On another day we visited the home of Wimpie Van Zyl and his gracious wife Sonette. They have an absolutely incredible home situated in a private game preserve. In addition Wimpie has an expanding and impressive bonsai collection. Bernie arranged for us to spend a whole day demonstrating on trees in Wimpie's bonsai workshop.
Our host Wimpie and Don relaxing in the chair, 2011
Sonette our super hostess, watching the action, 2011
The bonsai program started off with Tobie Kleynhans of South Africa taming a wildly growing Carissa natalensis. He somehow managed to extract a lovely windswept style tree from the innumerable snake-like branches.
Tobie with the tree befpre styling, 2011
Tobie, assisted by Bernie, 2011
Tobie fixing the tree in the pot, 2011
Carissa after Tobie's styling, 2011
Robert Stevens then performed his usual miracles and turned an upright tree into a gentle weeping style.
Robert with the Bottle Brush tree before any work, 2011
The tree completed as a weeping style, 2011
I got to demonstrate on a Ficus natalensis which had a dis-arrayed root system that needed to be tamed. Most of the discussion and work lay in simplifying the root structure to make the large basal root system radial and flowing. Small secondary trunks that did not relate well to the main trunk were removed. The bushy apex was refined down to a single growing point to be filled out with future growth.
F. natalensis with three poorly relating trunks before any work, 2011
Bernie helping me to refine the apex, 2011
At the end of my demo, the future apex and the "tamed root system", 2011
Some of the study group, 2011
More of the study group, 2011
After the workshop Wimpie, Sonette and helpers put on a fabulous Namibian braii or barbecue as we call it in the USA. I want to thank all of those involved who made this day so wonderful.