From the Curator
Here in the Pacific Northwest, most days in early March still look and feel like winter, but there are signs the season is turning – Crocuses are blooming; near my house, field hands are cutting daffodils, and near the Bonsai Collection, Canada geese are gathering to stake out claims to nesting sites.
In line with the season, our staff and volunteers are working our way through this year’s repotting list – mixing soil, cutting screen, making staples, sharpening shears, working trees out of their pots, working soil out of root balls, trimming roots, reinstalling trees in their pots (or in new pots), flagging the trees for aftercare, and then clean up, clean up, clean up. It’s a busy season, at times a bit frantic as we try to stay ahead of trees waking from dormancy, but it’s good work, good for the trees and satisfying for the workers. In the next few weeks our protective mini-greenhouses will be removed from the display tables, and then we will feel that spring has truly arrived.
As I mentioned in my winter message, 2013 will be our busiest year ever for special exhibits and events. Our first art exhibit will be "Stone Images IV" from April 6 through May 1 – an exhibit of never-before-shown-in- public suiseki (artistic natural viewing stones) by the Puget Sound Bonsai Association's Suiseki Interest Group. As an added attraction this year, members of the Suiseki Interest Group will be on hand 11 AM – 3 PM each Saturday during the run of the exhibit to give demonstrations and answer questions. The Suiseki show will be followed in May by an exhibit of stunning and powerful paintings by members of the artist group "Trees in Art". Bonsai will not be forgotten. June 4 -30 we will feature "Hidden Gems" – an exhibit of outstanding bonsai from the Lake Washington Collection!
On Saturday, May 11, we will celebrate "World Bonsai Day" in honor of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation with lecture-demonstrations by guest artists, and guided tours of the collection led by our staff. On Sunday, May 12, we celebrate Mothers Day with a lecture-demonstration by Yours Truly and more guided tours of the collection. Please see our schedule of events for more detailed information.
As a final thought I urge everyone to observe World Bonsai Day by making a donation to our national bonsai collection – the U.S. National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. Donations are needed now to help restore the Japanese Pavilion, which houses the very special bonsai donated to the people of the United States by the people of Japan on the occasion of our nation’s bicentennial in 1976. Please go to the National Bonsai Foundation's website at http://www.bonsai-nbf.org/site/campaigngifts.html to make your tax-deductable donation.
Thanks to you all and Happy Spring!
David De Groot