The Future of Bonsai

For quite some time now we have been wondering how we could possibly expand to include more bonsai lovers from around the world into our community. Although we have always offered classes at the shop, we are limited in how many people can truly join in. In order to combat the location limitations, we’ve been making YouTube videos periodically but we want to do even more for all of you and especially for those who live in areas without much exposure to bonsai. In a perfect world, we’d have the ability to speak with each and every one of you who has questions or comments.

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We think we’ve found a way to make this more possible with Patreon. If you have even just $1 to spare, we will take it and build something beautiful for all of us. For now our short-term goals revolve around our continued output of videos and blog posts but in the future we would love to offer online courses dealing with different aspects of bonsai as well as interactive live Q&A sessions and whatever else that we, as a community, can come up with.

This is just the beginning and we need your help: if you can contribute to our Patreon then you will be unlocking the behind the scenes area of what we at Schley’s Bonsai and Supplies do. You’ll get exclusive blog posts and videos. If there are enough of us there, we will have weekly discussion posts where all of our patrons can join together to talk about whatever takes their fancy. In the further off future, we will be holding contests and video demos that everyone can get involved in.

Whether you are a life-long bonsai fan or just starting to get into the hobby, consider sharing this blog post so that we can start our work on growing this community into something even greater and more inclusive. And if you don’t have the ability to contribute at this time, sharing the page is just as valuable. Thank you!

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A Look Around the Nursery & Updates

I took some time today to go around the nursery in search of things to photograph. I was very lucky to catch the deer and she let me get incredibly close to her before running off into the woods.

Our beginner class for the month is tomorrow morning and next week we have the privilege of hosting Sean Smith. In the morning he will be teaching a class on hut carving and then in the afternoon he will be doing a “bring your own tree” workshop.

If you are interested in either class (it may be took late for this beginner class but we will have another one next month) you can read more on our website here.

Also worth mentioning, we have an awesome sale on the website on all of our pots. Jason has been bringing in a lot of awesome new inventory so check them out here. They are all 25% off until the end of the month.

And last of all, we have been doing our best to keep updating our YouTube channel with new content. Currently we are in the middle of a series on how to care for your bonsai trees in a hotter climate like Florida. Most information that we have seen is geared towards other parts of the country so Jason wanted to take the opportunity to explain a few things that are done differently in the South. Check it out. Our next video in the series will be up on Monday morning.

Fukien Tea Starter Kit

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After putting our Juniper Starter Kit up on Etsy, Jason and I began to brainstorm about what we could come up with specifically for the website. We wanted another kit that someone new to bonsai could use as a point of entry into the hobby.

Once it was decided what this new kit would be, we shot a video for everyone who would purchase the kit so that they would know exactly what to do and also what they were spending their money on. The plan is to eventually have several different varieties of kits up on the website so keep on the lookout if this one isn’t the tree of your dreams.

So, this video is up on our YouTube channel and I will also embed it at the bottom of this post, but I’d like to go into a little bit more detail here on what is included in this kit.

Along with your Fukien Tea tree (which is seriously really a gorgeous type of tree and one of my favorites) you also get a really great pot to put the tree in. And the really cool thing, in my opinion, is that the purchaser gets to put the tree in the pot themselves. You get everything you need to start your tree out, which means soil, fertilizer, four different sizes of wire, starter shears and wire cutters, and the chance to make your own special work of art! This is something that I find super exciting and I’m hoping that anyone who does end up buying the kit will send us pictures of their final product because I know they are going to turn out great.

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Bonsai Classes and The Growth of an Art Form

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I am going to be doing a class this weekend and I’m kind of excited about it. This is the first class in a while that we have really pushed, or at least since we’ve moved out to the Deland property.

I’ve been teaching classes all this time but I’ve never really managed to properly get the word out about them. I started teaching these classes in 2004 at the urging of my mentor and friend, Tom Zane. Our local club would have similar classes once or twice a year but the teachers there were beginning to get a bit tired of doing it and since I had a budding bonsai nursery in Florida they were excited to get some new blood teaching. Tom even gave me copies of his syllabus to learn from and about thirty books worth of slides, diagrams, and notes to help me get started.

My friend Mike Rogers also was helpful in that he had said no one was doing classes on a regular basis in the area. To say the least, I was a little intimidated considering I was primarily self-taught and had in fact only take a few one-on-one’s that Tom had been gracious enough to tell me about. But it was a lot different to actually be teaching and Tom and Mike were both extraordinarily helpful. Since the beginning, my programs have been tweaked over the years and today we have an 18 page syllabus. In the not too distant future we plan on adding PowerPoint presentations to it and making it a multi-part class to combine the beginner and intermediate class levels. So many students are left wanting more once they have completed our beginner class and I’d like to have a more structured environment for learning.

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Beginner Bonsai Class – June 20th

We have our monthly beginner bonsai class coming up on the 20th of June. This class is an all day learning opportunity for anyone new to bonsai or those who are wanting a nice refresher on the basics. There are a limited number of seats available but there will be another chance to learn next month!

With your purchase of the class you will receive a tree, wire, beginner tools, and lunch. This class would be the perfect gift for Father’s Day. To reserve your spot, you can purchase here.

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And to keep updated on the future classes that we offer keep checking our Events page and sign up for our newsletter here.