Newsletter – June 2016

2016-06-Img01Bonsai Notebook

We will not have a regular club meeting in June.  As we did last year, we would like the club to support the Descanso Bonsai Society annual show by attending the show reception on June 11.  The reception will be held at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Canada Flintridge, at 6:00pm.  In addition to the beautiful display of trees, there will be a sales area for tree material and other related items.  There will be a raffle and an auction, so a lot of bonsai material will be available in one way or another.

Many of our club members also belong to the Descanso club, so you will see familiar faces.  Come and join us.

The Arboretum summer concert series again includes a July event that conflicts with our meeting night, but we still plan to meet on July 9.  It will be held at the home of Peter and Marissa Macasieb in West Covina.  Watch for the details in the July newsletter.

President’s Corner

Our annual show, ending just a couple of days ago, was a great success.   We had an increase in the number of trees entered, and I heard a lot of  compliments regarding the variety of tree types on display.  I’m sure all the club members who attended were pleased with the public’s reaction to the show.  People were commenting continually about how amazed they were by the beauty of the trees.  I know we are proud of our own trees, but it was very satisfying to see them appreciated by the people passing through the exhibit.

We also had an increase in the amount of items available on the sales tables. Members were able to sell a lot of bonsai material and related  products, which in turn brought income to the club.  This is our biggest fund raiser of the year, and the proceeds help cover our expenses throughout the year.


May Meeting Highlights

The “Master of Saikei”, Frank Goya, designed another one of his masterpieces for us at the May meeting.  He began by talking about the placement of rocks in the scene, emphasizing the use of an odd number.  He said the rocks should look both interesting and old and be used to create depth in the landscape.  Frank uses tufa rock which looks very old and rugged.


An essential element of the saikei, obviously, is the inclusion of the trees. Frank uses p. nana juniper trees that he has grown and trained from cuttings.  He wires and styles his trees before coming to the demonstration, so they are ready for placement in the landscape scene.  Starting with the main tree, and also the tallest, Frank  positioned the trees, and they were secured in place by his assistant Jaime.  He used the different tree sizes to give the impression of depth. Once the rocks and trees were positioned, soil was added, followed by moss, small grasses and plants, in scale to the trees, to complete the scene.  Frank’s final touch was a trail of white sand to represent a water element.

May Show Highlights

As mentioned earlier, our Memorial Day weekend show was very successful.  Jim Barrett accepted our request to judge the show and did a magnificent job.  Unless you watched Jim as he worked his way through the room, it would be hard to appreciate how much work it takes to judge a show.  Jim sat in front of every tree to be judged.  He spent time studying the tree, scored the tree in several categories, and wrote comments about the tree, often including suggestions for how to improve the tree and display.  Jim’s time and expertise was greatly appreciated.

Marge Blasingame, like Jim Barrett, was an invaluable ingredient in our show. Without these two long-time show participants, I personally don’t know how we would manage.  I don’t even want to think about it.  “Thank you” to Marge for all of her time managing the sales area, watching the trees, and providing food and beverages for club members in attendance.  She was there all day every day.

I also want to thank  Marilyn Tyler, who again made and presented our show awards. Marilyn comes in on Saturday, patiently waits for the trees to be judged, then takes photos of the winning displays.  She goes home, prints the pictures in her “award” format and finishes them in a presentation display which she brings back and places by the winning trees.  Thanks, Marilyn, for all your time and effort.

The display judged “Best Theme Tree” belonged to June Nguy for her California juniper in the bunjin style.  Joyce Gibbs won the “Best Shohin” award, and “Best of Show” honors went to Louis Camerata for his beautiful Satsuki  azalea.  The “ 21st Century Award” for highest score by a club member who has not previously won an award from   our show went to Tom Vuong  for his black pine.



Thank you to all who entered trees, and to all the members who were there to help set-up, take-down, and docent. It is truly a group effort.

Newsletter Update

  • Our membership dues are vital to SABS remaining financially viable. The  dues for each year are due in January.  Past members who have not yet renewed are encouraged to do so at this time.  If you joined SABS during Oct-Dec 2015 then your membership is current until Dec 2016.
  • The SABS newsletter is one of the “perks” of  belonging to our club.  When your membership is not  renewed by the end of March  the membership lapses  and you will no longer  be illegible to receive this newsletter directly via email and/or US mail.  The newsletter will always be available on our  website:

Upcoming Events

June 11-1246th Annual Descanso Bonsai Society show, Descanso Gardens, trees,pots and related bonsai items on sale, reception Saturday night, 6p-7p, raffle  8p.

Thank you to May Raffle Donors

J. Banuelos, Y.S. Farn, P. Macasieb, D. Miles,  J. Pelling, W. Tsai, F. Yee

New Members

John & Miko Hunt

Come Join Us

No Regular Meeting in June

Next Meeting
Date: July 9, 2015
Time: 7pm
Location: in West Covina
At the home of Peter Macasieb

2016 Monthly Meeting Dates

June 11 — no meeting Please attend the Descanso Show Reception
July 9 —  Peter Macasieb
Aug  13 —  Demo TBA

2016 Refreshment Schedule

June  — no meeting
July  — bring a favorite dish or dessert to the Macasieb’s home