Kirstenbosch show 2019

 The following photographs are of award-winning trees that were exhibited at the annual Cape Bonsai Kai's show which is held every year at the internationally known Kirstenbosch Gardens.



Welcome to the website of Cape Bonsai Kai where you will find out all about our club, events we are hosting and other news. Here you will also find galleries containing images from exhibitions, workshops, club meetings and more. We often post valuable information like "What to do this month" and other tips as well as many articles which will help you keep your bonsai collection healthy and you enjoying your new art form. Be sure to visit often!


About CBK

History tells us that bonsai were first displayed in South Africa at the British Empire Exhibition held in Johannesburg in 1933, where Asian exhibitors displayed their trees. Thereafter, mention is made of soldiers, returning home from the east after the Second World War, expressing interest in the beautiful trees they had seen in Japan.


Year Planner 2018/19


19-Apr Tree of the Month Bougainville/Azaleas
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Hennie Nel
Tip of the Month Phil Levitt
Short Talk. Pines, bud selection/needle plucking Terry Erasmus
Selecting buds for uniform Azalea flowering Gail Theron
Judge's comment & discussion  Carl Morrow
Bougainville talk Cedric Hartzenberg/Gail
17-May Tree of the month Colenema/Berry trees
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Milly Abrahams
Tip of the Month Terry Erasmus
Judge's comment & discussion  Gail Theron
Flambboyant Bonsai ( Berry/Flowering) Cindy Rodkin/Viky Peterman
21-Jun Tree of the Month Winter silhouette
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Phil Levitt
Tip of the Month Terry Erasmus
Bonsai in Europe Carl Morrow
Judge's comment & discussion  Carl Morrow
Celtis/Elms Acacia etc Winter pruning (15/45practical) Phil/Hennie Gail Theron
19-Jul Tree of the Month Decidious Trees
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Gail Theron
Tip of the Month Carl Morrow
Soil Mixture Freddie Bisschoff
Pest/diseases for dicidious( included with Terrys talk) Terry Erasmus
Judge's comment & discussion  Hennie Nel 
Repotting Decidious trees ( Plus two doing pract. Elm/celtis/ pine) Terry Erasmus
16-Aug Tree of the Month Elms different species
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Dorothy Franz
Tip of the Month Terry Erasmus
Moss prevention on cork bark elms Hennie Nel 
Judge's comment & discussion  Dorothy Franz
Developing mature field grown (cork bark) elms Plus other elms Brett Simon
20-Sep Tree of the Month Windswept
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Cindy Rodkin
Tip of the Month Gail Theron
Short Talk. Accent plants(Kusamono)  Brett Simon
Judge's comment & discussion  Terry Erasmus
Windswept Freddie Bisschoff
18-Oct Tree of the Month Hackberry
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Viky Peterman
Tip of the Month Phil Levitt
Short Talk: Air layering Terry Erasmus
Judge's comment & discussion  Viky Peterman
Feedback from Taiwan growing Hackberry Terry Erasmus
15-Nov Tree of the Month Junipers
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Brett Simon
Tip of the Month Terry Erasmus
Juniper foilage.(juvenile/mature) Gail Theron
propagation of juniper  cuttings  Gail Theron
Judge's comment & discussion  Phil Levitt
Juniper  Gail Theron
December 13 setup ANNUAL SHOW 14-15 16-17  2018  (Note 4 days) Entire membership
17/01/2019 Tree of the Month Ficus ( Strangler /banjan style)
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Carl Morrow
Tip of the Month Viky Peterman
Ariel Root development Brett Simon
Pot Selection for Bonsai Viky Peterman
Judge's comment & discussion  Francois Voges
 A banyan,  is a fig that begins its life as an epiphyte  Phil Levitt
21/02/2019 Tree of the Month Buddleja/Olives
Shohin -Suiseki -Kusamono Display Milly Abrahams
Tip of the Month Gail Theron
Judge's comment & discussion  Carl Morrow
Buddleja Saligna a neglected bonsai subject Freddie Bisschoff
21/03/2019 Annual General Meeting Display - award winning


How about indigenous?

by Adam Harrower

I'm sure that all have heard it said that we , in the Western Cape, live in one of the six floristic kingdoms of the world, I can not emphasize enough how true this is and how blessed we are. Studying Botany at UCT, has brought me face to face with this tremendous wealth of beauty and diversity, which is matched in very few other places on the planet. The other thing is that South Africa has such a variety of flora types, ranging from the fynbos to forest to grassland etc., which is echoed in the diversity of species. In terms of bonsai use, we have been relatively biased towards exotic plants, probably because most of the literature on bonsai is from overseas and deals with tried and tested species that are sure to be fail-proof. The problem is that many of these species are often difficult, if not impossible, to get hold of and often do not like our climate so we need to look to the next best option, which in our case happens to be an extremely good one - our indigenous plant material.

Next Workshop

The next workshop is on the 2nd of March, 2019.

Host: Kobus van Schoor


Contact Us

We would be happy to hear from you should you like to find out more about the club, meetings or bonsai in general.

Send us a mail

Year Programme

We have an exciting calendar of club meetings, events and public exhibitions planned for 2017/8.

Learn more


Grey marsh, black cloud...

Flapping away in autumn rain

Last old slow heron. ~ Anon

Random Bonsai Tip

To improve branch ramification one can defoliate deciduous trees in summer. This method should only be used on healthy, strong trees in their later stages of development.