Micoast Garden Friends visit Kew

WORLD OF TINY PLANTS: John Cavey (right) shows Midcoast Garden Friends members a non-flowering Azalea with miniature leaves.
WORLD OF TINY PLANTS: John Cavey (right) shows Midcoast Garden Friends members a non-flowering Azalea with miniature leaves.


John Cavey opened his magnificent Bonsai garden at Kew to Midcoast Garden Friends members for their October meeting. Members were treated to a tour of the garden and surrounds. John explained the history of Bonsai, how to prepare a plant for Bonsai along with the maintenance required to create an aesthetically beautiful specimen.   

The art of Bonsai encourages the creation of an aesthetically pleasing plant through miniaturisation with proportion and asymmetry. John has sourced plants from a number of places including friends gardens and nurseries. He showed members a recently purchased non-flowering Azalea (Rhododendron sp.) with miniature leaves which is favoured by Bonsai enthusiasts. Bonsai specimens can be created from any woody tree or shrub.

Garden club members were keen to hear John’s tips for shaping a tree to make it look old. The plant is root pruned quite heavily and then wired into its display pot which is filled with a free draining potting mix. The top of the plant is then carefully pruned, deadwood is created using lime sulfur, and wire is used to shape the branches.

John explained the need for regular watering and fertilising. Bonsai plants need full sun to ensure good health. Along with continual pruning to shape, each plant must be removed from its pot for root pruning and re-potting regularly.

John’s garden features hundreds of Bonsai specimens displayed on raised benches. The protected garden also contains a Japanese-style potting shed, large Koi pond and Japanese sculptures.

The next meeting for Midcoast Garden Friends will be on Tuesday November 1st at 10:00am at Bonny Hills Community Hall. The guest speaker will be Doug Crawford a former TAFE Horticulture teacher. Doug will be talking about propagation and will be able to answer any gardening questions that members may have.

At the meeting there will be the opportunity to discuss garden successes, problems and their solutions. Tea and coffee will be provided. Members are asked to bring a mug and a small plate of food to share, along with plants or produce for the trading table, and are reminded to bring money for Christmas lunch in December. New members and visitors are always welcome to attend and share their interest and experience in gardening. For more information ring Jan 6559 6257 or John 6559 5165.


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