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These trees are the bee's knees

Bonsai club hosts sixth annual show at Willow Point
Campbell River Bonsai Club president Larry Stefanyk

The presentation was every bit as artistic as the exhibits themselves when Campbell River Bonsai Club held its sixth annual bonsai show Saturday at Sybil Andrews cottage.

A wide range of carefully cultivated trees, many in custom concrete pots, was displayed across a series of tables. Each table boasted an odd number of items, with particular emphasis on a flowing arrangement of varying sizes of plants, rocks and other decorations.

"The presentation is important," said Larry Stefanyk, president of the club formed in November of 2008.

The club has hosted the show on the lawn behind Sybil Andrews Cottage each summer for six years, but may take a break from that routine for its seventh public display.

"I think next year we'll try a different location," said Stefanyk, whose club recently had a smaller display at the Japanese Cultural Festival in Spirit Park. "Let some different people get to see it."

While bonsai is most recognizable for its stunted, gnarled evergreens, Stefanyk noted many different trees and shrubs have been incorporated into the ancient practice, including azaleas, Japanese maple, Saskatoon berry and smoke bush.

"We may switch to a spring or fall show, just to show off the colours you get at different times of the year."

The Campbell River Bonsai Club meets every other Wednesday at Sybil Andrews Cottage, where members can work on individual projects or join in on club-wide projects. There is a club tree, which held a prominent spot at the entry to last weekend's show, and trees owned by individual members.

Though, as Stefanyk notes, with some of the trees several centuries old, ownership is not precisely accurate.

"None of us owns these trees," he said. "We're caretakers."

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