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Yvonne Romyn

Yvonne started her Bonsai life on her Birthday because her husband got fed up buying flowers which were so expensive and only lasted a few days. So instead he bought her a bonsai which would lasted. Thereafter on every special occasion a Bonsai appeared. She decided to learn all about these trees and went to Bob Richards who was at the time the first commercial Bonsai grower in South Africa. She was very fortunate as she gained experience by potting up to 30 trees a day, wiring many of them and eventually pruning them when she gained sufficient confidence. Bob suggested she join the Cape Bonsai Kai where she met Rudi Adam who became her mentor and her bonsai's got bigger and heavier. She and her husband, with an ever growing love for bonsai started to attend Gail Theron's workshops. The bonsai area at home spread even further. Her husband started telling her what he thought she should and should not be doing, which got on her nerves and she eventually told him to get his own Bonsai's. In retrospect she realized this was a big mistake! Within six months they had 300 trees BUT who do you think did all the fertilizing, weeding and other 'chores?' Her husband loved to design trees, choose and buy all the pots. They helped each other but often also argued about whether a branch should be removed or not. When she wanted to start selling trees to lessen the work load it was like when the children left home. He found it hard to part with his 'babies.' Yvonne felt she was so fortunate that her and her husband could do such a peaceful hobby together. After 30 years of nurturing her trees she sold them all in order move into a flat. Her love for bonsai has never been stronger though, her effort now however is to promote bonsai to a new generation of growers.

The Cape Bonsai Kai gave Yvonne the stepping stones to go that much further in what she believed is the essence of Bonsai. She realised that it is not just the knowledge of how to pot, prune or bend it is the inner peace which is so important. She could work on one tree for 12 hours without noticing the time except when her tummy told her it was empty. Her husband would feed then feed her tummy while the tree fed her soul.

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Haiku

Last leaf has fallen

Tree will sleep and I will dream

Spring is tomorrow

Random Bonsai Tip

When a tree has reversed taper or a narrowed 'waistline' above the nebari, you could do an airlayering just above the narrow section; or you could damage the cambium layer by either hammering gently with a mallet or by piercing the bark right into the cambium with a sharp object eg. scissors or an awl. You could also make deep incisions along the grain of the bark, where the healing process will cause scarring which would then thicken the trunk.