Bonsai at St James’s Palace

19 July 2011 - A New High

In Spring of this year, FoBBS were asked by The Woodlands Trust if they would put on a display of Bonsai at a Commemorative dinner at St James’s Palace. The dinner was to mark the project of planting 6,000,000 trees around the UK. What an honour this was to be recognised by so significant an organisation as the Woodland Trust. And considering how many trees our Yamadori collectors take from the environment should we not do just something to aid the replanting scheme. Our thoughts went immediately to perhaps the first bonsai society in the UK, Bonsai Kai and certainly a very long standing and keen member of FoBBS. They were more than pleased to assist, as regular Chelsea exhibitors they had all the necessary expertise.

Photo courtesy of The Woodland Trust

Thus on July 19th, Bonsai Kai took a variety of their bonsai trees to display as table decorations at St James’s Palace. This prestigious event, hosted by the Princess Royal, was not just a fundraising event but also an opportunity to raise awareness of the urgent need to plant more trees in the UK. The Trust says that, surprisingly, the UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe.

Photo courtesy of The Woodland Trust

They wanted the evening to focus on the importance of trees and asked Bonsai Kai to supply a selection of bonsai of native trees for use as table decorations. Nine bonsai trees were provided, including Hornbeam, Scots Pine, Yew and Beech.

That evening,100 people sat down to a banqueting table decorated with bonsai. They proved to be a great hit and talking point with guests and ensured the tree theme continued over dinner as a fantastic conversation topic. The Trust were delighted and thanked Bonsai Kai for their help in making the event such a success.

The Princess Royal is Patron of the Woodland Trust's Jubilee Woods Project, which aims to plant six million trees across the UK as a tribute to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The project will offer millions of people the chance to do something practical, long lasting as well as beautiful, that will be remembered long into the future and make a difference to everyone's environment.           

Our thanks go to Bonsai Kai for their willingness to help and for the expertise that they offered to this event. Let us hope we are asked to tackle similar projects in the future.