bonsai Show at the Albuquerque Botanical Garden

Once again the club is hosting the Mother’s Day Bonsai Show at the Albuquerque Botanical Garden.  This year the display will take place Saturday May 11 through Sunday May 12.  Club members will be showing general bonsai techniques and answering questions all weekend.  John and George Egert will provide Sunday demonstrations, turning perfectly good nursery plants into the beginnings of bonsai.

Enjoy the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens this Mother’s Day.  Stop by the bonsai show (immediately on the right as you enter the gardens) and vote for the People’s Choice Award for the most popular tree.  Maybe one of these from 2012 will be your favorite.  (Click on the thumbnails for a closer view.  Click again and see the full-sized image.)


Just a quick reminder that bonsai enthusiasts with fewer than 10 year’s experience still have time to apply for participation in the 11th annual Joshua Roth New Talent Competition in Denver.

 — Kenn Greives, ABC President

Visions of the American West, sponsored by ABS and BCI, will be held in Denver from June 21-24, 2012.  Information about the contest is available online at   or they can contact me directly at  Information about the general Denver convention is available at:

See you in Denver,

John Wiessinger

Joshua Roth New Talent Competition Coordinator

2012 Mother’s Day Show

With the spring winds, thoughts of bonsai fanciers in New Mexico turn to the annual Mother’s Day Show.  This year it will be May 12-13 at the Albuquerque Botanical Garden.  The “Ancient Art of Bonsai” show will wrap up the Rio Grande Botanic Garden’s spring indoor show season co-sponsored by the Albuquerque Bonsai Club. The bonsai show will be held in the Garden Showroom.

Members of the club will be show their best bonsai of different styles and species of trees. Local varieties such as Alligator Juniper, Mountain Mahogany, Piñon, Sage Brush and certain herbs work well in New Mexico for the culture of bonsai.

Questions will be answered enthusiastically by long-time members who are actively engaged in growing Bonsai. Morning and afternoon demonstrations will be performed and an educational table will be set up to show the stages of development in creating bonsai.The Bonsai Show is included with regular admission.

Call (505) 848-7148 for more information.

Most Photographed 2010

We have added a new award category to the Mother’s Day Show held on May 8-9. There was no contest that the bonsai most photographed during the two day Albuquerque Bonsai Club event was the Bald Cypress which stood in the patio at the entrance to the Show.

The effort that it took for John and George to style and then transport this eight hand planting was rewarded by the number of people who stopped to ask about it, took pictures of it and often asked others to take of pictures of them standing next to it.

It was a perfect introduction to the Show.

People Pick Lilac 2010

The overall winner of the People’s Choice Award for the Mother’s Day Show at the Botanic Garden is a Korean Lilac in full bloom. Out of more than 35 bonsai on display it was the favorite of most of the people who visited. A close second was a trident maple with a lot of attitude.

Thank you to all who visited the Show, voted for a tree and talked to us about them. It is a very labor intensive job to set up this Show, staff it and then take it down, return the trees to their permanent homes and store all our supplies and equipment for the next year.

We appreciate all who participate.

People’s Choice Winner – 5/8/10

The winner of the most popular bonsai awarded by our guests at the Botanic Garden show for Saturday, May 8 is – #16, the lilac that is in full bloom! People visiting the show enjoyed it’s display of color and were delighted by the scent as well. It was clear that most all the little girls who came through the show were big supporters of that particular bonsai.

Thanks to all who gave us their opinion and on Sunday, 5/9/10 we will see if it prevails again.

Bonsai Show at the Botanic Garden Coming Soon

May 12-13, 2012

Once again the “Ancient Art of Bonsai” show will wrap up the Rio Grande Botanic Garden’s spring indoor show season co-sponsored by the Albuquerque Bonsai Club. The bonsai show will be held in the Garden Showroom.

Members of the club will be show their best bonsai of different styles and species of trees. Local varieties such as Alligator Juniper, Mountain Mahogany, Piñon, Sage Brush and certain herbs work well in New Mexico for the culture of bonsai.

Questions will be answered enthusiastically by long-time members who are actively engaged in growing Bonsai. Morning and afternoon demonstrations will be performed and an educational table will be set up to show the stages of development in creating bonsai.The Bonsai Show is included with regular admission.

Call (505) 848-7148 for more information.

April 2012 Meeting

April 7, Cindy Read Workshop

St. Mary’s Episcopal church. 1500 Chelwood Park Boulevard Northeast. 9:00.  Cindy Read, she has studied with Roy Nagatoshi and others and was here last October, will be having a workshop on Saturday April 7th. There will be fourteen positions, seven in the morning and seven in the afternoon. The positions will be $35.00 each. If you want to come and observe you are welcome to.

Cindy is driving and bringing some Shimpaku Junipers, they were started in 1996,  and a couple of grafted San Jose junipers with her for sale.  They will cost from $50.00 to $150.00.

We were able to get the parrish hall at St. Mary’s Episcopal church. 1500 Chelwood Park Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, NM for the workshop. The workshop will start
at 9:00.

Cindy is also willing to help anyone who wants it on Sunday.

Workshop April 10 – Sign up now

Sign up now for this wonderful workshop at the Albuquerque Botanic Garden with Jim Barrett. A master from Pasadena, CA, Jim has been a featured speaker at many bonsai conventions and clubs and has worked for many bonsai associations. He is a past president of Bonsai Clubs International, the first president of Golden State Bonsai Federation, the founding president of the Santa Anita Bonsai Society and currently serves on the American Bonsai Society’s board of directors.

There will be two workshops – one morning and the other afternoon with a  break for lunch at noon for an hour. Connie has the sign up sheet and members should contact her. Or contact the club for more information. Space is limited so sign up now.

The workshop will be open for viewing to people touring the Garden and the Club will have representatives to answer questions and hand outs about bonsai and ABC.

Jim Barrett is also well known for his original bonsai pots.

Next Meeting 2010

We stand prepared to make laughingstocks of ourselves once again on Saturday AM at El Zorro Loco’s workshop. I will try to repot a tree which is showing bad effects from the -18 night two weeks ago. Then, we will talk about The Great Dig on 3/19, both what you need to bring and what to look for when you’re there. I cruised past the property last Friday, and between the history of those old landgrant towns and the majesty of the property, we are in for a fascinating outing—- you really feel like you are a long ways from civilization……. even if you have no desire to dig, you should come anyway—- anything to get you away from the Soap Operas for one day, eh??