Thursday, June 30, 2016

A visit to Herons Bonsai Nursery

I was in Yorkshire for a short stay with my daughter and on a cold, rainy day, typical to the region, I sent Peter Chan an email expressing my wish to spend sometime with him in his Bonsai Garden. I quickly got a positive reply from him. One of my dreams was going to come true! I had got an opportunity to visit the Great Bonsai Master's Herons Bonsai Garden at Surrey, near London on June 25, 2016
Peter gave us a warm welcome and spent a lot of time taking us around the nursery, explaining the techniques he uses, identifying the various species of Bonsai and also making us cups of tea. Along with being an expert in the art of Bonsai he is also a very hospitable host.
Herons Nursery is set on a sprawling, landscaped area where you can see all kinds of Chinese and Japanese Bonsai plants. I was excited to see many species of trees that are not native to South India. Chinese Elm, Azaleas, Maples, Pines were some of the trees I came across.  In spite of the cold weather in UK, Peter Chan also has tropical bonsais like Serrisa, Pomegranates, Ficus, Jade etc growing in large indoor areas, in fairly warm conditions.  
I was enthralled by the Azaleas even though it was the end of the blooming season. The different coloured Maples were absolutely striking! There were many different styles of Bonsai - Cascade, Literati, Plants on Driftwood etc stood out among other classic styles. There were many young starter Bonsais too along with high quality specimen trees.
There was a large display of Bonsai Pots - various sizes and shapes from Japan, England and China. Figurines, rocks for landscaping, different grades of wires and other accessories were also stocked. Many books written by Peter Chan were on the shelf, for the benefit of Bonsai practitioners.
In short, I was literally in a 'Bonsai Heaven' for several hours!
Ficus growing in a glass house

Peter explaining the making of Jin

Bonsai growing on a volcanic rock

In the training room where Peter conducts his Bonsai classes


Landscaping with rocks

Japanese garden

An array of pots to choose from

Britain's premier Bonsai Nursery