There was a post on Swindon and District Bonsai’s site this morning showcasing the evergreen trees on display at Shohin UK yesterday and, while these were undoubtedly superb (the word “sublime” was used in relation to at least one of them in my hearing yesterday), I have to admit it has got me thinking. Yes, I know – that’s a rare and unusual phenomenon and may have something to do with this week’s eclipse. But rattling around inside my generally empty cranium is the question of what will it take for a deciduous tree to win a major award at a show? I am of course excluding those shows such as Swindon Winter Image that have separate categories for Best Coniferous and Best Deciduous.
Now can I say straight out that this is not a criticism – bonsai exhibitions are meritocracies (or at least they should be) so it should always be a case of the best tree(s) winning. And I would have to add to the mix the simple issue that on this occasion there was not a lot of option for non-evergreen to win at least in the chuhin category.
I would also have to add that my understanding of what wins at shows is merely a perception based for the most part on reports rather than attendance. So I am not stating the following in any way as a “fact”; rather, they are merely questions for discussion. So here goes:
- Is it actually the case that evergreens win top awards more frequently than deciduous?
- If so, is that a UK and European thing or is it the same in Japan and the US?
- In any case, what is it about evergreens that seems to give them more “appeal”?
- And finally, how can we “boost” the appeal of deciduous bonsai – a question which of course hinges on the responses to the other questions.
I’d welcome folks’ insights into this, especially those who attend major shows here or abroad.
Have at it.
Comments welcome on this post or on the BSB Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1389090284673009/
The link to the Swindon article is here: http://swindon-bonsai.co.uk/2015/03/17/evergreens-shohin-uk-ii-exhibition/