In June 2005, I was invited to Winnipeg,
Canada, to spend several days working with the Winnipeg Bonsai
Society. During that time they held two workshops and a lecture
The members of the Winnipeg Society
graciously extended their Canadian hospitality and friendship.
In the rare moments of free time, Paul Collard took me on a downtown
excursion. We were able to visit the River Walk area in downtown
Winnipeg where the two rivers, Assiniboine and Red meet. There
is a lovely pedestrian area loaded with shops and an outside
ampitheater. Winnipeg's downtown also has many great architecturally
detailed buildings. There even was a multi-mile street exhibit
of Polar Bear statues that were each customized by a local artist.
Some of them were really quite fabulous and very inventive.
We visited the bonsai collection
of John Tran, member of the Winnipeg group. John has a great
collection of trees. He is focusing on locally collected materials
which include Jack pine, Eastern Larch and White Cedar as well
as Black and White spruce. He uses a loose and airy soil mix
which allows him to successfully winter trees in this zone 2
climate! Winnipeg can have extremes of weather with winter temperatures
plunging far below freezing. The group's success is partially
due to growing trees that are native and thus adapted to the
weather or by growing tropical trees indoors where the trees
escape the weather extremes.
Society awaiting the "miracle".
Ficus demo tree.
Paul Collard helping
bend a reluctant trunk.
Linda, John Grande,
Kathy Gutheil, ?, John Tran and Paul Collard in front. John's
banyan Ficus microcarpa on right.
It was a weekend of delightful bonsai
learning and sharing that I will lomg remember.