Austin Bonsai Society

December 2001

President's Message

by Candy Hansen

Our Holiday Party is quite early this year because of conflicts getting the Garden Center any later in the month, so we all get an early start on celebrations!!

We are using the occasion to commemorate our Society's 30th anniversary, so please try hard to attend, and bring a dish to share, remembering that we will have guests, and making a bigger batch of your favorite accompanying dish.

My Thank - You list is sure to miss someone, but I will try to acknowledge all I can remember. Our club members in charge of arrangements - Audrey Lanier, for her help in remembering people from the early days, and for her special skills as an historian of our club; Alisan Clarke, for her design and execution of the lovely invitations you all received, and for collaborating on the menu; Sandra Vitone, for collaboration on the menu, and for what will be a lovely holiday setting for our party. Two very special people not members need to be acknowledged also: Neal Clarke, for helping Alisan create the invitations and for printing the colored part; and Kristen Kavanagh of Turtle Island Studio, for making the hand-made Christmas paper and helping obtain the vellum of the invitations.

As to club business, early next year (can you believe it?) we will need a sales person to help secure some sponsorship for our club directory. Any closet salespeople, please call me!! Newly elected Board members are invited to attend the November board meeting which will be Nov. 28, at 7:00pm at the Garden Center. All club members are invited to contact any board member with program ideas because if you want to see/hear it, others may, too.

Personal note - Mike came home from the hospital on Sat, 17 Nov. after his heart attack and after receiving a stent in his heart artery. He is tired, but doing pretty well.

From our family to yours, A Very Happy and Blessed Holiday Season, and a Joyous New Year!

Calendar of Events

Nov. 28 Board Meeting
7:00 PM Zilker Garden Center

Dec. 1 Monthly Meeting
Zilker Garden Center Refreshments by: EVERYONE

Dec. 19 NO Board Meeting
Dec. 26 NO Members Workshop


Jan. 12-13 Bay Island's 3rd Show Haywood, Ca.

Mar 2 The Joy of Bonsai Bath, United Kingdom

Mar 21-24 California Bonsai Soc. Burbank, Ca.

May 17-19 Int'l Scholarly Symposium on Bonsai & Viewing Stones U.S. Nat'l Arboretum, Wash., DC originally scheduled Oct. 2001

May 17-19 Annual Austin Bon. Soc. Show

Nov 15-17 State Bonsai Convention New Braunfels, Tx.

General Meeting Minutes

by David Gordon

November 14, 2001, Austin Bonsai Society Meeting was called to order by Gloria Norberg at 7:30 PM. President Candy was unable to attend due to Mike being in the hospital. He is recovering from surgery. The club wishes the very best for a speedy recovery.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved by the membership as written in the newsletter.

Ron Westra brought some trees which he styled in previous workshops. They are examples of trees which have taken a relatively short period of time to become very impressive examples of what can be done at the workshops.

Gloria Norberg brought her beautiful Fukien Tea group planting for the formal display.

The 2002 budget for the Austin Bonsai Society was presented by Treasurer Pat Ware. The Budget was approved, as presented, by the membership.

Alisan discussed the upcoming Christmas Dinner.

Gloria asked the membership for a volunteer to help with finding businesses to advertise in our membership directory. Please contact Gloria if you are interested in helping with this endeavor (especially if you have advertising experience)!

Upcoming events were discussed. The 30th Anniversary Christmas Dinner will be on December 1, 2001. The meeting for the 2002 LSBF convention will be on Friday, November 16, 2001, at 7:00 PM. The Nick Lentz meeting will be on February 6, 2002. Greg Setter will be presenting a lecture on collecting on January 9, 2002.

Elaine White presented the first annual report for the Permanent Collection. A copy of this report can be found in the Newsletter.(Pg. 6)

A program for our one year members was presented by Chuck Ware. The members were given a tree and pot and received help from members on styling. Jim Baumann presented a video for members not involved in the workshop.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Board Meeting Minutes

by David Gordon

Board minutes for November 5, 2001.

The "continued" portion of the October board meeting for the Austin Bonsai Society was held on November 5, 2001. The meeting was called to order by President Candy Hansen at 7:30 PM. Members in attendance were Candy Hansen, Gloria Norberg, Jim Baumann, Pat Ware, David Gordon, past president Alisan Clark and Chuck Ware.

Due to Thanksgiving holiday, It was decided that the November board meeting will be changed from November 21, 2001, to November 28, 2001.

The 30th Anniversary Christmas Party was discussed. Alisan has put together the list of members being invited. We may have up to 150 people at the dinner. Alisan has made beautiful invitations from handmade paper. Details of the dinner were discussed.

