Volume 9, Issue 2
Message from the Chairman
July 2014
By Bob Ahlstrom
Thank you to all the participants in the 2014 Bonsai-A-Thon. Our Demonstrators, Vendors, Committee
Members, Donors, and everyone that attended and helped fill the raffle tables
helped to make the occasion a great success. The Bonsai-A-Thon is our once a
year opportunity to raise funds for the GSBF Collection South at the Huntington
Speaking of the Collection, I have had many bonsai enthusiasts tell me that
the trees are looking better than ever. Ben Oki, Curator, along with Ted Matson
and Ray Blasingame raised the quality of the trees considerably. See Ted’s
report later in the newsletter.
Your Collection Committee’s last meeting started to address some long term
planning issues regarding the Collection. We identified two issues to focus on
for the immediate future. First, we need to look at our fund raising efforts.
Reaching the goal of a $1 million dollar endowment could take up to another
twenty years to accomplish. We would like to reach the goal sooner than that.
Second, we would like to become more active in improving the quality of
the Collection, both the GSBF and Huntington trees. Since the Huntington
Gardens provides services for the care, watering, security, and site
improvements to both Collections, generally without cost to GSBF, we need to
work more effectively with our partners at the Huntington.
Toward that end Cheryl Manning, who is the new 2nd Vice President of GSBF, and therefore responsible for the
Committee, and I met with Jim Folsom on June 27th to discuss issues of mutual benefit for the Collections. I will be
reporting on the discussions over the next few months as issues are addressed.
Thanks to you all and enjoy the summer.
Bonsai on display at the 2014 Bonsai-A-Thon
A Report from Ted Matson
Administrator for the GSBF Collection at the Huntington
In 2014, efforts in the combined Huntington Gardens and Golden State Bonsai Federation bonsai collections
have continued to focus on improving tree health, primarily through repotting into better soils. While most have
been HG trees, I include GSBF trees in this report as all are treated the same when it comes to care.
We are into the third year now of our 5-year overall repotting strategy, and are on pace to complete that
project successfully and on time. With a few exceptions, the repottings have been very effective and the bonsai
community has acknowledged the visible improvement in
overall tree health.
We’ve had two sessions this year, with one in early January
and one in early March. The latter session focused on the azalea
collection, during which all azaleas in the collection were put
into new soil.
Curator Ben Oki continues to be responsible for tree
maintenance, with the exception of the GSBF shohin collection,
which is under the care of Ray Blasingame.
All expenses related to repotting (soils, replacement pots,
wire, screen) have been covered by The Huntington. For the
shohin, there is an inventory of donated pots that are used for
the smaller trees.
At the 2014 Bonsai-A-Thon, we culled around a dozen trees
from the main HG collection and provided them for the
auction. The sales of those pieces contributed greatly to the
overall revenues generated by that event (which are entirely
credited to GSBF). It is anticipated that collection culls will
continue to be available to the BAT, but the number and quality
of the trees will vary from year to year.
At the BAT, we also conducted successful workshops,
featuring our children’s and adults’ workshops for the general
Ted Matson teaches at the Bonsai-A-Thon
public on Saturday (primarily marketed to HG membership, see
photo), and a BYOT consulting workshop marketed to the bonsai community on Sunday. Given the response to
Sunday’s activity, I would recommend that next year, we provide an all-day “tree clinic” function where we
promote the idea to the general public that they can bring their own bonsai in a purchase consulting time for
advice on everything from design to training to health.
Also, related to the bonsai collections, last year, I launched the HG’s proprietary beginner’s bonsai
curriculum, “Bonsai Gakko (Japanese for “school”)101.” This is a horticulturally focused, lecture-based
introduction to fine art bonsai. The goal is to produce better prepared and qualified novice bonsai students
which, in turn, will help to strengthen the bonsai community throughout Southern California.
Later this year, I hope to launch the foundation of what will become a multi-faceted volunteer program to
further engage the bonsai community with the bonsai collections, including GSBF trees.
GSBF 2014 Bonsai-a-Thon
Report by Marge Blasingame
Mother nature again cooperated with two beautiful fun filled and informative days. We again had a large number of
participants which included the San Diego bus group and a few out of staters.
Co-chairs Jim Barrett and Marge Blasingame wish to issue a special thanks to all of you, staff, volunteers, donors, and
participants with a special thank you to the Huntington Staff, Danielle Rudeen and Melanie Thorpe who were everywhere
and Jim Folsom and David MacLen who some how find something new each year on the very popular annual tour to
show us. This year we were treated to a new phase of the Chinese Garden not open to the public as yet.
