Club History

The club was founded in 1993. Originally there was a single monthly meeting (in Sutton-in-Ashfield), this was soon increased at the request of the members to two meetings a month.

Many more formal clubs depend on demonstrations, talks and slideshows with occasional workshops. At Ashfield the emphasis is very much towards the informal and "hands on". Members regularly bring their own own material to meetings. The club caters for a wide range of experience in bonsai and welcomes new members. Advice is available from the more seasoned and creative members and we try to foster a relaxed, "family feel" with everyone having a say in the clubs affairs. Each year we invite one or two speakers of international fame to present to us, and we occasionally organise weekend workshops with well known bonsai personalties. Presently our meetings are held in the comfortable and spacious church hall at South Normanton and new members are always welcome.

In 2019 the club members will continue to exhibit at major exhibitions both at home and abroad, with trees enterred for the Swindon Winter Image show in February (where the club has also been invited to present a display stand), and at the Bonsai Expo in April.

Members will also be attending the Trophy Exhibition in Belgium in February, the Doncaster show in March and other shows throughout the year

Friday, 20 December 2019

2020 events

2nd Jan - no meeting
16th Jan - first meeting
26th Jan - UK Bonsai Association Auction Heathrow
6th Feb - club meeting - bring trees proposed for Swindon Winter Image
20th Feb - club meeting & ABC Winter Image Show
23rd Feb - Swindon winter image show - club is invited to display trees
28th Feb to 1st Mar - Club trip to the Trophy exhibition in Belgium
more to follow

First annual baby spruce competition

As a club with some long-standing members and excellent show trees seen nationally and internationally, sometimes it is good to get back to basics.

About a year or so ago I stumbled across some small spruce trees in my local garden centre at something like 75p each for an established seedling maybe 125mm high. A dozen were purchased and handed out to everyone who attended the next club meeting, with the instruction “do your best and bring it back for a show in a years’ time”.

So last night was the first annual baby spruce competition. Bad weather and illness meant the numbers were down a little but still we had 5 interesting trees on show and a couple of email entries via the club WhatsApp group.

First was Chris’s lovely composition on rock

Second was Pauls semi cascade (i think he's been sitting next to brock too long)

Thirdly my slanting style composition

It was interesting to see how identical 75p saplings have taken different paths within a year.

Special mention to Dave Shaw who hand painted the lovely screen you can see in some of the pictures and who brought along his kit for people to have a go.

Then we had a lovely Xmas buffet provided by Chris, some excellent nibbles, many thanks

Happy Christmas and a Happy new year

Friday, 22 November 2019


The meeting held on the second Thursday in November is auction night, one of the highlights of the year. A chance to pick up (and move on) some material. Credit as always to resident auctioneer JB who kept the activities on track and with great humour. As usual I travelled home with more things than I arrived with, but some interesting projects for the winter.

As an encouragement to buy cheap material and develop it into show condition, we also hold the auction tree club show on the same night. Only trees or material bought through the auction over the years can be entered.

Last night’s winner was club secretary Paul who had bought the winning Pyracantha as a stump in a box from Chris (seem here handing over the trophy) and in quite a short period developed it into the show winning tree seen here in a lovely Dan Barton pot the colour which will really show the Pyracantha berries to good effect in future. Obvious mirth between the seller of the cheap raw material cheap, and the subsequent winner of the show. Great laughs as always.

Monday, 28 October 2019


Sunday, a nice sunny morning and after the clock change an extra hours lie in!. we had a quick club trip up the M1 to Doncaster for the BTA autumn event. Turned out to be a decent show, most of the usual friendly faces, though maybe less traders than last time? we stocked up on soil for the coming repot season, and a few pots etc. the obligatory sausage sandwich from the cafe upstairs, and back down the M1 in time for an afternoon at home.

Monday, 14 October 2019


Ramons shohin display taking best small tree

Pittys lovely Mugo taking best chuhin and best in show. in a JP pot of course!

My Trident known as K2, took best large tree. also in a JP pot. table by Doug Mudd.

not bad trees for a club show in a local church hall!

Monday, 16 September 2019


sunday found us at the Harrogate autumn RHS show, and a decent Bonsai selection

this home grown OAK picked up best in show

i've never seen one of these houseplants look as much like a tree as this one (sorry cant remember the species) very nice tree

trade stands from North of England Bonsai, they had a great Gyoten (shades of pink) azalea and korean hornbeam at this end of the stand:

and Driftwood Bonsai in Doncaster:

nice larch at this end, but the white pine in the centre didnt look very happy

all in all a decent show and Bonsai well represented.

Thursday, 12 September 2019


quick trip up to the twice yearly Bonsai Bash last sunday found Corin in good form reworking a lovely white pine over rock.

Excellent bacon sandwiches and cake by the lovely Lady Corin and a good scout through the benches full of stock, I think half a dozen of us popped up over the free two day event and spent some pleasant hours. Nice One Corin, thanks.  

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


Doddsy playing hide and seek (again)

nice deshojo, lovely glazed pot. possible japanese?

cracking large azalea
nice hawthorn. apparently there is some controversy about the oversize walsall? pot its been put in to improve its health, thats a no brainer, tree health comes first!


cheeky trip to BBG, by MR, CHD and RH. We managed a full english in the Harvester at Bassets Pole on the way. There was a wide variety of trees on show, lots of nice starter trees. we picked these as likely winners.


it seemed about the right time to call a spontaneous azalea show, however not many takers:

my Gyo Ten (shades of pink") with a nice little accent, walsall pot, table by Tony Hardwick. in truth still many flowers to come, it peaked 2 weeks later, no green leaves to be seen amid the flowers.

chris's cute azalea, varity tba, repotted this spring, it took some hacking to get into the hard set root ball, but all looks ok now

paul warders lovely azalea, variety tba. pot is a clika or similar. at the following meeting Paul cut the tree back hard. 

Monday, 8 April 2019


Members of Ashfield Bonsai Club had trees in the excellent Bonsai Expo near Heathrow on Sunday 7th April.

JP's beautiful Oak, note the scroll with a water setting, and the accent pot shaped like a boat to make the images all work together. all pots by JP himself (of course!)

PT's lovely olive, look at the detail in the accents. Olive pot by JP.

PT's powerful Larch, accent and juniper. Larch pot by JP

CD's lovely Cedar, 20 years maturity from a workshop on a garden plant. Chris also made the table and the contoured accent stand.

JB's beautiful  chaenomeles 3 part display, flowers peaking on the day of the show. great work

PW's beautiful "no show" show tree, selected for Noelanders a couple of years back, but Paul was busy washing his hair that weekend. Now earnt its spot in Bonsai Expo, a great tree. Scroll painted by Paul, the accent stand table made by Pauls brother. a talented family.

RH's lovely Blackthorn, the accent (loaned by JP, adapted by Ramon) won best accent at the show.

My Black Pine. Runner up in the best conifer category. Scroll by the late Paul Goff, accent pot by JP. I moved the tree from a generic Tokoname pot to this lovely Yamaaki pot a couple of weeks ago. The tree looked very happy after the move so we went to the show, and very chuffed to come second to an amazing Yew and against some great competition.