Our ‘Downunder‘ representative, Wendy Gibbs, will be writing updates to this page from New Zealand and Australia and we hope that you will find her reports both interesting and informative.
GROWING SATSUKI BONSAI IN NZ
Wendy has been involved in Bonsai since about 1980, initially a member of Auckland Bonsai Club, then a founder member and president of Nelson Bonsai Club from the late 1980’s when she taught and demonstrated extensively around the Nelson area. She has continually worked to develop her understanding of bonsai with international Bonsai teachers such as Ben Oki, Gary Marchal, Craig Coussins, Tony Bebb, Nobuyuki Kajiwara, and others.
When she moved to Christchurch in 2002 she was able to extend her Bonsai skills during study trips to the UK and Europe, including visits to workshops with, and demonstrations by, various Bonsai artists including John Hanby, Takeo Kawabe, Hiromi Tsukada, Danny Use and others.
She was listed as a National Demonstrator with the NZBA in 2005. She has a particular interest in azaleas as bonsai and has been growing them for over 15 years. Initially it was difficult to get information on the special techniques needed to get the best out of azalea bonsai. However, since 2005 she has been able to access a lot of specialist information on azalea (specifically Satsuki Azalea) cultivation and training as a member of the Satsuki Azalea Society (UK) and recently the Australasian Satsuki Society. She has also collected many different varieties of Satsuki azaleas, most of which are very rare in NZ.
Wendy will be demonstrating the very specific and different cultural and design requirements to develop Azaleas as good bonsai, and speaking about the varieties of azaleas available in NZ.