August 2017 Meeting

AndysThe Shoebox Competition

A bit of a change for us this month as members responded to our Club President John Trott’s challenge to create a bonsai based display in a shoebox. I don’t know if this was inspired by John’s pre bonsai life at Clarks or having seen what two other clubs could do with this challenge, John wanted to see what we could do here in Somerset

A winning influence from the East

Eleven members entered and we each had to explain the reasoning behind our little efforts, then listen to John’s constructive criticism and tips.   The eventual winner definitely had an influence from the East. 

This is the order they were presented in. 

See if you can pick the same winner as the members did.



Michael C’s Oriental landscape using Blue Lias stone chippings from his garden ,a Cotoneaster and a soapstone figure with a hand painted mountain scene in the Japanese style behind. Is this the Eastern influenced one that won? Or was it the next one?

No. 2Geoffs

Geoff’s Japanese landscape with a watercolour of Mount Fuji in the background, assorted moss and stone in the foreground. Stones which Geoff assured us had come from Japan at great expense.

No. 3


Ade’s Rock Display. It  was a change  for us all to hear Adrian, our usual judge for our tree of the month competition, having to listen to his work being on the receiving end. I hope Ade did not bring this lump of volcanic rock home from abroad himself as hand luggage or it must have cost more than Geoff’s stones.
The rock has been the home for some years to a Cotoneaster and a Juniper and recently a small Acer has been added at the front


Is Andy’s, which can be seen at the head of this article where a little Cotoneaster is set beside a small bronze of leaping hares and in the background painting by a passed Andysfriend of Andy’s of the three hares chasing round the moon. Eastern legend associated with femininity, fertility and the cycles of the moon.
Has this the influence of the East that won?


Ever clever with his hands Club Chairman Howard had taken a knife to his shoebox and cut out the side and part of the roof. Most effectively letting in a lot more light to show up his Cotoneaster and a lovely little accent flower set on gravel (or was it cat litter?) with a tradition scroll behind. Very Eastern.


Ray claimed that he was desperate for inspiration for his display when suddenly he noticed the plants growing between the sleepers and the gravel at the East Somerset Railway, the railway being  object of this other leisure activities.  A small carriage on rusty lines set on granite chipping surrounded by local plant life makes this a very Somerset exhibit.


Richard’s display was in the first actual Clarks box of the evening. A heath or moorland scene with a Pine which he thinks he grew from seed. In the background a handsome piece of rock one of a number of fine specimens Richard acquired years ago when working in the quarries.



Tony’s display I am afraid was hard to photograph better with my inadequate equipment . It is a Kojo no Mai Cherry on some Bogwood with a traditional scroll and a Bronze Kingfisher. I don’t suppose working that bogwood was easy.



Jon exhibited a tradition Tokonoma alcove with a window on the left solving the way of lighting the inside if the box. Full marks for a different tree this one was a Western Hemlock in a nice pot accompanied by an accent display of a bowl of water and a scroll.



Sara entered a nice little Azalea, with pot on a stand and a colourful scroll in the background. I bet it would look good in bloom.



Brian’s display just shows that if you have the patience you can bonsai an Ash as he has proved with this entry of a potted Ash with an accent plant to complete the display.



Well an influence from the East certainly helped Ray win the evenings competition with his interpretation of a section of The EAST SOMERSET RAILWAY, an appealing display with a very appealing story from it’s maker of all that went into it ,well done RayRays



SECOND  was No. 5 Howard’s cleverly cut about entry  Harolds

THIRD   was No.9 Jon’s traditional tokonoma display.


The evening was then rounded off with a few anecdotes from John about the shows that he has entered and how he has accumulated 83 show medals including now his tenth successive Gold from Chelsea RHS .

Altogether a very successful evening with entries that John suggested were the best that he had seen from any club, so thanks for the idea John and thanks to the members who spent time creating their entries.

NOTES for your diary
The speaker for October will be Tony talking about  ‘Planting by the Moon’

November Auction night is not on our usual second Wednesday- it is on Wednesday 22nd instead.

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