For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been traveling around China, visiting family and friends and seeing some famous sights. The first part of the trip, though, was spent in Jintan, just outside of Shanghai, at the 2013 WBFF and ASPAC bonsai congress. I was asked to be a headlining demonstrator at the event, along with more than 40 other international professionals. This was my first experience attending a large international conference of this type, which made it all the more enjoyable.
The first day was spent touring the newly opened Baosheng Gardens, a privately owned facility housing some of China’s best Penjing and Bonsai. The second day, all 40-something international professionals provided simultaneous demonstrations on top-notch semi-rough stock material for a circulating crowd, numbering in the thousands.
On the final day, a small group of us took a side trip to visit Ju Song Yuan Penjing Garden in Jintan. The newly opened facility is home to tens of thousands of yamadori pines and other stock, as well as refined material, some of which was imported from Japan. In fact, I came across a Japanese Maple on display at the garden that we at Kouka-en had sold this past spring. I rarely contemplate purchasing material for my personal collection, but this tree was one exception, which made the reunion in China all the sweeter.
The event itself was a blast, the experience was excellent, and all of the professionals were just that – professional, fun-loving, and truly enjoyable. A big thanks to the WBFF & ASPAC organizers, as well as to the other demonstrators. I’ll be posting a video overview of the event highlights in the coming days. Check back for the update!