Hi everybody,

this weekend I had the immense pleasure to be a part again of the, 2008 “BURRS” residential bonsai workshop weekend, that Tony Tickle organize every year. This was already my 3 time there and I am already committed to do the next one in 2009. And it is almost fully booked, so if you are interested to join use next year, you can find more Information here:

I must admit that lately I have lost my believe in a part of the bonsai community. I was so very disheartened by the behavior and attitude of some, that I decided to stay out of any debate in the future, that could not be won, even if I was right! So I have stopped posting on some forums to avoid temptation and aggravation. My precious time is better spent on my own Bonsai and Bonsai friends. It just wasn’t worth any more of my good intended time!

But after this weekend in “BURRS”, being a intimate part of this large group of ego less and pretence less Bonsai lovers, that I call my friends, I know again, were I can find the true heart and soil of Bonsai.

They all come every year to this magical place in the U.K, from different countries in Europe, to teach, lurn, eat and drink and have immense fun, wile creating beautiful stuff!!!

I thank all these dear Bonsai friends for their trust in us. This weekend was like a warm bath for me and you all revived my spirit and believes! Thanks Tony for organizing this event so well every year! And thanks to: Ivo, Enrico and my dear friend Terry for their love of Bonsai!

I will see you all next year in magical “BURRS”!!!


                                                “Turkey Cats” Rules !!!

Have fun,

Hans van Meer.


Picture above: I arrived at the “John Lennon” airport in Liverpool early Friday morning, were my dear friend Tony Tickle was waiting for me. We then drove up North, had a typical English breakfast in a fully for Halloween converted diner, wile we waited for my other friends Lee and Simon to arrive. From there we drove up to a wonderful place to collect some Yamadori from a rather steep and hard to climb mountain. This picture tells how lucky I felled to be able to do that, because only a week ago my back problems became so bad that I could hardly sit up, let along climb up a mountain side. It took some heavy medication, but I made it up there! The Bonsai gods were with me again on this one! The view was breathtakingly beautiful and worth the struggle!


Left picture: I took this other lovely view after I had to climb down most of the way to find my camera that had fallen out of my broken backpack. I was lucky again to find it back amongst all the Black and Hawthorns, but having to struggle all the way up again was no walk in the park for me!

Right picture: Tony and Simon found their first Hawthorn.


Left picture: Early next Saturday morning at Terry’s place, wile he allowed me to get a bid more sleep, he prepared everything to pot my collected trees in plastic containers. Then he woke me up, and with a warm cup of real thee we started to do this exciting work! This promising Hawthorn was collected by Simon and Tony for me.

Right picture: After a fitting container was found, the tree was firmly secured from 4 sides to prevent any movement. Than it was filed up with a mixture of Akadama and Biosorb.


Left picture: This hawthorn is planted in a cascading style, this meant some roots up the trunk were exposed to the air. That’s why Terry placed some Sphagnum moss around it, so they would stay alive to help the recovery of the tree next growing season. Later on, when the tree shows enough signs of recovering, they could be removed!

Right picture: Here are my 6 Yamadori potted up. So it was time for the lovely breakfast that Terry prepared as well for us! You got to love this guy!!!

Picture above: Here we just arrived at the “BURRS” venue. Isn’t this a fitting way to move a great talent and his wonderful material! 🙂


Left picture: Hawthorn after first serious cutting.

Right picture: Simon wiring his Pine. This odd looking Yamadori turned out to be rather stunning in the end!


Left picture: Pine forest on a natural slab.

Right picture: Ivo working on the deadwood of Jerry’s Mugo Yamadori.


Left picture: Cutting away this to thick and straight cascading branch on this Juniper, instantly created a very exciting fat Shohin!

Right picture:



Left picture: Eric and Ivo, having a get to getter, over Eric’s Larch.

Right: My quick drawing, of a posible future, for  Jerry’s Mugo. He was very excited about it, I hope he brings the tree along next year!













                                        “And above us only sky”

*more to come!

Hans van Meer.




  1. Andy Pearson says:

    Hi Hans

    It was good to see you to at Burrs. What a fantastic weekend and I am so so

    pleased with “The Italian Job” it has taken pride of place in my garden!

    I also wish more events can be staged like this as it is weekends like Burrs

    that truly bring out the spirit of Bonsai and break down all barriers and form

    new friendships.

    Looking forward to seeing you again, I will be at Noelanders with

    Mr Tickle so I may se you there

    All the best my friend and long live the Turkey Cats!!

    Kindest regards

    Andy “Stone Monkey”

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