Nick Lentz will be presenting a workshop on February 6, 2002. The workshop will be held at Mike and Candy's Studio. The workshop is entitled "Styling Your Tree with the Long Term in Mind."

Next years budget was discussed. The budget was finalized and will be presented to the membership for approval.

Activities for next years programs was discussed. The board will be finalizing plans in the near future.

Meeting was adjourned by President Candy at 9:20 PM.

How Many??

by Jeff Rance

I suppose that everyone who has been involved in bonsai for a few years has had to address the question, "How Many?" The answer seems to vary greatly - according to expectations, employment status, number of dependents and etc.

This issue required a cursory thought, early on for me. I finally had my life together enough by 1989 to begin anew my exploits with bonsai - the first since 1972. That Winter of 1989/90 had a severe freeze, here in Dallas, that continued for some time. The reason that first Winter sticks out in my memory is because of the reactions of my wife. I had worked diligently during l989 to acquire lots of fine - I thought - bonsai. With the "deep freeze" outside, I felt the best place for my new treasures was in the bathroom with a humidifier - I now do not recommend this for several reasons. All was well for about a week - when Vicki explained that she really thought it would be nice if my bonsai were out of her bathtub and off of her bathroom counter. It never occurred to me that she was not enjoying them as immensely as I.

In January, 1990, I took immediate action. I began construction of the Japanese Tea Garden, in our side yard. It seemed the perfect solution! I got a Tea Garden that I had dreamed of from many years and Vicki got the beautiful bonsai out of her bathroom. If our friends looked askance, we simply told them that I was going through my "mid-life crisis".  All of the bases seemed to be covered. I now had not only ample room for my bonsai but room for additions. What a deal!

I began to collect an array of bonsai - "potensai"- and things that looked like they thought something Japanese once. I went after bonsai like a drunken sailor in a ...... well, like Congress does my paycheck. At any rate, by this year I had caused myself several unforeseen problems. My bride informed me that, since I had already had my fun, we needed a game room for the kids - upstairs - and she needed more closet space. When I patiently explained that we did not have an upstairs she replied "So??" I hope that she enjoys her new game room - upstairs - and her new closet! It was not nearly so much fun as a Japanese Tea Garden.

Back to bonsai! After two years, the garden was virtually busting at the seams with potted plants. Some of the material consisted of really fine specimens that could be shown in 3-5 years. There, however, was a lot of material for which I had, somehow, lost the original vision. Changes in taste, C.R.S. or something had rendered many of my potted plants to less than exciting.

I honored my obligation to keep those charges healthy, but at a cost. The first "cost" that comes to mind is that I was doing bonsai more but enjoying it less. This is a heavy toll when you consider that I do this "for fun". A more subtle - but no less real - "cost" was to my other trees.

The trees with great potential to offer joy to me, the trees which I had retained the vision, were suffering neglect. Not the neglect which makes for unhealthy trees but the neglect which lengthens internodes, looses a graceful movement in a supple branch early on or looses the potential for two season of growth in one season. In fact, I have maples on which an entire season of growth was wasted and the creation pruning had to begin afresh.

If these scenarios sound familiar, perhaps you too have too many potted plants and not enough bonsai. This is an easy place in which to get for the intrepid beginner or advanced amateur alike. It is easy and natural to develop a love for your plants as you see them grow and the two of you work through things - fungus, diseases, pests, etc - together. The trick, it seems to me, is to recognize when you have overloaded and then to unload - MERCILESSLY!

This brings to mind another thought - what to do with these "little jewels", acquired over time! You certainly want a good home for them. What better place than with a fellow bonsaiists? Trees and other bonsai related material, which no longer holds a special appeal for you, can be turned into ready cash for your club - if donated. Some may wonder what, if any, benefit they will derive from such an obviously one-sided transaction. Your club brings in guest artists, publishes a newsletter, puts on shows, exhibits and demonstrations, probably maintains a small library, holds monthly meetings and consists of a group of people where 10% to 20% are "pulling the load" for the remaining 80%. Most club have dues of less than $1.75 per month. Think about it - we are getting a bargain for the price! Is it too much to ask that you participate financially by attending workshops and lectures when a guest artist is brought in? Are a few raffle tickets really out of the reach of most members? Who cares if you win? If you do not like the tree, pull a "George Gray" and give it back. Is the donation of unloved material such a great sacrifice? If your answer to the above questions is YES, one of us is in the wrong place. If we do not support those things we enjoy, they may go a away. What a shame! If the shoe fits, get your pocketbooks out, give away a few plants, support your own club and others. If you are a part of the 20%, God bless you and thanks again.

