THE “BURRS” Bonsai Residency Workshops

My workshop weekend at “BURRS” (UK)  10 & 11 November 2007

For the second year running I was invited by my dear friend Tony Tickle to do a weekend long workshop in his (the now already legendary)   “BURRS” Bonsai Residency Workshops in the UK. Together with Enrico savini and his student Ivo from (Italy) and my good friend Terry Foster  we worked with  almost 30 bonsai friends from all parts off Europe, with wonderful material.  The  bunkhouse were this bonsai weekend  takes place is situated  in a park with  only a pub across the road….how lucky can you get?  And on the Saturday night  there was wonderful food and later, all kind of whisky were there to sample, wile Enrico and Ivo gave a demo on a magnificent Pine and I worked on a “one branch” Yew from my mate Terry.  Again it was a great success to all, I had a wonderful time with my old friends and made some new once this time! And November 2008, Enrico, Ivo, Terry and me will be back for more and so is everybody else that was there, because it was fully booked, the minute this last one ended! I hope you enjoy the images of this ,yet an other, great “BURRS” bonsai weekend!

 I arrived early Thursday night “Very relieved” at John Lennon airport Liverpool. I took of from Amsterdam in the middle of a heavy storm! Just after the bumpy take off, the plain just fall down for a (long) couple of seconds! Everybody screamed and the sleeping guy next to me crept hold of my leg. Than there was a enormous bang, when the plain got hold of some air again! It scared the living s… out off me and I had to re-swallow most of my meal for the second time. So In a panic I tried to take a anti air sickness pill, but I had nothing to drink with me on board (thanks to you know who?), so I tried to swallow the thing with out any water! Trying to swallow a pill the size of a small golf ball, with a dry mouth from fear, is simply impossible! And so the dam thing started to melt on my tong, so I had to spit it out! After that, it took several hours before I finally could speak again with out a lisp! But until this day, I still not got my normal tasted back in my mouth! After a bouncy landing, my humor got quickly better, when I met up with Tony, who brought me to his car were Enrico and Ivo were already waiting. Along the way to the house of Terry, were I would stay during the weekend,  we had a animated talk about… well stuff!!   Wink They dropped me off at Terry and Charlot’s place, just in time fore a lovely home cooked big and juicy pepper steak, fresh from the hill’s (I’m drooling on my keyboard again)! Than some beer and a film on his wall size television and than (arround 2) off to bed, for a early night. Early in the next morning, wile Terry was making a large breakfast, I had a change to wonder trough his amazing collection of bonsai.   I admire Terry’s delegate style and I would like to share some of his lovely Bonsai that I saw that cold morning. Enjoy!

Picture 1: Terry’s garden.

Picture 2: One off my favorites: A lovely small “Hawthorn” on a piece off rock that seams to be made for this tree. Terry him self found this rock as well.

Picture 3: A great “Yew”on a other wonderful rock and a other of Terry’s   “Hawthorns”.

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Picture 4: Later that morning we were joined by Tony, Enrico and Ivo. Under the pleasure of warm coffee and croissants, Enrico and Ivo had a long look at Terry’s trees, Especially this old and very twisted “Yew” had there intention!

Picture 5: Then Tony drove Enrico, Ivo and me, up North, to a magical place. I have been there before, but Enrico and Ive saw this wondrous  place for the first time. You cant find there ancient trees, like this beautiful “Yew” tree. You only have to stick it into a pot and voila!

Picture 6: Than we had some typical English lunch in a lovely  old  tavern in a very small village!

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Picture 7, 8:  After this lunch, we drove further up North to look for “Yamadori”. Tony drove his 4 wheel drive right up to the top of a small mountain. Is was wonderful up there.

Picture 9: Look what I found!

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Picture 10: And got out! Because this old “Yew” grew on a large piece off flat rock its roots were awesome!

Picture 11: Happy me, with a beautiful “Shohin” sized Yamadori “Yew”.

Picture 12: Ivo guarding our newly found treasures!

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Picture 13:  with Press release. As posted on the IBC forum:


BBC London.

Northern England:

Today, late in the afternoon, high on the south side of mount “Glenn Morecock”, after a tip  received from  a Dutch backpacker, 3 odd  looking persons were caught in the middle of some sort of strange and suspicious ritual.

