You are currently viewing June 2022 – On To The Next Adventure
Allan at the LA Swap Meet
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Allan Hemmy

Firstly, a huge thank you all the volunteers and exhibitors that helped to make this year’s show a great success. I thought all the displays looked wonderful and I overheard many comments on the beauty of the exhibit. When I first started bonsai, I didn’t understand the importance of display. For me bonsai is as much about the process as it is the refined tree. As I learned more and grew along with my trees, I now recognize the important role of exhibitions and display. The level of attention and detail paid to a tree during the time leading up to the show can have a significant impact on raising the quality and beauty of the tree. The intentionality of display also forces us to think more critically about the design of the tree with regards to balance, directionality, and overall symmetry/asymmetry. This certainly improves the tree and helps elevate its design.

Additionally, we get to reap further rewards from this process when the tree comes back into our garden reflecting the value of time and hard work spent on the tree. Our club’s show should be a real point of pride among all the members. If you look at other clubs of our relatively small size across the country, you quickly recognize that we rank among the top for the high quality of trees and display.

Secondly, I am saddened to report that this will be my first and only term as Vice President. Unfortunately, we are moving away from California at the end of June. We were presented an opportunity to bring the grandkids back closer to family and we couldn’t pass it up. Even though we are moving close to family and old friends, we will miss all the great friends (especially “bonsai” friends) that we are leaving behind.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to advance my bonsai skills in Southern California and to have been a member of the Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara. I only started with the club in 2015, a couple years after we moved to Ventura. But I have learned so much from the club meetings and talking with members. I like to joke that I decided to join the club over other area clubs because the drive up the coast was much more enjoyable than towards LA. The truth is that when I saw the photographs of the show and the member’s trees in the website gallery and in the online newsletters, I was inspired to think that someday maybe my trees could reach that level of quality. I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I am much closer than before and have the tools now to reach that goal.

I’ve told Jeff and Carol that if they’d like, I can stay on through the end of the year to help out remotely in any way needed. That also goes for any members, if you have any bonsai questions or problems feel free to reach out via email. I won’t say goodbye, as I hope to see many of you again when I get back to California occasionally to attend some of the regional exhibitions. But for now I am off to my next great adventure of seeing what trees I can collect in the Midwest and trying to figure out how to build a greenhouse to house all my tropical and Mediterranean bonsai!

Cheers, Allan

Saturday June 11, 9 AM-2 PM ­­ Beginner’s Workshop

Bethany Congregational Church, 556 North Hope Avenue. As of this printing we have 7 people signed up for the beginner’s workshop with 2 maybes for a total of 9. We can accommodate 13 total. If you would like a spot, contact Carol Hicks at 805-964-3098. Workshop includes a tree to style, help pruning, wiring and placing into a pot provided by the Club. Ann Erb has volunteered to lead the workshop. We will need several Club members to assist the beginners. This is always a fun day.

Tuesday, June 14, 7-9 PM John Bleck: Succulent Bonsai

Do succulents make good bonsai? Long-time Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara member, John Bleck, who is also a long-time member of the Santa Barbara Cactus & Succulent Society, will tell us all about succulents at this month’s meeting.

John has an extensive collection of succulents from all over the world, many of which he has made into bonsai. John also knows the genus and species names of every plant in existence! Good practice for all of us.

Last Month, Ann Erb – Caring For Your Tools

Ann gave a great lecture on the importance of maintaining your tools in optimum condition, Then she spent 2 hours cleaning, tightening and sharpening a myriad of Jeff and Edgar’s pruners (I’m bringing mine next time!). She also did demos on her own tools using both hand stones and her power wheel.


Scenes From The Big Show! May 21-22


No Merit Badges, But We Do Have Attractive Name Tags

We are doing another run on badges for Club members. They looked really smart at the show. Wearing them to local and non-local bonsai events identifies you as a member of the greatest club in Santa Barbara.

They are just $9 each. If you would like a badge, please email with your name as you would like displayed. Ernie

Upcoming And Ongoing

Special Bonsai Auction July 9, 2022 Saturday 11 AM – 4 PM

Located at the Lakeside Park Garden Center 666 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, California

Dennis and Joanne Makishima have donated their entire personal bonsai collection and related materials. Some 40 years of accumulation in bonsai history. This is the largest donation ever of bonsai trees and related materials to the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, Oakland, California. This auction will feature legacy pines and more from the mid-1950’s to early 1960’s, significant to the Japanese American bonsai pioneers – Iseyama Furusawa, Mas Imazumi, Jimmy Inadomi, Toshio Saburomaru, Peter Sugawara, Johnny Uchida, and others. This is an extraordinary, one of a kind auction.

Sale following immediately after auction. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to support the newly created Dennis and Joanne Makishima Curator Fund. Join us on Saturday, July 9th for a rare opportunity to bid on and purchase bonsai trees from the Dennis and Joanne Makishima collection. Set up at 8:00 AM. Preview Auction – Vista Room at 11:00 AM. Welcome – Vista Room at 12:00 PM. Live Auction – Vista Room at 12:15 PM. Sale – Garden Room after auction