We start months in advance planning this event, setting the dates and appointing the committee chairs. Gib
and Elissa Hoxie submitted ads to Golden Statements and information to the clubs. Jim Barrett lined up two
round robin panels of demonstrators with six each day this year. Carol Upston organized the vendors. Elizabeth
Likes and Joe Galgoul made sure we had plenty to eat with the pancake breakfast and hamburger/hotdog lunch.
Elizabeth also does double duty as the collection treasurer. Ted Matson put together a panel of teachers for the
Huntington's Saturday morning sponsored children’s / adult workshop and led a "bring your own tree" workshop
Sunday morning for GSBF members. Ted also handled the auctioneer duties both days. Bill and Lois Hutchinson and
Wendy Tsai very ably handled the auction and benefit drawing.
This year our income at the Bonsai-A-Thon was $11,911.00, almost $250.00 more than we brought in last year..
Our expenses were $3,420.24, leaving us with a net profit of $8,490.76. The profit was higher last year by $748.00
because last year’s expenses were lower.
We donated $15,000.00 to the Huntington Gardens from our general fund.
GSBF Board Chairman Bob Ahlstrom gives Huntington
Botanical Gardens Director JIm Folsom a check for
$15,000.00 from the general fund from previous Bonsai-aThons.
Bill Hutchinson introduces Bonsai-A-Thon auctioneer Ted
Michael Sykes, Peter Macasieb, and Harry Hirao
demonstrate how to make a bonsai
2014 Donations to the GSBF Collection at the Huntington
The Board of Directors for the GSBF Bonsai Collection at the Huntington wishes to thank all the participants
and donors of the various events held at the Huntington during the year. 2014 began very successfully with the
Beside the BAT, other GSBF member events held at the Huntington include the California Aiseki Kai suiseki/
viewing stone exhibit, several collection repotting sessions and the California Bonsai Society exhibit during which
a reception recognizing all the GSBF events at the Huntington during the year was held
The following donations to the auction and raffle resulted in $8490.00 being realized by the 2014 Bonsai-AThon. Some people have donated several items and may be listed under more than one appropriate category.
We sincerely hope we have not overlooked anyone in this listing
Thank you for your participation and for your generous donations. This helps us get closer to our goal.
$1000 and up
Marybel Balendonck
$100 to $999
May McNey
Fred Miyahara
Larry & Nina Ragle
Marge Blasingame
$1 to $99
Elizabeth Likes
Gary Lai
Kathy Boehme
$1000 and up
California Aiseki Kai
$500 to $999
California Bonsai Society
$100 to $499
Orange County Bonsai
Santa Anita Bonsai Society
San Pu Kai
Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery
Bob Ahlstrom
Kathy Benson
Rishi Bisson
The Blasingames
Tom Chen
Abe Far
Sarah Oyer
Harry Hirao
Gib & Elissa Hoxie
Cheu-Mei Hsiao
Bill & Lois Hutchinson
David Kalmansohn
Marie Kwakenstein
T. Kawahara
Henry Leal
Elizabeth Likes
Cheryl Manning
Ted Matson
Charlie Mosse
Al Nelson
Cesareo Perez
Ron Reekers
Eric Rogger
Helena Seltzer
Ken Teh
Marilyn Tyler
Frank Goya
Bob Hilvers
Harry Hirao
Cheu-Mei Hsiao
Mel Ikeda
Marcus Juniel
Peter Macasieb
Cheryl Manning
Al Nelson
David Nguy
Cesareo Perez
Tak Shimazu
Michael Sykes
GSBF President Bob
Ahlstrom thanks outgoing
GSBF President Jim Barrett
for six years of service.
Demonstrator Mel Ikeda
contemplates his demo tree.
Demonstrator Tak Shimazu
wires a juniper.
Baikoen Bonsai Kenkyukai
Dai lchi Bonsai Kai
Descanso Bonsai Society
San Diego Bonsai Club
Jim & Helen Barrett
Chikugo-En Nursery (Gary Ishii)
Bruce & Yaeko Hisayasu
House of Bonsai (Victoria Lee)
Moss Factory (Carol Upston)
Larry & Nina Ragle
Ron Reekers
West America Trading \(David & June Nguy)
Frank Yee
Bonsai-A-Thon Saturday morning workshops
For More Information about the GSBF
Bonsai Collection South
Bob Ahlstrom
[email protected]
626 664-5073
Donations, Contact
Marge Blasingame
[email protected]
626 579-0420
Newsletter Editor
Ellen Keneshea
[email protected]
818 521-7569
Golden State Bonsai Federation
Bonsai Collection at the Huntington
Financial Donations, Contact
Elizabeth Likes
[email protected]
818 352-3064
Huntington Library,
Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
626 405-2100
Above, Dick Ryersonʼs Japanese Maple Forest on display at the exhibit. Left,
Crabapple designed and donated to the GSBF Collection by Kathy Benson