In June of 1988, six people who shared a common interest in the ancient art of dwarf trees and whose experience ranged from practically nothing to over twenty years, met informally to discuss ways and means of sharing their collective skills and expanding local interest in this ancient oriental practice. From these meetings the Northeast Pennsylvania Bonsai Society was born. Its objectives remain to provide a place for its members to come together to expand and share their knowledge and skills and to advance and promote interest in bonsai among the general public in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
On Saturday September 7, the NEPA Bonsai Society will hold it’s 23rd Annual Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Midway Garden Center, 1865 Highway 315, Pittston.
The agenda that day will include a large bonsai tree display by the society’s members, various demonstrations throughout the day and many bonsai trees and related items for sale. There will also be Shakuhachi flute entertainment by Jamie Orfanella and a friendly bonsai tree competition open to all members.
Last year’s open house had 80 trees from the member’s private collections that encompassed 2 to 20 years of work and dedication to the art.
“Our goal this year is to have a larger display, more demonstrations, and a greater turn out from the public,” said Carl Achhammer, bonsai society president. “It should be a really great day and I encourage people to come out to enjoy the trees and an art form that has been around for over 2000 years.”
Society members will be on hand to answer questions, demonstrate how to work on a bonsai or help attendees pick out a tree. The Bonsai Society would like to expand its membership this year and introduce this fine art to some new people.
As a new bonsai enthusiast, vice-president of the bonsai society and co-chairwomen of the event, Constance Orchard finds a great need to promote bonsai to everyone she meets. According to her, “The quiet grace and beauty of a tree is soothing to the soul. The living art form of bonsai gives one an up close and personal relationship with your own ‘scaled down forest.’” She encourages everyone to explore something new in this art and find his or her hidden creativity.
Beginner Bonsai classes will be held in September at Midway Garden Center, and more information and directions can be obtained by calling Sue or Carl at Midway Garden Center, (570) 654-6194.
Additional information about the organization can be found online at www.nepabonsai.com.