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Bonsai Gone Native – 14 – 16 July, 2023

Do you have a fascination for the unique beauty of Australian native trees? 

We are delighted to invite Bonsai enthusiasts to Bonsai Gone Native, a captivating three days of workshops, demonstrations, tours and Australian Native Bonsai displays, taking place from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of July at Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens Auditorium and Bonsai House.

The ticket price for a full 3 hour Master Workshop with either Marcela Fereira or Hugh Grant is $100 per participant. There will also be a limited number of twenty tickets available for enthusiasts to observe the workshop at a cost of $20 each. 

Friday 14th July Workshop sessions below:

9am – 12pm  Workshop 1 with Marcela Ferreira   Assisted by Albert Garcia ($100)
9am – 12pm  Workshop 1 with Hugh Grant           Assisted by Keith Stanley ($100)

1pm – 4pm     Workshop 2 with Marcela Ferreira  Assisted by Albert Garcia ($100)
1pm – 4pm      Workshop 2 with Hugh Grant          Assisted by Keith Stanley ($100)

Tickets for the workshops are only available online. Please click the button above to purchase tickets or to view the full program for the 3 days of Bonsai Gone Native.

What to bring for participants:

  • Australian Native Bonsai only.
  • We recommend bringing three trees to work on during the 3hr workshop.
  • Bring any photos or notes showing the development of your trees.
  • Tools and wire.
  • Notepad 

What to expect:

The Bonsai Instructor moves around to each participant individually and talks to them about the design of their tree and sets a task for the participant to achieve. They are assisted by a club senior leader who can follow up and clarify any immediate questions. They then move on to the next participant and repeat the process. Once the Instructor has seen all the participants, they come back to you to see how you’re progressing and then direct you to the next stage of the trees. This process continues until all the trees have been developed.

About the Presenters

Marcella Fereira

Marcela Ferreira is the founding member of the Victorian Native Bonsai Club, and she has filled her small inner-city garden in Melbourne with her exquisite creations. She was inspired by the Karate Kid at 12 years old. She took lessons and her skills improved. However, she says, “I got sick of all the junipers and maples. After I bought a starter plant that turned out to be a native water gum (Tristaniopsis laurina) and I became hooked on natives.

Hugh Grant

Hugh has a reputation both in Australia and internationally for tree design and understanding the natural aesthetics of particularly Australian Natives which he translates into his designs. In 2016 Hugh conducted an Internship for the Summer and Autumn with Ryan Neil at Bonsai Mirai in Oregon, USA. Ryans teaching and ongoing mentorship since has led to Hugh developing a sense of Bonsai as interpreted in the western world, both as an art form and the practicalities of Bonsai as a practice and lifestyle.  

Albert Garcia

Albert Garcia has been involved with bonsai for 30 years and in the last 10 – 15 he has been working and experimenting with native species, especially those in his local area. He is a long-time committee member for the Bimer Bonsai Club that meets in Wavell Heights and has a focus on teaching members all aspects of bonsai, including working with our native species.

Steve Cullum

Steve Cullum has been experimenting with native bonsai for many years. Particularly focused on Southeast Queensland species. A visiting mentor in MacKay developing the new bonsai collection there he has had extensive experience he happily shares with others. A member of the Redlands Bonsai Society where he leads the education and development programs, including an annually run Bonsai Foundations program. He has recently published a book of the same name. Steve has recently been accredited as an AABC Visiting Tutor and is also a bonsai potter.

Keith Stanley

Keith Stanley started his passion for bonsai in 1981 when visiting the Dandenong’s and seeing Lindsey Farr’s nursery up there. He has learnt from private tuition, workshops, and tours in Japan. His work on bonsai education has been one of the cornerstones of the Bimer Bonsai club program. He loves sharing his passion with others and you will find him most times working in the club workshops.