The annual bonsai event at Capel Manor

Such is the widespread appeal of the fun and satisfying hobby of bonsai growing that there are now clubs dedicated to these miniature trees across the UK. FoBBS, the Federation of British Bonsai Societies, has more clubs and members listed than ever before. While there have been peaks and troughs over the years, as there is in any hobby or pastime, the endearing quality of growing bonsai trees has meant that it is still going strong.

There are many events on the British bonsai calender, with one of the biggest being the annual autumn event at Capel Manor in Enfield, Middlesex, and this years even took place on the 13th October. Bonsai enthusiasts from far and wide gather together at this unique event and they bring their best trees with them to not only show them off but to enter them in two prestigious competitions.

Best composition and Best Tree in show are awards that everyone wants to win, though of course those who lift the latter will say that that is the most important. Ultimately, this is a gathering of like minded enthusiasts and new members are always welcome. There is even a competition for these beginners where they are given a Chinese junipers and given 3 hours to work on them. The judges move in and the one deemed the best is awarded the title of best Amateur New Talent.

The winner of this contest, Mark Kennerley from the Wirral Bonsai Society now goes forward to represent Britain at the European Finals held next May is Wroclaw Poland, and FoBBS are providing him with financial support in order to make the trip. There are also demonstrations by well known bonsai experts, and this year an attentive audience watched Graham Potter from Kaizen Bonsai work his magic on a Yamadori Scotch Pine.