Mohawk Hudson Bonsai Society

Dedicated to the art of bonsai

Archive for Tropical

Suthin Sukosolvisit Workshop Saturday November 17

suthin_29On Saturday, November 17, Suthin Sukosolvisit will host a bring-your-own workshop at pfm bonsai in West Charlton, the home of MHBS. There are still a few openings in the workshop and this event is open to sister clubs so sign up while there’s still room. The workshop is Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM and only three spots are open. The fee is $100 cash for the workshop.

You may also wish to order in dinner from the Charlton Tavern with Suthin that evening. We will eat in the studio where we can actually have a conversation over dinner. BYO wine or other drink. Register by phone at 518-882-1039 or email immediately. Bring tools, wire and tree(s). Please bring cash for dinner payment also.

On Sunday, Suthin will do a refinement demo on material he is bringing. The result will be raffled among MHBS club members. BYO and share lunch at noon, followed by the demo.

Born in Thailand, Suthin has extensive experience with tropical bonsai. His expertise also includes Japanese maple, Juniper, Azalea, Black Pine and many other species. Suthin has won many National Bonsai Awards in Thailand and the United States. He lectures all around the world and at some of the most important bonsai conventions in the United States. Suthin’s bonsai are famed for their proportion, refinement and detail.

Mary Madison

MaryMadison It may sound silly to most people, but to bonsai enthusiasts the nickname “The Buttonwood Queen” is a compliment to the incredible tropical skills of Florida’s Mary Madison, who refined her skills at the elbow of John Naka and Ben Oki.

Mary’s knowledge of tropicals is legendary and her trees have been selected for exhibit in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the U.S. National Arboretum.

Mary brings her artistry to MHBS on May 18 with a demo and limited-space workshop. Any club member or guest who longs to master tropicals will not want to miss this rare opportunity to learn from Mary Madison.

Guests are always welcome at MHBS monthly meetings and demos. To register for the workshop at PFM Bonsai, contact Pauline Muth at 518-882-1039, or


mhbslogoThe March newsletter of the Mohawk Hudson Bonsai Society can be downloaded here. It contains a heads-up for upcoming club events like slab planting on March 30, tropicals with Mary Madison on May 18, a potentilla workshop on June 29 and outdoor stand building on July 27. Winter WILL eventually go away so plan for a busy spring.

Feb. 23: Find your Inner MacGyver

macgyverAngus MacGyver would create bonsai with duct tape and a Swiss Army Knife. We have more options, but innovative techniques are a big part of bonsai and MHBS members will share theirs at the Feb. 23 club meeting in Voorheesville. Those techniques might come in handy as teams design trees by round robin.

More to come on March 30 with slab plantings at PFM Bonsai. On April 14 a Roy Nagatoshi demo is planned. Mary Madison shares her encyclopedic knowledge of tropicals on May 18, Pauline leads a Potentilla workshop on June 29, and — now that we’re experts at building them — outdoor stand building happens at PFM Bonsai on July 27.

What’s new at Mohawk Hudson Bonsai Society?

ButtonThe year may be winding down, but already the gears are grinding on 2014 happenings at MHBS. Join the club in coming months to learn about bonsai, improve your existing skills, or simply find fellowship among bonsai lovers.

Events and subjects under discussion for 2014 include slab planting, Potentilla and stand building workshops, a guest lecture by “Buttonwood Queen” Mary Madison, a visit from mountain man Andy Smith of Deadwood’s Golden Arrow Bonsai (with luck he’ll bring a few of his amazing collected trees), picnics, field trips and shows. And we’re still building the calendar so ideas are welcome. Make a New Year’s resolution to build better bonsai in 2014 and start filling your calendar.

David Knittle: For the Love of Azalea Bonsai

Satsuki Azalea, National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

February 26 at PFM Bonsai
Special Times: 11 am Program, 1 pm Workshop

We know we love azaleas but sometimes we really do not know how to best work with them. Come and learn with David. He is a true expert in the horticulture and art of azaleas. So that we can learn before we work on our trees, we have set the lesson first at 11 AM to be followed by a brief time for BYO lunch and then the workshop at 1 or so. It is the ideal time of the year to reduce the soil mass by half so we will be doing that. Bring aluminum wire for this workshop please and your tools.

UPDATE: David has 3 gal. Azaleas available for the workshop. Cost of the tree is $25, PLUS $30 for the workshop.  Maximum of 10 people in the workshop, first come, first served.

Email or call Pauline to register. Once you have registered mail our treasurer, Pieri, your check made out to MHBS to confirm the reservation ($55 for workshop AND azalea). Send to: Pieri Hayes 550 Columbia St. Ext, Cohoes NY 12047.

Tropicals workshop and Poo Balls at January Meeting

Members whip up a secret poo ball recipe.

The aroma of spring wafted through the January meeting of MHBS as members whipped up a batch of poo balls for spring fertilizing.

Forming the fertilizer cakes.

Tropical Bonsai Repotting and Annual Poo Ball Workshop

Join us January 29 at the Voorheesville Cooperative Extension for some good, clean fun!

Remember it’s springtime indoors and one of the two times it is good to repot your tropicals. Bring your tropicals and potting materials. If you need soil, call or email Pauline Muth. You may also just learn about repotting and do it at home.

Plus, who needs snowballs when we can make poo balls? Come and work with Bill Jones to make your fertilizer balls for this spring. No poo ball fights please.

12 Noon Social and BYO Lunch, 1:00 PM meeting and program.

Preview of 2012 programs

Suggestions for next year’s programs are being solicited from membership. The following list was compiled from suggestions taken at the fall show and September club meeting. Keep the ideas coming.

Suggested Topics:

  • Displaying your bonsai
  • Fertilizer Cakes
  • Repotting
  • Tropical workshop/repotting
  • Wiring
  • Kusamono Pots with Adriano
  • Field Trip to Nick Lenz’s place

Possible Speakers:

  • Suthin
  • Ted Matson
  • Michele Phaneuf
  • David Easterbrook
  • Jim Doyle