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Cheryl ManningProgram: Cheryl Manning On John Naka

Cheryl Manning is an excellent bonsai artist and entertaining speaker. She has prepared a presentation on her friend and world-famous bonsai master, the late John Naka, who is considered the father of American bonsai. Many of our newer members may not know Cheryl yet. Here is her biographical sketch taken from her website

For the past thirty years, Cheryl Manning has been passionate about the art of bonsai. An artist since childhood and an avid gardener since her teens, Cheryl discovered Murata Bonsai Nursery in 1981–and it was love at first sight: art and gardening wrapped up in one small package. In 1985, Cheryl joined Satsuki Kai, a club of the leading bonsai masters in West Los Angeles. Because the meetings were conducted in Japanese, she understood very little, but her commitment was strong and she formed lasting friendships. By 1989, Cheryl was hiking in the Tehachapi Mountains with Harry Hirao, collecting California junipers. Later, she was fortunate enough to become not only a student and close friend of John Naka, but also an apprentice in Japan with bonsai master Yasuo Mitsuya, owner of Tokai-en in Toyohashi. Cheryl has conducted bonsai demonstrations, workshops, and slide presentations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. She’s written more than forty articles for many bonsai publications and currently pens a column “Trash to Treasure” for Bonsai: Journal of the American Bonsai Society. Cheryl has also edited John Naka’s Sketchbook (National Bonsai Foundation, 2005), a compilation of John’s bonsai sketches from around the world.

President’s Message:

Tom Post

Great job at the show EVERYONE! A special thanks to Joe Olson for heading up the native tree display, to Keith Mautino and Carol Hicks for manning the sales table, to John Bleck for his detailed signs and organization of our first ever silent auction, to Leroy Kubel for “first man to arrive” and last man standing during the photo shoots, to Ann Erb for a great job laying out our show, to our set up- take down and storage crews, to Hank and Mary Anne Gugel for driving all the way from Granada Hills once again and to all the husbands and wives for stepping in to assist the club members. The turnout was excellent- a big thanks to our “rack card” jockeys. Sales seem to be very good.

Cami is back from the east coast and will give us a detailed report on our finances. Your checks for items sold will arrive shortly.

~ Tom

Last Month: A Very Busy Month!

1. Tuesday Evening Program: Ann Erb On Show Preparation.

Ann Erb preparing a tree for presentationAnn’s timely show-and-tell gave us lots of good examples and tips on how to prepare and exhibit show trees, and made use of her extensive experience in exhibiting trees as well as her extensive collection of stands as part of her demonstration. At right she is pictured pairing an azalea with a stand.


2. The Show!

The show, as Tom Post says in his president’s message, was a great success. Here are a few pictures:

Leroy Kubel photographing it all.
Ann Erb busy styling a Liquidambar for her Sunday demo.
Tokonoma featuring Ann Erb’s Trident Maple and one of Susanne Barrymore’s scrolls.

3. The Beginners’ Class

The annual beginners’ class was sponsored by and held at the Botanic Garden this year on May 31. It was well attended. The participants, including 10-year old Tyler, seemed to enjoy it and seemed to be pleased with the trees they took home. Welcome, you are all now members of our Club. At left is Carol Hicks with her newly styled tree and at right is class instructor Ann Erb with the Botanic Garden’s Executive Director Steve Windhager, who was a participant in the class.

Coming Events:

June 14 – 15, La Cañada Flintridge: Descanso Bonsai Society Annual Show

Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive. Hours are 9 AM – 5 PM, with Demonstrations 11 AM and 1 PM each day. Sales area is open to the public. Admission to the exhibition is free with admission to Descanso Gardens (free to members of SBBG). A Saturday night reception 6 PM – 9 PM includes light refreshments, auction and raffle. For more information go to or contact Michael Jonas at 818-776-0813.

June 14 – 15, Encino: Sansui Kai Of Southern California Annual Show

In conjunction with the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society at Sepulveda Garden Center 16633 Magnolia Blvd. Hours are 9 AM – 5 PM Saturday and 9 AM – 4 PM Sunday. This is a family friendly venue with club bonsai sales, amazing vendors from the succulent, iris and native plant community. Admission is free. For more information contact Dan Kashinsky at 818-512-7661 or for timing of lectures on bonsai, succulents and native plants as well as entertainment and day end feast

June 21: Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: Open Workshop.

Informal open workshop for all members, 9AM to noon, Room 7, Goleta Community Center. Bring a tree or two to work on anytime during the morning, or just come by for a cup of coffee and a cookie. No Saturday classes in June. New semester starts in July.

June 21-22: Anaheim, Orange County Bonsai Society: 51st Annual Bonsai Exhibit

Orange County Buddhist Church, 909 S. Dale Ave. Exhibit hours are 10:30 AM – 4 PM both days. Demonstration at 1 PM each day followed by a benefit raffle. Demonstration trees will be included in raffles each day. Bonsai pots, tools and accessories along with books, trees and plants will be on sale. All ages welcome. Free admission and parking. There is a possibility of a schedule conflict with the venue. Please email or call to confirm exhibit dates/times prior to attending. For more information contact or Ken Schlothan at 714-553-7516

July 8: Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: Regular Tuesday Evening Meeting.

Program to be announced.

August: Summer Potluck

Ann Erb and John Kopp have offered to host our summer party this year. Date and more information to come.

October 14: Pot Workshop With Jim Barrett

Jim has agreed to put on another of his popular make-your-own-pot workshops. More details later.