RHS Show Tatton Park, 2011

At last year's show we achieved a silver-gilt for our stand, and whilst still a great achievement, it was a step down from the golds of 2008 and 2009. We had also entered very similar stands over the past few years and so decided to put together a radical new design in the hopes of refreshing the standard bonsai display and bringing in some new ideas.

We decided to incorporate tokonomas into our display. A tokonoma is an alcove in a Japanese home in which they will display a bonsai for special occasions. These displays portray a scene from nature; an accent plant and a painted scroll are used to suggest the landscape surrounding the bonsai and the season being depicted.

Our new stand design featured 3 tokonomas, as well as a number of trees displayed individually. The overall effect was very calming and showed off the best of our members' trees. And thankfully the judges liked it too, awarding us a gold medal.

We had a very successful show; lots of visitors came to our stand and we gave out lots of advice on caring for bonsai, as well as dispelling some myths. Hopefully we may have even gained some new members.

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