For those who want to learn and for those who want to teach, THIS IS THE "HOLY GRAIL!" High-quality, high-success, easy-care, grows indoors, complete with ALL needed items for an outstanding workshop result that will generate success, continuing interest, and something to be proud of!
The result at the end of the workshop is totally dependent upon the quality of the workshop materials and this will always be true. I began teaching bonsai in the mid-1960's and initially got poor results because students just could not find appropriate plant materials! Fuku-Bonsai was initially formed as a part-time backyard nursery to supply prepared bonsai stock to students! With good stock, results and success soared!
The workshop kit for "CREATING YOUR FIRST BONSAI!"
● IDEAL FOR GROUP TEACHING OR ADULT DO-IT-YOURSELF! Adults are generally able to follow the instruction sheet. Ideal for teaching youth, church, evening adult education, or even beginners just joining a bonsai or garden club! After doing a single dry run, most teachers or bonsai hobbyists would be able to lead this workshop.
● Item IWP-8: PRICED @ $24.95, THE SAME AS OUR SMALL SIZE LAVA PLANTING WITH DISH! For a production bonsai nursery it is more efficient to produce complete small lava plantings than to individually pack all of the various components as a kit. If you want a more mature plant, get a Living Lovable (currently priced at $39.95). But if you want to learn the basics to be able to train others in the future, we made the Introductory Workshop Package available! FREE SHIPPING WHEN 3 OR MORE SENT TO THE SAME US ADDRESS!
|INTRODUCTORY SPECIAL: GET A FREE 3RD EDITION TRUE INDOOR BONSAI WORKSHOP HANDBOOK WITH PURCHASE OF 3 OR MORE INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGES!|
A COMPLETE ECONOMICAL WORKSHOP PACKAGE!
1. INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE INSTRUCTION SHEET. Detailed instruction, diagrams, and cultural information. An isolated adult should have no problem completing the workshop with the aid of this instruction sheet.
2. 2-4 YEAR OLD PRE-TRAINED PREPARED BONSAI STOCK. 4" to 6" tall that already has character, a compact developed root system that is well established in a 2" nursery pot.
3. 5"X3"X2" PLASTIC BONSAI POT. This is a great size to begin with a nice potential for a 7" to 10" tall bonsai. Very easy care. Water by sitting it in a bowl of water about once per week and give it good window light.
4. PRE-CUT TIE-DOWN WIRE. Two lengths were twisted in the middle. Thread through the bottom holes to prepare to secure plant to the pot.
5. COARSE BOTTOM. Add the pre-measured bottom drainage material to make a mound in the center of the bottom of the pot.
6. PLASTIC SEPARATOR. To assure ideal drainage and prevent the body mix from clogging the coarse bottom layer, place plastic separator over the coarse mound BEFORE adding body media.
7. BODY POTTING MIX. Spread about half of the bagged primary potting mix evenly around the edge of the pot and level it in the pot. With a spoon, tamp the material firm. The top of the plastic separator should be visible.
8. ACCENT ROCK. Position this to add interest or add visual bulk to the trunk. The use of this accent can add a totally new dimension to this workshop! Carefully expose the base of the trunk and the larger surface roots by teasing out the potting media in the top 1/2" and observe the tree, turning slowly and notice those views that are most attractive. If all views are attractive, consider loosening all media and draping roots over the accent rock to create a larger base and plant it a bit higher with an aluminum foil collar. If one view of the base of the tree is less attractive, try to match the accent rock to cover that least attractive area and secure the rock and tree together with the rubber band, string, or bonsai wire. You've now created a scene and this will help you visualize how to plant the tree --- whether straight up or slanting --- whether a bit off-center or far to the edge of the pot. Usually the longest lowest branch is over most of the pot with the plant closer to one side.
9. NUTRIENT GRANULES. An ideal ultra slow release fertilizer; enough for two years. (***)
10. TOP DRESSING. After watering by saturation, drain, and tamp the surface smooth. Then us this fine top dressing to create an attractive surface. (***)
(*** NOTE: The sleeves containing the fine top dressing and the Nutrient Granule fertilizer are not to be used by the student in the class. First water saturate the plant, drain, then tamp down the surface smooth before using a minimal amount of top dressing. Save for formal display use.)
THREE RULES FOR SUCCESS!
1. Start with a plant that will grow well for you in your environment. Fuku-Bonsai's specialty Dwarf Schefflera is the most durable proven houseplant with ideal bonsai traits! It will grow indoors in all parts of the US!