Reprinted from Texas Bonsai, Fall, 1992

Editor's note: Remember this as we head into 2002, as you will be asked for items for the raffle for the Convention we are hosting in November

State Convention 2002

Due to the bad weather conditions on the 16th, the meeting was canceled; consequently, anyone interested in helping, please attend the meeting on Friday, November 30, 200l at 7:00 PM. The third full convention committee meeting will be at the Hays County Extension Office in San Marcos, just off Interstate 35. This is a finalization meeting to tie up loose ends so that the registration packets will be ready to go out.

Directions to Meeting:
Take IH 35 to Exit 201 - McCarty Lane.
From Austin, go to underpass and left onto Northbound access road.
From the stop sign at that underpass, go 7/10ths of a mile to Clovis Barker (there is a GMC car dealer on the corner), turn right onto Clovis Barker.
At 2/10th of a mile there is a road on the left, PASS IT, and go another 2/10ths of a mile to the next road on the left (Civic Center Loop).
The extension office is on the corner on the left - THE ONLY BUILDING THERE. You can't miss it!

ATTENTION ALL ADVERTISERS This is to notify all concerned that the board has voted to raise the rate of the directory advertising to our member advertisers to $10.00 for their insertion.

On nearing the surf
Every footprint becomes
At one with the sea.

1st Annual report, November 2001

In May, 2000 the Lone Star Bonsai Federation and Austin Bonsai Society voted to support and develop a permanent collection.

Four of us displayed a few bonsai for the Zilker Garden Council Horticulture Committee and walked the garden discussing various available sites.

Those who had signed up to help organize, held their first meeting in Zilker library and the official name was chosen.

In July, we staked and shot grades approximately 102 x92. A letter was sent to the Horticulture Committee requesting this area be reserved for our use and a Pro Bono survey was completed.

Our first official meeting with election of officers was held in October and Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State. We then developed a garden plan and voted on the final version of the By Laws.

The garden plan and survey were presented to the Garden Council Executive Committee for their approval and we received our 501(C) (3) tax exempt status from the IRS.

In January 2001 we voted on the price of memberships, discussed cost of all garden items, donor levels, and prepared information for grant proposals.

February saw our first garden clean up with a total of 12 volunteers. The grant proposal folders were completed with information about the exhibit, the organization, the directors, cost estimates of everything and a timeline of completion. We completed fund raising brochures and signed Adopt-a-Park agreement with Dr. Williams.

In March, we took the garden display to the LSBF/Dallas Convention and distributed brochures to all participants. We also initiated a Logo contest there.

A sign stating the Future Home of The Texas State Bonsai Exhibit was placed in our garden area. We had a garden display with brochures at our annual ABS exhibit with a donation jar.

Our second garden brush clean up in May had 8 volunteers. The Logo contest winner was Sheila Setters beautiful tree.

At the Bonsai Festival, we displayed our garden design, distributed brochures and Terry Ward was asked to do a short presentation at their meeting.

Alisan and John installed a very large garden painting by Alisan at the entrance to our garden.

For the Zilker Moon Festival, Tammy, in a beautiful Kimono, stood in front of the painting beside the lighted path and an outstanding black pine. She handed out brochures and ABS information.

ABS has a committee searching for an appropriate twin tree bonsai to be placed in the garden as a memorial to September 11th. Looking Forward We have now mailed or delivered 17 folders, contacted 11 other corporations without success.

We have received regrets from eight and have not heard from the others. Our list of possible donors is quite long, including individuals and foundations.

Alisan and friend Kristen Kenaugh made paper for 18 executive folder covers, which were to be distributed in September.

With the drastic downturn in the economy along with the 9/11 disaster and the relief funds going to New York, we felt it prudent to wait until the first of next year to pursue more corporate donors.

Our first building project will be the security fence. At present we have approximately half the funds needed to build the fence. With volunteer labor and some assistance from all of you we may be able to start building it in January.

We had hoped to have a formal contract with the City Parks and Recreation Department(PARD), signed by this time, but Zilker had a change in managers and the Dinosaur Garden, was nearing completion taking all available manpower to help finish that project.

Meanwhile we can ask our friends and interest acquaintances to become members. If you are excited about our new garden chances are they will be eager to join also.

All of the funds raised will be used for construction. Directors only receive credit for expenditures or volunteer hours.

The cost of membership is $25 and $35 about the cost of one restaurant dinner. Donors of $250, $500 and $1,000 or the corresponding number of volunteer hours will have a named plaque on our wall.

Please talk about our garden to your friends and give them a brochure. Sometimes they just need to be asked.

Elaine would like to thank all those who signed up to help develop our bonsai garden. All were already extremely busy people but have given freely of their time, talents, and knowledge. We could not have progressed this much in one year without each of them.