From the VP of Programs – January 2016

Happy New Year, everybody! After a couple months of minimal club activity, we’re about to kick it into high gear as we enter repotting season. Skip to the end of this report if you want the details of the MBC repotting schedule.

If you didn’t make it to the club’s holiday party, you missed a fine hootenanny. Good food, good drinks, good company, and plenty of beautiful trees all contributed to a lovely and festive evening. Thank you to Roger Lion and Marlene Philley for hosting the event, and to everybody who brought the universally delicious dishes. And congratulations to the tree decorating contest winners: First Place went to Sharon Bone, Second to Jay McDonald (finally, some recognition!), and Third Place went to Chris Ross. The prizes were gift certificates to Bob Shimon’s establishment, Coast Mendocino Bonsai. Candace Key also received a gift certificate, as a token from the club for her unwavering energy and determination in driving club activities throughout 2015. That is, for essentially being our President Pro Tem, stepping in to fill the void whenever we needed her most. Thank you, Candace!

Before going into the specifics regarding our repotting demo and the three repotting workshops occurring over the next two months, let me cover a couple new details that apply to all workshops and meetings beginning immediately. First, the board has decided that there is no need to have the workshops and meetings at different times. From now on, all meetings and workshops will start at 7:00 PM. Also, until further notice, all workshops and meetings will be in the Multipurpose Room at MAGC. The MSA building is not available for the foreseeable future and we still have not secured a new reliable location for our activities.

If you have been paying attention to previous announcements regarding the repotting demo that Peter Tea will be giving us on January 5th, please note that there have been some minor changes. Besides the change in start time to 7:00, we’re also going to accept both mature and immature member trees as candidates to be repotted by Peter. As part of his demonstration, Peter wants to repot two trees: a young one, preferably still in the nursery container, and a more developed tree that is well-established, or ready to be placed, in a bonsai pot. He will bring back-up trees of his own, but Peter is willing to consider member trees as candidates for the repottings. If you are interested, bring a tree, the destination pot for the tree, and your tools and you may be the lucky one having your tree repotted by Peter Tea. Soil will be provided, but bring your own if you have a particular soil mix you prefer.

The “fine print”: Only club members who are, or are about to be, active in our club’s volunteer efforts at the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt may have trees considered for repotting by Peter, and please, just one tree per member. Bringing a tree does not guarantee that you will get it repotted. Peter will choose the two trees that best suit his purposes.

After Peter’s demo, we will be holding three repotting workshops. As in past years, the remaining meeting and workshop dates in January and February will all be repotting workshops. As we did last year, we will be charging for the club soil. It’s not a big charge and it’s completely worth it because we’re making a good blend with plenty of akadama.

Roll up your sleeves, because bonsai enthusiasts’ busy season is about to begin!

– David Eichhorn

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