2. Start with character to avoid the most difficult training stages. Our pre-trained 2-4 year old prepared bonsai stock already have a heavy trunk, low branches within 1" of the soil line and a compact, shallow root system within 1/2" of th soil line! It's the result of several prunings and at least two major root prunings.
There is a bonsai truism that your
product at the end of the workshop will be a refinement of the stock
at the beginning of the workshop! The tree does not magically
become "old" during the workshop! If you begin with a young
seedling with no character, at the end of the workshop it will be in
a bonsai pot but it will still be a young seedling no character!
The pre-training of prepared bonsai stock is the most difficult part of bonsai and the Fuku-Bonsai's quality is the highest standard available in the US. We've shipped an average of over 1,000 bonsai per month since 1974 and our professional staff keeps improving!
The photo at left shows just 12 plants.
But note the range of shapes that are produced using a range of
techniques beginning with massive culling of inferior stock that
have poor branching characteristics! It requires a high level
of skill to produce large quantities of the highest quality!
3. Create optimum growth by providing the best possible environment and giving proper care! Give the tree as much light as possible next to a window or with supplemental artificial light. Learn to water and fertilize properly. There's a lot of information on our website and we're just an email away! Good luck!
Fuku-Bonsai is the pioneer of TRUE INDOOR BONSAI™ since 1962 and this is the highest-quality, highest-success workshop! These units are available through our certified nursery in single retail units or in bulk-packed multiple units for use by bonsai teachers in assisted workshops or as part of a bonsai course. Results of Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center workshops can be packed for handcarry to all parts of the US (or we'll ship)!
|HOW THE INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE
We began putting together the Introductory Workshop Package in mid-2006. At that time, we were increasing the number of stylings for the popular smallest potted LIVING LOVABLES including "Sumo," "Roots," and "Hawaiian Dragon" stylings and "Intermediate Workshops" using the Living Lovables and the #8 size Conversion Kits were increasingly popular as it provided a lower cost option to the Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package or the "Advanced Workshops" that featured the larger 8LS8 (LIVING SCULPTURE) going into the #17 size Conversion Kits.
Initially the concept was to provide bulk-packed components of "16-kits" as this would reduce the cost of packaging the individual components. These were intended for groups to assist those who had been asked to teach bonsai but needed the workshop components. But each teacher seemed to need a different quantity. There was also the minor problem of one student using more than their share of materials and someone being shorted. So in spite of the costs, we decided to go with packaging of individual components in individual quantities!
The initial items were logical: 1) prepared bonsai stock, 2) the pot, 3) the coarse bottom media, 4) tie-down wire, 5)body media, 6) top dressing and 7) cultural information sheet. We began using it as a lower cost alternative to the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center workshops and a magical thing began to happen!
With the costs greatly reduced, entire families participated instead of just the person with bonsai interest! "Students" became younger and younger AND THEY WERE ALL SUCCESSFUL!
Even though it was possible to simply cut a piece of plastic from one of the bags, there were requests and so the PLASTIC SEPARATOR BECAME COMPONENT #8.
Then in one workshop, someone added a rock and everyone agreed that it added a nice touch and should be included. So the ACCENT ROCK BECAME COMPONENT #9.
In the discussion part of the workshop, it was emphasized that a tiny amount of fertilizer applied frequently is a key to success. "Enriched water" is great for Hawaiian Lava Plantings. But for potted bonsai, a 1/2 teaspoon of NUTRIENT GRANULE fertilizer works well buried every six months. That's why we now repackage it to make it available to our center and website customers. SO WHY NOT INCLUDE IT IN THE INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP PACKAGE? SO WE DID AND A TWO-YEAR SUPPLY OF NUTRIENT GRANULES IS NOW COMPONENT #10!
We believe this is the best most complete "bonsai kit" that will become the most successful and produce the highest quality "FIRST BONSAI!" Of course most of this is due to the unbeatable quality of the Dwarf Schefflera prepared bonsai stock! This is the same quality material that is the start of most of Fuku-Bonsai's products. In producing HUGE quantities to this standard, we can now offer it as part of the premier introductory workshop package for creating your first bonsai!
CREATE YOUR FIRST BONSAI!
|Position the tie-down wires through two bottom holes and spread out the wires. Place the coarse bottom in the center of the pot as a tall hill. Crease the plastic separator twice so it will be a tent to protect the coarse bottom so excellent drainage is assured! Good drainage is extremely important in True Indoor Bonsai!|
Hold the plastic separator in place and pour in about half of
the body potting media and fill up the sides of the hill.
