Newsletter – May 2017

2017-05-Img01Bonsai Notebook

Our guest demonstrator for May is Gary Ishii.  Gary, as a bonsai artist, is another gem from Southern California.  Gary operates Chikugo-en Bonsai Nursery in Gardena, originally established by his father, the late bonsai master Masaru Ishii. Gary is famous for his grafting skills, particularly with shimpaku juniper material.

He will do a demonstration/workshop on tool sharpening at the May meeting.  Club members can observe, but also participate in the hands-on workshop.  Gary will discuss the importance of sharp cutting tools for bonsai use and will demonstrate the techniques of sharpening using water stones.  Club members can join in by bringing a water spray bottle, tools for sharpening, a water sharpening stone,  a bowl or Tupperware container to soak the stone in, and a terry towel to stabilize the stone and soak up excess water.   Water stones are available at Rockler Woodworking stores and on-line.  Don’t miss this chance to learn how to keep your scissors sharp!


Meeting Time And Place:
May 13 at 7pm
LAC Arboretum/ Palm Room

President’s Corner

The Santa Anita Bonsai Society’s 53rd annual Memorial Day weekend show is this month.  Our show has a long tradition at the Arboretum, and I hope all our members will join us by entering a tree and/or volunteering to help.  An entry form is included in the newsletter and will be available at the May 13 meeting.  The form includes time slots for members to sign up for show set-up and take-down, and for watching over the trees and other tasks that go with our show operation.


As mentioned at the April meeting, we will not meet in June, but instead we ask that you support the Descanso Bonsai Society by attending their annual show reception on June 10, usually 6:00pm at the Descanso Gardens in La Canada.  Details will be in the June newsletter.

We plan to have our July meeting again at the home of Peter and Marissa Macasieb in West Covina, and the September meeting at the home of Steve and Judy Anthony in Covina.  The format for these meetings will be the same as a regular meeting with a demonstration and raffle.  The location change is due to summer concert conflicts with the Arboretum site.  Details will be shared in upcoming newsletters.

~Dave Miles

Members Corner

The club thanks those members who have recently renewed their memberships.  As you know, the club’s ability to put on our annual show and provide monthly meetings and demonstrations relies on the money we receive as membership dues.  Thanks for your support, and it is not too late to renew if you have not already done so.

April Meeting Highlights

April featured the return of the master of saikei, Frank Goya.  Frank was prepared, as always, with all the elements of a saikei or landscape planting including procumbens nana juniper trees already styled.  He started  with the placement of tufa rocks and used an odd number.  The rocks were positioned in foreground and background locations in the saikei tray to help create depth.  Frank, using his assistant Jaime, placed the trees into the landscape, also using an odd number following bonsai tradition and placing them, as with the stones, to give the sense of depth.


Frank talked about the importance of keeping all the elements of the saikei in scale.  This included the moss and accents as well as the trees and stones.  He used small erodium plants as accents.  The  completed saikei was a beautiful example of Frank’s skills and it was generously included in the raffle.

Frank also brought a single-tree landscape planting that he also donated to the rafle.  Dick Ryerson was the lucky winner of Frank’s saikei, and new member, Michael Naidin, took home the single-tree planting.


Thank you, Frank, for sharing your talents with us once again.

Newsletter Update

  • If you haven’t been receiving the newsletter by email and would like to,  please contact  Dave & Lorraine with your most current  address.
  • If you have a knack for writing, a story to tell, a photo or something you would like to share in our newsletter please submit it to Dave & Lorraine prior to the 20th of any month  at : [email protected]
  • HOPEFULLY THIS ISN’T YOUR LAST NEWSLETTER: The SABS Newsletter is one of the “perks” of belonging to our club.  When your membership is not renewed annually by the end of March the membership lapses and you are no longer eligible to receive this newsletter directly via email and/or US Mail.  The newsletter will always be available on our website

Upcoming Events

May 27,28,29
Santa Anita Bonsai Society 53rd Anual Memorial Day Weekend Bonsai Show
Los Angeles County Arboretum
9a-4:30p daily, demonstrations 1:00pm daily,
bonsai trees and supplies on sale

June 10, 11
Descanso Bonsai Society Annual Show
Descanso Gardens, 1418 Dedcanso Dr., La Canada Flintridge
9a-4p, demos at 11am and 1:30p each day,
reception Sat. 6pm with raffle,
bonsai trees and accessories on sale

Come Join Us

Next Meeting

Date: May 13, 2017
Time: 7pm
LAC Arboretum, Palm Room
301 N. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, Ca  91007

No Board Meeting in May

2017 Monthly Meeting Dates

May 13 — Gary Ishii
June 10 —  no SABS meeting, please attend Descanso Bonsai Society Reception
July 8 — Peter Macasieb

2017 Refreshment Schedule

May — Joyce Gibbs, Emma Janza, Mike Kelly, Octavia & Walt Chin
June — no meeting, please attend Descanso Bonsai Society Reception