Author Archives: Gary

How To Look After a Bonsai Tree Indoors

Indoor BonsaiWhen caring for a bonsai tree indoors, it’s very important to first know what species of tree it is and what the needs are for that kind of plant.

The bonsai tree does not know it’s a bonsai. It only knows that it’s a tree. So if you have a Juniper bonsai, Its needs are the same as those of a juniper that’s not a bonsai. And if you have a Ficus bonsai, its needs will be the same as a ficus tree that’s not a bonsai.
Continue reading

Brazilian Pepper Bonsai

Starting a Brazilian Pepper bonsai from scratch

Click the play button to listen to this episode.

Brazilian Pepper Bonsai National Bonsai MuseumIn Florida the Brazilian Pepper Tree is an invasive species and is hated by all those Floridians who posses even a fundamental knowledge of gardening, landscaping or environmental conservation.

State, County and City governments cut them down with vigilance but the tree is nearly impossible to kill and new shoots will spring up from stumps in just a couple of weeks. I too hate the Brazilian Pepper and would enjoy seeing them all eradicated from the Florida Peninsula.

And with that attitude in mind, can you imagine my surprise as I stood in the National Arboretum recently in Washington D.C. admiring a beautiful bonsai only to read the sign and discover that it was a Brazilian Pepper?
Continue reading

Cheryl Manning Bonsai Artist Interview

An interview with Bonsai Artist Cheryl Manning

Click the play button to listen to this episode.

Cheryl Manning BonsaiWelcome to the bonsai garden podcast where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai but to make the bonsai look like a tree.

BGP: My interview today is with Cheryl Manning a bonsai expert for over 30 years. Her website, Better Bonsai dot com, says that she’s been an artist since childhood and an avid gardener since her teens. Cheryl discovered Murata Bonsai Nursery in 1981 and it was love at first sight. Art and gardening wrapped into one small package. She later became a student and close friend of John Naka the father of American Bonsai. Cheryl has conducted bonsai demonstrations, workshops and slide presentations in the United States, Canada and Australia. She has written more than 40 articles for many bonsai publications and currently pens a column, Trash to Treasure, for the Journal of the American Bonsai Society. Cheryl has also edited John Naka’s sketch book, a compilation of John’s bonsai sketches from around the world. So I’m really excited to have Cheryl Manning on today’s episode.
Continue reading

An interview with Michael Hylton of the East Bay Bonsai Society

Click the play button to listen to this episode.

East Bay Bonsai SocietyWelcome to the bonsai garden podcast, where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make the bonsai look like a tree.

Michael Hylton is the vice president of the East Bay Society, which was originally founded in 1961. It has become one of the most enduring bonsai organizations in the United States. They host many events including workshops, auctions and a very large annual bonsai show. Their club meetings dive into the definitive care and creation of award winning bonsai with topics such as watering, fertilizing, re-potting, styling, grafting and more. It was my pleasure to interview Michael Hylton on The Bonsai Garden Podcast.
Continue reading

Interview with John Callaway

John Callaway Bonsai ArtistWelcome to The Bonsai Garden Podcast where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai but to make the bonsai look like a tree.

Click the play button to listen to this episode.

John Callaway is a past president of the Greater Louisville Bonsai Society and a current member of the Bonsai Society of Greater Cincinnati. He’s been practicing bonsai since 2002, and studied with Boon Manakitivipart and joined the Cincinnati Advanced Study Group mentored by Ted Matson.

Here is my phone call with John Callaway:
Continue reading

Lynden Sculpture Garden Bonsai Display

An interview with Jack Douthitt

Public Bonsai DisplayWelcome to the bonsai garden podcast where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make the bonsai look like a tree.


Click the play button to listen to this episode.

*Jack Douthitt has been a bonsai enthusiast for over forty years. The former president of Bonsai Clubs International, he has served as a judge at bonsai exhibits and exhibited his own award winning bonsai at various shows. Jack’s bonsai appear in both the National Arboretum Collection of American Bonsai in Washington D.C. and the Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection in Tacoma, Washington. In 1987, he was named “One of America’s Outstanding Bonsai Artists” by the National Bonsai Foundation. His book, Bonsai: The Art of Living Sculpture approaches bonsai as art, exploring how the traditional fine arts apply to bonsai. He focuses on the specific design elements of the bonsai – the roots, trunk, branches, foliage, and container – and discusses how bonsai artists can manipulate these elements for a specific effect.
*http://www.milwaukeebonsai.org/bonsai_workshops.htm

BGP: So welcome Jack Douthitt to the Bonsai Garden Podcast.

Thank you

BGP: So, I understand that The Milwaukee bonsai society has plans for a Public Bonsai Collection to be displayed at the Lynden Sculpture garden. Can you tell us about that?
Continue reading

Owen Reich & Fujikawa Bonsai

Owen ReichBGP: Welcome to The Bonsai Garden Podcast, where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make the bonsai look like a tree.

BPG: Owen Reich has a bachelor’s degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Georgia. He recently spent two years in Japan studying bonsai as an apprentice under Keiichi Fujikawa. Today he teaches numerous bonsai workshops and gives bonsai demonstrations. So, Owen, welcome to The Bonsai Garden Podcast.

Thanks for having me.

BGP: Tell us about your bonsai apprenticeship in Japan. How were you able to make this connection with this bonsai master in Japan?
Continue reading

How To Make a Bonsai Tree

An interview with Adam Lavigne

Adam Lavigne bonsaiBGP: Welcome to The Bonsai Garden Podcast, where the object is not to make the tree look like a bonsai, but to make the bonsai look like a tree.

Click the play button above to Listen to the episode.

Hi I’m Gary Howell and this is episode number one of the bonsai garden podcast. Today I’m really excited to have Adam Lavigne as my guest. He’s a very talented bonsai artist from Orlando Florida, who has taught numerous bonsai demonstrations. So, Adam welcome to The Bonsai Garden Podcast.
Continue reading

Hello world!

Bonsai treeThis post marks the launch of this website,

Welcome! Let’s talk about bonsai. The Bonsai Garden Podcast is a series of audio recordings of interviews with outstanding bonsai artists, bonsai society leaders, bonsai nursery growers and general bonsai enthusiasts.

The site also includes information articles, how-to articles and bonsai product reviews.

The photo gallery contains images captured at public bonsai displays, bonsai conventions and private bonsai collections.

If you’re an experienced bonsai artist I’d like to invite you to be a guest on this program. By doing so you can share with others the enjoyment of this hobby. You can also use it as an opportunity to promote your own bonsai related website or activities. So, please consider coming onto the program as a guest. During our phone call we can talk about anything bonsai related. It’s not live, so don’t worry about speaking in front of people; There’s no one except me.

It’s my hope that this podcast and website will help bring together all those who are talented bonsai artists as well as to spread the word about this hobby to those who are just getting started.

The Bonsai Garden Podcast