Welcome to the Saruyama Blog, intermittent and generally off topic. Occasionally you might see some trees...and weird ones at that.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Noelanders 2014

Has been and gone and what a show it was. As with the last few years, Mr. Snart and myself, with the able assistance of Chairman John Armitage, transported over trees belonging to clients and a few others as well. We do this because, well, that is what bonsai professionals should do. Preparing started a week before the show, collecting up the trees from all over, mossing, cleaning and repotting where necessary.

I can fit a lot in a kangoo...and not a single branch broken
I can see in my wing mirror officer, honestly...

One of the trees I was most looking forward to seeing was the azalea belonging to John Brocklehurst. I have been helping him with this tree for some time now and he decided to put it forward for the show. With the help of Akiyama, I managed to find the perfect pot for it and so it was very carefully popped in there.

An antique (200 years plus?) Canton pot. The perfect fit. The tree itself, a kozan, looks a little sparse but that is always the case in the winter, they are semi deciduous and so it had lost plenty of old foliage making it look a little empty. It was mossed up and prepared. I had to check the table I had brought for it because this was the first time they had been put together...even though the tape measure assured me it would be a good fit...there is alays a difference between imagination and reality I find.

On the wednesday before the show, Mr. Snart turned up in his monstorous ban and we loaded up, after a little bit of intimate time with one of John Pitt's wonderful dogs.

Loading the van has been a source of frustration as I have my way of doing things and Peter has his way. Thankfully, Mr. Snart has been trained well by his wife/handler and he now realises that it is better not to try and fight against it and just do as he is told. (This is my way of saying that I am an absolute pain to work with at times like this and Peter has realised that the best thing to do is leave me alone). In this way, we make a great team.

Packed up with plenty of spare space. Many people would be horrified if they saw a Japanese bonsai professionals truck that has been packed full of exhibition (or sale) trees. There is an art to fitting a lot in a small space.

The exertions of the previous few days had seen me fall a little under the weather. Thankfully Chairman John came prepared and I was able to drug myself better

Thursday saw the drive over to Noelanders and it was fairly leisurely. Having been super stressed the year before in the snow, we unloaded the Thursday night for safety sake. This year it was just for ease of photography the next day, so thursday night we unloaded and went back for a well deserved tonic water and kipfillet. One of the joys of these trips is this...

I personally think that the Belgian definition of Twin bed must be something different. Still, you only live once or so they say...

Friday morning and we do our business, getting through the photographs in double quick time. Remembering which accent goes where and planning out the order, putting things together and making it look pretty. It always feels like we are under pressure as the queue starts building up behind us, but we get it done quicker than 14 individuals do...or at least I hope we do.

Waiting around for the incredible camerman Willy. Yannick Kiggen, pictured, his friend and student Patrick and also my kohai Valentin Brose (when he eventually turned up ;) were of invaluable help to us, particularly at the end.

Their moment in the spot light. Years and years of work and effort captured for eternity.

Ok. My house guest, the assistant extraordinaire Mr. Mike Feduccia and his wife have just woken up, so time for English Bacon, poached duck eggs and muffins...with lots of tea. More pics of the trees tomorrow.



  1. Mr Snart looks very comfortable with the bed arrangements, I hope that's a remote control for the T.V. in his hand !!

  2. Some things it is best not to know. ;-)

  3. My smut-blocker scrambled these posts. ;-)

  4. Remote control? That's the special oil!!

  5. Thanks Peter for your blog updates. I am certain that sometime recently I've seen much worse packing in a van.
    Take cre,