You are currently viewing October 2019 – The Good, The Bad And The Unusual
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potato bonsaiThis month‘s program is another episode of our popular ”Good, Bad, and Unusual” series where you, our enthusiastic members, bring in a tree or two in any stage of training for any advice you might want on care and training, or suggestions on how to improve your tree. broccoli-bonsaiBe careful though! If there are a dozen club members in attendance, you may go home with 13 or more conflicting ideas of just what it will take to make your tree a masterpiece. If you have something you just want to share with us, bring that too. We’d be happy to see your bonsai broccoli or potato before you cook it for dinner. Meet and greet begins at 7 p.m., the program starts at 7:30.

President’s Message

Ernie’s on vacation again, this time in Italy and England, so I’m filling in for him this month and once again you’re stuck with my dry prose instead of his humor. He and Pat have been enjoying themselves tremendously. I hope that doesn’t change when they leave Italy’s delicious food behind and find Marmite on the table for their big English breakfast.

The club will again have a display at the Presidio’s Asian-American Festival on October 13. If you’d like to participate, please let me know. The GSBF annual convention will take place in Riverside on October 24-27. More info for both events is in the Coming Events section of this newsletter. ~ Joe

Last Month: Mirai Through Jeff Sczechowski’s Eyes

Jeff, seen at left at last month’s meeting, has traveled several times to study bonsai with Ryan Neal at Ryan’s Bonsai Mirai near Portland, Oregon. He is enthusiastic about his experience and says it’s well worth all the time, effort, and money that he has invested in it. A few minutes spent rummaging through Mirai’s website, will support Jeff’s enthusiasm when you see some of Ryan’s creations such as the California juniper in the picture at right. In addition to on-site classes and events, Mirai has an extensive on-line presence. There are many free videos on the Bonsai Mirai YouTube channel, and there are two on-line paid learning platforms on the Mirai website: Standard Level for $17.99 per month, and the Pro Level for $29.99 per month. Jeff says that, too, is money well spent. The first week is free for either level, and Jeff has arranged a 15% discount until October 15 for new subscribers from our club. Use the promo code BCSB15.

Ernie In Italy

Here’s Ernie Witham’s most recent dispatch from the European front. It sounds like he’s eating his way through a very good trip.

I found this interesting. In the middle of Piazza della Signoria in Florence was this giant bonsai-like Mulberry tree inside a geometric form called Dodecahedron, created by Leonardo Da Vinci. The Dodecahedron represented the entire universe. The Mulberry tree (Morus alba) was one of the plants most beloved of Da Vinci. Together the two represent the mystery of the connection between all things, a subject that fascinated Da Vinci and inspired his work throughout his career. I contemplated this over a plate of pappardelle ai gamberi and a bottle of Rosso Tuscano.

Coming Events

October 5 – 6

Thousand Oaks: Conejo Valley Bonsai Society: 16th Annual Bonsai Exhibition at the Resource Center at the Gardens of the World, 2001 Thousand Oak Blvd. Show hours are 9 AM – 4 PM with demonstrations in the Bandstand at 1 PM both days. Free Admission. No sales of bonsai related items. For information, call Marj Branson at 805-373-1330 or visit

Sunday, October 13

Asian American Neighborhood Festival. 11AM-3PM at El Presidio de Santa Barbara, presented by Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. This free event celebrates the history and culture of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio. Our club will have a small but elegant display. For more information, visit

October 19

Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: 3rd Saturday Workshop With Guest Instructor. 9 AM until noon or 1 to 4 PM., Room 7, Goleta Valley Community Center. Lindsay Shiba, guest instructor.

October 24-27

Golden State Bonsai Federation Convention 42
“Bonsai Forever” at the Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th St, Riverside. Displays, vendors, critiques, and more, including workshops with top instructors including our own Ann Erb. Full information at

November 12

Bonsai Club Of Santa Barbara: Regular Tuesday Evening Meeting
Ann Erb on pines.

November 9, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Bonsai Society: Viva Las Bonsai.

A Bonsai Exhibit and Show at the Nevada Garden Center, Northwest corner of Lorenzi Park, 800 Twin Lakes Drive from 10 AM to 4 PM. Bonsai Demonstration by Jan Culek, professional bonsai artist from the Czech Republic. Discussion on Zen and the Arts by Zen Master Ji Haeng. Bonsai Exhibit of Society member trees. Local vendor sales of bonsai related items and club tree sale. Parking and admission is free but donations are welcome. Raffle and silent auctions immediately following the demonstration. For further information contact

November 23rd

Clovis, California. Fresno Bonsai Society will conduct its eleventh consecutive bonsai yard sale from 8 AM until 2 PM at the Clovis Botanical Garden. The garden is located at 945 North Clovis Avenue in Clovis. The sale will be held in and around the big tent area. The event is free and the parking is free. Vendors of bonsai, pots and all related items are welcome free of charge. Everyone is welcome to buy, sell, or trade. There will be bonsai from both private collections and from the GSBF Clark Bonsai Collection. There will be used pots, hand-thrown pots from local potters. Look for books and magazines and display stands. The coffee is free and sandwiches will be available for $10. Come early for the best deals. Vendors are very welcome. Please contact Mike Saul ( for assistance. This is an entertaining event every year and a wonderful opportunity for new bonsai hobbyists to acquire better quality material for very reasonable prices.