Pati O’furniture, the mountain ranger that apprehended the suspicious man said: It most have been around Sunset when I finally stumbled on this 3 weird behaving man!  I caught them on camera, just in the middle of some sort of   bizarre offering! The man on the left,   stood there with a silly grin on his face, holding, what seamed to be a  Yew. While the man in the middle kept repeating the same lines over and over again, with a obvious foreign accent: I am only the translator, were is the pub! The third man, a little further on the hill  kept mumbling: Damn those cheap contact lenses!

The persons were taken down the mountain, during witch several telephone calls were made by the man in the middle to his wive. After further investigations, everything seamed to be a misunderstanding based on a falls tip!    The tree man  were immediately released, with apologies. The dutch backpacker was last seen driving on the road to Liverpool, with a trunk full of small trees and a big grin on his face!!!! Grin Grin


Picture   14, 15 , 16 : Sorry for the poor quality of the next 3 pictures, bud it was very stormy and I was very cold! LOL. The 3 “Yews”were left socking in water over night, so their roots could fill up with water. Than early next morning, Terry and me planted them in suitable plastic containers (look at the amazing roots), in a mixture of Akadama and Biosorb (cat liter). Terry is a expert in these little gems, so I let him do most of the work. LOL. The trees were firmly attached  in there containers,  so that there would be no change of root damage when moved.

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Than it was high time to leave for “Burrs” were people were already hard at work!

The next pictures are made by several participant, but I know they don’t mint me sharing them here with you all!

Picture 17: This is how bonsai heaven looks like from the inside! A Saturday and Sunday of pure FUN!

Picture 18: Mick, working on a “Yamadori” common Juniper, came together with Morea, over a very stormy sea all the way from Holland.

Picture 19: Less concentrated at work.

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Picture 19, 20: Me bending Daves “Juniper” and Ian is waiting for it to snap! The branch was hollowed out and filled with lenghts off aluminium wire, than raffia and tape to protect it from breaking.

Picture 21: Ivo and Enrico discussing John’s “Hitoigawa Juniper” and me on the right ears dropping.

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Picture 22: Discussing trees helps! Here is the finished tree of John.

Picture 23: The design for Bob’s  Pine.

Picture 24: Happy Bob with his finished tree!

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Picture 25: Dave and Terry working hard on Dave’s “Yew”.

Picture 26: The lovely end result!

Picture 27: Chris worked very hard for two days preparing his big “Scots Pine” for styling.

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Picture 28: Terry and me helping Chris with his tree.

Picture 29: A to low end picture of the finished result.

Picture 30: Enrico and Ivo splitting a “Juniper”.

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Picture 31: Some people kept on working, way past there bed time!

Picture 32: This is what was waiting for use on the Sunday morning.

Picture 31: On the Saturday, after a hard days work, followed by a  great meal, it was time fore the boys and girl to sit back and relax, wile enjoying a wide ranch of alcoholic drinks and  watching a informal evening demonstration by Tony, Enrico and me.

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The “Burrs” demonstrations.

Tony planted a beautiful small “Yew” on a very heavy stone he earlier prepared. I still don’t understand how he managed to get that big hole in that hard rock.

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Enrico and Evo demonstrated on Tony’s Big Yamadori “Scots Pine”. It was a enormous transformation, made posible by  Enrico’s great technical knowledge and   beautiful style. Some extreme heavy bending was don by those two, and it was great fun for me to trow a heavy metal oven tray on the floor behind them, wile the were very concentrated bending the thickest branch! Boy,  do those Italians jump high! LOL. The out come of there hard work was absolutely amazing!

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My demonstration was on a elegant, “one branch” yamadori “Yew” from Terry. The deadwood whirls around the hole length of the slim trunk, so I decided to  go along with  this character of this tree.  I  made the one live branch dance around the  back of the tree, towards the front again, in harmony with the gentle movement of the tree. The opening that you see between the branch (in raffia)and the trunk, looks much less obvious in real live.

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It all came to a end to soon! I enjoyed my self immensely and found it a great privilege to work with such enthusiastic Bonsai fanatics, who trusted us enough, to work with them on there loved and valuable trees, with out any hesitation’s! Well Enrico, Ivo, Terry and me are invited to do it all over again in November 2008, and I have heart it is already fully booked again! I cant wait!

I hoped you enjoyed this “Burrs”  story?




3 Responses to THE “BURRS” Bonsai Residency Workshops

  1. Pingback: THE "BURRS" Bonsai Residency Workshops — Flowers and garden website

  2. Irene_B says:

    Great pics and greater trees!

    I love the Rawks!


  3. mauro says:

    frantastic pics hans thanks for post!!!!

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