Cape Town hosts its 10th Annual Bonsai Festival

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department was proud to host the 10e Annual Bonsai Festival, in partnership with the Cape Regional Association of Bonsai last weekend.

The two-day festival returned to the Jardin de la Compagnie, with a spectacular bonsai display open to the public.

The expo organizers aim to raise awareness of the importance of growing trees in cities and to encourage new participants to learn how to grow bonsai-style trees.

Photo: Cape Town/Twitter

The annual event gives all bonsai clubs and nurseries in the Western Cape the opportunity to display the trees grown by their members in a competition.

Bonsai is a Japanese recreational art of growing trees in small pots and shaping them for beauty. The event took place in the presence of the Consul General of Japan in Cape Town, Mr. Jiro Nishimura.

The festival attracted a large crowd of visitors who took advantage of the good weather and the free demonstrations offered by the experts. This signifies a successful return of the event to the company garden after two years of being limited to a virtual event due to the pandemic.

The pruning and shaping demonstrations offered by locals recognized as masters of the bonsai fraternity were also appreciated by the participants.

Photo: Cape Town/Twitter

Visitors were delighted to be able to purchase their own tree as part of a starter kit, complete with a container and tools to take home for cultivation. By joining the club closest to their neighborhood, newcomers will now have the support of a community of bonsai masters and other enthusiasts to guide them with helpful advice offered at club meetings, which are held usually once a week.

Urbanization requires a change in the perception of environmental conservation. Society must consider new ways to plant trees in order to sustain life with the limited availability of green space.

Photo: Cape Town/Twitter

“The exhibit could not have been in a better location than the Society Garden, as it is a well-known park enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors each year. The exhibition is a celebration of trees and nature and highlights the importance of conserving and protecting biodiversity and green spaces in urban settings. The art of bonsai cultivation has many benefits, from developing discipline and respect for nature to learning a relaxing and fulfilling hobby.

Sports and recreational activities have historically brought together South Africans of all races, ages and ethnicities. When communities engage in positive hobbies together, it creates a sense of family and belonging. It’s through sports and playing together that we bond, grow and learn from each other,” said Patricia Van der Ross, member of the city’s Mayor’s Committee for Community Services and health.

Below is the list of winners in the following categories:

  • >60cm high: Brett Simon of the Oyama Bonsai Kai Club
  • 40 – 60cm: Brett Simon of the Oyama Bonsai Kai Club
  • 20 – 40cm: Mark Polson, Blaauwberg Bonsai Kai
  • Less than 20cm: Hennie Nel, Cape Bonsai Kai

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Image: Cape Town / Instagram

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