The next morning saw us bright and early at Shinji Suzuki’s wonderful garden. Everything about Mr. Suzuki’s garden spoke of taste and refinement, from the trees, to the garden environs, the pots…even the tea, and obligatory snacks, were tasteful and high class.
While most all of the nurseries we visited had at least one, if not several, Kichou(registered large bonsai masterpiece) or Miyabi(registered shohin and chuhin cultural treasure) Bonsai, At the Suzuki garden, there were nearly more Kichou bonsai than we saw the entire rest of the trip!
American apprentices Matt Reel and Tyler Sherrod hard at work. In addition to these two talented gentlemen, Michael Hagedorn was also a Deshi here, once upon a time.
The first trees one sees upon entrance: those are NOT shohin. Around 5 feet tall, with the massive pots.
And, turning a corner…
A Few Bench Shots
Some Individual Trees
Mr. Suzuki’s famous Tosho
Elegant Kaede Group
Massive Ezomatsu(Ezo spruce)
Refined Shimpaku with interesting Jin
Massive Goyomatsu(white pine) with significant deadwood
A very famous White Pine, one of my all time favorites.
And from the side, the large Taxus above
Eleagnus and grass
Crepe Myrtle? Stewartia?
Elegant cascade pine
Unique and interesting Red pine
Awesomely refined Tosho
A famous Shimpaku
Semi Cascade black pine
White Pine ishitzuke
White Pine with great ten-jin
Cascade white pine
Interesting twisted White Pine
Stewartia, from the side
Old Shohin Trident in a famous Tofukuji Pot
Close up of the pot
And the Echizen Hosui in my collection that is an homage to the above Tofukuji
Fantastic Red Pine
One of my favorite trees of the day
There, at random on one of the benches, a tiny Mame bonsai of no great importance
Semi cascade white pine
Interesting tray planting of spruce and a stone
And we’ll finish up our look at some of the trees at Suzuki San’s garden with this shohin Dwarf Rose, popping a couple of blooms for out visit.
Some Close Ups
A massive pine undergoes an air layer
Famous Sabamiki on a White Pine
Bark an base detail on Iwashide(hornbeam)
Ibo-jin on Ezomatsu
Twisty Shimpaku and Jin detail
Jin Detail on Shimpaku
After leaving Suzuki San’s garden, we were taken to Shoukuen, the garden of Takashii Iura, and his father before him. Iura San was very kind and welcoming, and the garden…well….it was beyond cool. Iura San’s father specialized in the collecting and grafting of Yamadori, and like many who specialized in this, his son went on to specialize in training and styling these trees, with Takeo Kawabe.
There were many many trees at Shoujuen, in varying states of completion, from raw stock Tohaku, Tosho, and Yews getting their first grafts, to some of my favorite refined bonsai of all time.
Iura was very kind in allowing us to hang out for half the day, despite the oppressive heat, and took us out for a very nice lunch of Sushi and Sashimi. He’ll be at the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Society spring convention this year, so keep an eye out for him.
The above two are two of my favorite Junipers of all time: Raijin and Fujin, the gods of thunder and lightning, and Wind, respectively.
Massively impressive Shimpaku. Like most, these started as either Tohaku or Tosho, and have had their “clothing changed” to finer Itoigawa or Kishu foliage.
A massive collected Juniper undergoing
“clothing change”. That’s Peter Warren there to the right. He was a real trooper dealing with us in this trip, and looks a lot better than we all felt by this time on the trip.
Some impressive Junipers, all grafted with finer foliage
Massive Shimpaku with grafted foliage
Some large and impressively twisty yamadori Junipers
Semi-cascade Shimpaku with fan-style deadwood
Impressive and elegant Shimpaku
Super twisty yamadori Shimpaku
Impressive Shinpaku on poles throughout the garden
In the back, benches upon benches of yamadori undergoing grafting
Tosho becoming Shimpaku
Further back, in the greenhouse, many massive Yews in development
More yews undergoing grafting and rough styling
Shimpaku in the process of grafting
Nice Chuhin Yew
Some lonely Deciduous bonsai
A Prostrata juniper being transformed into a Shinpaku. The pots for the scions are visible, as is the original foliage.
A massive juniper with terrible foliage is being transformed with grafts.
A very famous juniper. I was wondering where it was when first arrived at Shunka-en. Here, being grafted for improvement. Even the most famous and refined trees are continually being improved upon in Japan.
From the middle of thorough stock area
Shinpaku with grafts set.
Tosho becomes Shimpaku
Tohaku becomes Shimpaku
From the front gate…
The incredible Ten-Jin and deadwood of Fujin. For some better shots, check out Peter Tea’s visit:
Peter Teas Visit to Shoujuen
Thanks for reading! Next up, we visit Shunkaen and Akiyama San, then Morimae San and Yoruzuen, and, finally, Pottery Journal 1 and 2.