Maidstone Bonsai Society

Japanese Trees in the Garden of England

Spanglish Sam’s (not so Shiten) Spanish Sojourn


Jose flew out to Spain last Thursday to meet his family and more importantly to see his Mum after an operation that she had, from which she is recovering well.

Lucky for Jose the “Alcobendas” Spanish Bonsai show was on this same weekend. After a lovely Thursday evening with his Mum, Jose woke up early Friday and made his way to the botanical gardens in Madrid. The botanical gardens have a beautiful collection of Bonsai, donated by the PM, maintained by Luis Vallejo and Mario Komsta. Kevin Willson was doing a workshop at the show with whom Jose had worked with a few times in the past.

On Friday, Kevin invited Jose to work with him and translate. Of course Jose accepted Kevin’s invitation to support him on the stage and assist with the styling of his piece of material which happened to be a massive Taxus (4 ft tall and a nebari of 2 ft). This piece belonged to the old Spanish Prime Minister “Felipe Gonzalez” ,a tree that was collected over 20 years ago by the PM and Luis Vallejo

Saturday Jose arrived at the building were the workshop were. When he arrived, it was full of people (around 80) with Taiga Urishibata and Kevin Willson on stage. Kevin called Jose to go on up onto the stage…

In Jose’s words:
“I was feeling a little nervous and scared as I am a beginner I was sharing the stage with people whom I respect and who inspire me. Big artists that show beautiful trees and their expertise all over Europe and “Little Me” assisting Kevin. I was cleaning and wiring a beautiful Taxus at the same time Kevin was doing some carving on the tree.

I also assisted Taiga as he could not start his chainsaw. I eventually started the chainsaw for Taiga and had a good laugh with him, Taiga is a proper showman with the chainsaw and a brilliant young artist.


Saturday afternoon I did visit the exhibition, and some really good trees were on display. I have never been at Noelanders, but lot of people told me that the quality of the trees were better. Sunday morning I was back on stage to work on a beautiful pine we begin at 10 and finish by 6:30 ,we did have lunch at the stage few sandwich and also very important a bottle of rioja (I think can be see the bottle on some pics) final result a lovely tree.



IMG_0192-0.JPGIt was a privilege and an honor to be invited by Kevin to work in my homeland, an experience I will never forget”


2 thoughts on “Spanglish Sam’s (not so Shiten) Spanish Sojourn

  1. Reblogged this on Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle and commented:
    My good friend Jose centerstage in Madrid!

  2. Jose good job, a hug from Spain, Tiko ” the cigar bonsai”, jajajaja

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