MK Bonsai got up very early on the morning of Sunday 17th March 2019 and headed up to the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham for their annual Boot Sale. After hearing much about this in the past we were excited to make our first visit! So, braving the freezing conditions and wiping the sleep from our eyes (after the 5 am start!), we stepped out into the car park of the Botanical Gardens at about 7:30 am. The first few stalls were already set up with a trickle of stall holders still arriving.
Although not a huge event by any standards, there seemed to be a lot of quality trees on offer. Greenwood bonsai made a healthy showing with their stall and some genuine bargains. There were some amateur enthusiasts who were looking to reduce their collections and a pot seller with a huge variety of quality ceramics at reasonable prices.
We were surprised by the number of high-quality trees on offer and had to show extreme self-control when confronted with a majestic non-grafted white pine for £1500 that could have easily been worth double with very little work!! The wholesale could be seen in about 20 minutes but MK Bonsai must have walked the site at least three times inspecting every tree and pot in depth.
We missed out on a well-established Larch potted in the root-over-rock style, one of the first trees we looked at but made the mistake of walking away and coming back later to see someone else carrying it away. Not wanting to miss out again, we went on to purchase a smaller larch in a handmade pot by Dragonfly ceramics and an enormous piece of raw material in a Hinoki Cypress that has huge – but slightly daunting – potential… It only just fit in the car but very glad to have this beautiful tree to work on.
All in all, there was plenty for any bonsai enthusiast to choose from, whatever your budget. It seemed that young trees and raw material could be had very cheap and if you were looking for something more expensive then good quality developed trees could be had for hundreds of pounds less than they might be elsewhere. A good range of pots and bonsai tools, wire, soil and other consumables were on offer too.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip (despite having to warm up in the car halfway through!) and if you love Bonsai, what better way to spend an hour or two on a Sunday morning!
We’ll keep you posted on the progress of the trees we purchased on Instagram #mkbonsai and in our members tree progression blog series.
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