South Staffs Bonsai Society Exhibit at Gardeners World Live, June 2016
Congratulations to the South Staffs team led by Mark Bentley who designed and assembled the bonsai display for this years’ Gardeners’ World Live, held this week at the National Exhibition Centre. This was the second occasion that the Society had put on a display of their own. Last year under, The Royal Horticultural Society, they achieved a Gold Medal Award. This year the Organising body has changed to ‘River Street Productions’ and the award system had altered slightly and the top award changed to a Platinum Award, which we were successful in achieving.
This years’ stand consisted of a central tokonoma containing a large and sculptured juniper with a mountain scroll and similarly following the mountain concept, a suiseki mountain stone on a stand. On either side of the tokonoma were 12 feet extensions on 2 levels exhibiting trees and accents. A very worthy stand, deserving of its’ top class award and greatly admired by the many thousands attending the event.
The entire stand
The much cursed pillar, which we were told was 4 inches square!!??
FoBBS Gold Medal Award, R.H.S. Chelsea 2016
Another fantastic year at Chelsea; what a wonderful show, fantastic that we FoBBS, thanks once again to the single minded and dedicated enthusiasm of Reg Bolton, a man of advanced years, older than most of us, who worked tirelessly, rising before 6:00 a.m. each day and reaching his bed late at night to ensure that Fobbs received a Chelsea Gold Medal. What an epitaph - 16 Chelsea Gold Medals to his credit and over £7,000 into Fobbs accounts, who else can claim that? Facebook once again the source of vitriolic embittered comments of a man who has dedicated his life to FoBBS and from people who have never lifted a finger to help anyone but themselves.
The trees, making up this superb display are a range of species including Chinese Elm, Chinese Juniper, Deshojo Maple, English Elm, English Yew, Kiyohime Maple, Korean Hornbeam, Ligustrum, Mountain maple, Siberian Elm, Trident Maple, White Beech and White Pine; these were collected from members of member clubs from around the country, they made up a first class display for a Gold Award. Watch television if you do not know how difficult it is to achieve a Gold Award. Dedicated commercial growers work for years, in fact almost their whole lives and are grateful to get Silver Gilt, let alone Gold upon Gold. How lucky we are to have such a man as Reg Bolton working for us…… and who is going to take upon the perfectionist mantle when he finally has to give way to time and retire?
Thousands upon thousands flocked around to admire the trees, to show their appreciation, albeit if that included a fair few of the inevitable naive questions. Even if frozen and desperate to get to a warm cup of coffee I could not but be exhilarated by the enthusiasm of people from all parts of the world. Wednesday proved an unseasonable but rewarding day. Perhaps other members of FoBBS clubs would like to volunteer for a great, if tiring day at the world’s most prestigious Flower Show?
I must conclude by thanking not just Reg but all those who helped over the previous weekend to build the stand and those came from all around the country to do their stints on duty at the Show. Maybe it was cold but what other opportunity do we get to see such a Show (and you are not on duty all day).
Mendip Bonsai - John Trott, Gold Award stand.
And my absolute favourite - the amazing display staged by Birmingham City Council.
Until next year - Kath Hughes