Tamp down with a spoon with top of the plastic separator
Gently remove the prepared stock from the 2" training pot and peel down the outer top edges of the root ball so you can see where there are nice roots. Where there are no roots, remove more potting media and remove the some coarse from the bottom.
|Examine the accent rock. Turn it around and over to find the least attractive part of the rock. Place that side of the rock against the lest attractive part of the trunk. Adjust by raising the rock higher or lower until you get a "natural" feel and make a double loop and use the rubber band to hold the rock and the plant together. Bring the rock and plant up to eye level and turn it to recognize the most attractive views. Should it be straight up or tilted? Does the tree seem to have movement? If so leave a bit more space on that side so the plant can visually grow in that direction.|
Now's a good time to pause to understand
what is happening. Most beginner bonsai classes produce very
poor uninspiring results because the plants were not pre-trained
to have any amount of character. If not trained from very
young, most beginner plants have thin straight trunks.
When potted, it resembles a telephone pole rising out of a
Fuku-Bonsai tries to avoid this type of result because beginners should have an opportunity to experience the magic of bonsai! You might find a small plastic separator that was used to create an ideal root system. But recognize that the simple addition of the rock transforms the effort into creating a scene. Dim your eyes a bit and imagine the tree in a rocky setting. Can you begin to feel the breeze? When you can imagine your tree in a natural setting, you're ready to continue.
Add all the potting media that you removed from the root ball a bit off-center in the pot where your tree will be planted and gently position your tree. Inspect it from both side to see if you have it in the ideal position. Then press down firmly and add the remainder of the body potting media and firm down with a spoon.
|Select a wire from each side and go over the rock and twist . Firmly pull up and keep twisting the wires to hold the plant and rock in position. Twist the other two wires to hold all firmly. Check by using a needle nose pliers. Grab the twist and pull up. If the wire is loose, gently turn until the wires hold all snuggly and you should be able to lift the entire plant and pot by lifting up on the trunk without any shaking. Firm up the media with a spoon.|
|FIRST WATERING should be by saturation with the water up to the rim of the pot so the water must enter the pot through the bottom drain holes. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes to totally saturate any dry organic matter in the mix. This is the best way to water once per week, drain, and set it on a dry plate. The 100% water saturation will mostly dry by the end of the week and this air and water exchange is what keeps the plants healthy. DO NOT OVERWATER!|
|After allowing the plant to drain, again firm the surface of the potting media with a spoon and add just a minimum of fine top dressing to fill in the larger holes and keep the remainder for dressing the plant from time to time. If you only water by saturation, the surface of your media in the pot will remain smooth and attractive. Fuku-Bonsai's potting material contains more air than other mixes. The outstanding drainage is a major reason our trees grow well indoors!|
Take your time and remove some of the oldest leaves to
compensate for some of the roots that you lost in the potting.
Generally, if the tree does not need to be pruned, keep
just 2 or 3 leaves on each branch. If you plan to prune
off a large branch, take your time and consider
alternatives. It is very easy to prune off what took years
to create. It's really hard to glue back if you make a
mistake. But if you plan to remove a large branch,
study how to root it to create a new plant! Read the
Nutrient Granule information and fertilize every six months.
CONGRATULATIONS! Please feel free to email or phone if you have questions! ~~~David
|We began field-testing the Introductory Workshop Packages with some of our corresponding associates and it looks like we have a winner! There have been some complaints from those who do the more difficult traditional outdoor bonsai that "Fuku-Bonsai made it too easy!" Those who visit the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center who want to learn bonsai uniformly reply: "EASY IS GOOD!" Here's a link to the first report by Ron Davis of Montana: *** Go to Ron Davis & Introductory Workshop Package ____________________________________________________________________________|
|Kathy Almeida is also a very strong correspondent who takes excellent photos. But this time she outdid herself and took great pictures. I added limited lettering and the photos tell the story. Mahalo Kathy. *** Go to Kathy Almeida & Introductory Workshop Package|
The first formal bonsai classes were conducted by Angela Tillman for 60 eighth grade students in Silas City, North Carolina. Her outstanding reports are posted beginning at: "An Introduction to a Report of Bonsai Classes" An edited version was published in Bonsai Clubs International's Bonsai Magazine. We've come a long way!