More bonsai trees in Longwood – Chadds Ford Live

Longwood Gardens today announced that Doug Paul, founder of The Kennett Collection – the finest and largest private collection of bonsai and bonsai-related artifacts outside of Asia – has made a donation and bequest transformers. Received in two parts, an initial donation will include 50 bonsai donated to Longwood over the next two years, as well as an annual cash donation to support their upkeep. The second part of the donation is a bequest, which will provide an additional 100 specimens, including kicho bonsai or important bonsai masterpieces because of their beauty or rarity – and $1 million for an endowment for the ongoing maintenance of the collection, as well as additional acquisitions. The bequest will more than double the size of Longwood’s collection. Most importantly, it will add significant examples of rare Japanese tree species, making Longwood the premier collection of Japanese-trained bonsai trees on public view in the United States.

“These significant bonsai trees, which have been painstakingly and painstakingly trained, will make Longwood’s collection one of the most important in the country,” said Paul B. Redman, president and CEO of Longwood Gardens.

Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Shimpaku’) in situ at the Kennett Collection. (Courtesy of Longwood Gardens/Phil Bradshaw.)

“The first 50 specimens will expand the breadth and depth of our existing collection of 78 bonsai trees, best known for the diversity of our flowering species and for four remarkable trees developed by artist Yuri Yoshimura. We are extremely grateful to Doug Paul for this transformative gift and the faith he shows in our bonsai program by entrusting us with these important living works of art.

The Kennett collection, which began in 1999, now includes 1,200 specimens that span the bonsai spectrum in terms of sizes, styles and species. The world’s leading bonsai experts have taken care of the collection, which also stands out for the number of trees that have been invited to be displayed at the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition and the number of trees that are “Registered Masterpiece Bonsai” by the Nippon Bonsai Association.

The first 50 trees to enter the Longwood Collection over the next two years are particularly notable for their lineage, including examples from many of Japan’s most famous nurseries, including the Chinsho-en nursery run by the Nakanishi family in Takamatsu, as well as world-famous bonsai trees, including Kimura Masahiko, known as “The Magician”; Suzuki Shinji of Japan; and Suthin Sukosolvisit from Boston. The gift will also include breathtaking Omono or “Very large” bonsai, three to four feet tall and weighing a few hundred pounds each.

Seven of these bonsai will go on display immediately at the Longwood Conservatory, where they can be viewed until November 13, 2022. Particularly noteworthy specimens include:

  • a trident maple (Acer buergerianum) in the root over rock style, popularized over 100 years ago in the Nagoya area of ​​Japan. This specimen was developed by Boston-based bonsai artist Suthin Sukosolvisit, who is considered by many to be the best trained non-Japanese artist in the western world. The balance and movement of the roots up and down the rock is close to ideal, and the tree has reached a superb level of maturity with an incredibly dense canopy of well-branched twigs and branches.
  • Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora’Miyajima’), which was designed by renowned bonsai artist Kimura Masahiko. Over many years, it reshaped branches and developed growth to complement the way roots grip rocks. After the specimen’s difficult journey to the United States, Mr. Kimura’s first foreign apprentice, Marco Invernizzi, returned the tree to health.
  • a Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii), considered one of the most important species in Japan and revered for its vigor and longevity. This specimen, which stands 20 inches tall and in the straight style, was originally trained under the care of the internationally renowned Suzuki Shinji.
  • a Satsuki hybrid azalea (Rhododendron’kinsai’) of the kinsai variety, known for the resemblance of its flowers to a firecracker – a distinctive red flower with tassels. This superb specimen, originating from the garden of Kunio Kobayashi, founder of the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Japan, was trained in the informal upright style and stands out for its distinctive branching structure and muscular trunk with sinuous veins.

Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Kotobuki’) in oblique style. 28 inches. Developed by Chinsho-en nursery in Takamatsu, Japan. (Courtesy of Longwood Gardens/Hank Davis.)

“I am delighted to donate specimens from the Kennett collection to Longwood,” said donor Doug Paul. “I have spent many happy years managing these bonsai trees and sharing them with other bonsai connoisseurs at the Kokufu Exhibition – the Westminster Dog Show of the bonsai world. I now look forward to a wider audience can enjoy their beauty and splendor in Longwood.

“Mr. Paul has been able to do what no one else has done in the United States, which is to import, maintain and improve specimens from Japan of the highest quality,” said Peter Warren, the UK’s foremost bonsai professional, “Once the Kennett Collection trees are located in Longwood, it will undoubtedly be one of the top three collections in the United States. All the trees in the collection hold a unique and prestigious place in the history of bonsai, spanning many generations.”

The donation will also include bonsai-related items, including the containers in which bonsai are trained. In the initial donation of 50 bonsai trees, there are notable examples of American bonsai ceramists Sara Rayner and Nick Lenz, who was also a famous bonsai artist. Together, the bonsai and the containers form a harmonious picture.

The majority of the 50 bonsai trees in the Kennett Collection giveaway will be on long-term display during the grand opening of Longwood reinvented end of 2024, a sweeping yet deeply sensitive transformation of 17 acres of the gardens’ central visitor area. As part of this expansion, a new outdoor Bonsai courtyard will be built next to the new West Conservatory. Hedges and charred wood walls will create an intimate gallery-like space, where dozens of bonsai trees will be displayed on freestanding stands against dark backdrops that showcase their shapes, foliage and seasonal blooms.

The gift is one of the most comprehensive and generous that Longwood has received as part of the Pierre S. and Alice du Pont Gardens Founders’ Circle, which recognizes and honors people who make the thoughtful decision to include Longwood Gardens in their real estate projects.


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