Over one hundred great trees on display, eight demonstrations, free workshops for children and a wonderful location: Tony Tickle on the Bonsai Europa 2015 event. Almost forgot, Tony also shares studio-shots from the winning trees in this post.



Tony, for those that haven’t been at Bonsai Europa, could you describe the event?

Two years ago I was frustrated that the UK was sadly lacking when it came to being part of the European Bonsai scene. There were lots of small ‘local’ or specialized events but nothing on a large scale so I decided that I would organize Bonsai Europa. I put out the invitation to artists across Europe and the UK to present their trees at the event and the result was that there was representation from almost every nation across Europe. The support from traders across the continent was fantastic, 30 traders including Japan, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, Czech and France supported the event. Over 125 trees from 80 exhibitors, two ‘club’ shows, Suiseki displays and free children’s workshops.


And there were several demo’s, right?

There were eleven demonstrators from across Europe working on material that had been personally prepared by me over the last three years. The Demonstrators were: Andrew Campbell: UK, Bartosz Warwas: Poland, Falko Hamann: Germany, Jose Redondo: Spain, Milan Karpíšek: Czech, Nik Rozman: Slovenia, Ofer Grunwald: Israel, Sándor Papp: Hungary, Tracy Gibson: UK, Will Baddeley UK and Yannick Kiggen: Belgium


Will videos of the event be published? And what about a book?

I had a professional TV production company filming the whole weekend and a video will be available soon, as for a book, it will need to be crowd funded but I have the professional shots in Hi resolution ready to go.


Are you doing it again?

The event will take place every two years and Bonsai Europa 2017 is already in the planning, we have learned from what went well and what could be improved. Every trader wants to return as they had good sales. Exhibitors are now targeting trees for two years time.


That is great news! Having organized this event for the first time, you might do things differently next time; what can we expect

The event will be a two-day as this year, the ‘demo’ format may well change as for a big name… who knows?


A few photos from the event

Bonsai Europa 2015


Bonsai Europa 2015


Bonsai Europa 2015


Bonsai Europa 2015


Bonsai Europa 2015


Bonsai Europa 2015


The winning trees of Bonsai Europa 2015

Tony shared some studio photos already on his blog and allowed us to share the winning trees below. We asked Tony to share some insights for each winning tree; helping us understand how to value the winners and understand their qualities.

The judging of the trees was overseen by Steve McKee and was completed by all the demo artists and a couple of invited individuals. A total of 12 judges ensured that good cross section of tastes were covered. The winning trees:


Shohin display

Best in Show: Mark and Ritta Cooper, Shohin display

Mark and Ritta were very surprised at receiving this award, they are no strangers to receiving recognition for their wonderful trees, the surprise being that never has a Shohin display ever won ‘Best in Show’ at a major event in Europe. Could this be that the majority of judges were …lets just say… younger than those who normally Judge at shows, and they recognize that ‘small is beautiful’.


Best deciduous bonsai tree

Best deciduous Bonsai Best deciduous display: David Barlow Beech Raft

I collected this tree many years ago with David and have witnessed his care and skill bringing the tree to perfection for the show. It’s quite exquisite and has tiny leaves. The pot is by Gordon Duffet and was given to David from Tery Foster as a Gift because it was simply perfect.


Chuhin pine bonsai

Best Evergreen: Mark and Ritta Cooper: Chuhin Pine

This is a close to perfection in a pine that I have seen, everything in perfect scale and presented beautifully. Without doubt one of the best White pines in Europe.


Shohin bonsai tree

Best Shohin display: John Armitage

This three point display is so understated, the juniper is beautifully worked and in perfect proportion. The supporting tree and tiny accent complete the overall image, I loved this from John.


Olive bonsai

EBA award: Barbara and Herbert Obermayer, European Olive

I first saw this tree in Switzerland three years ago and knew that over the next few years it would mature into a great tree, the display of deadwood is amazing and the future of this Olive is bright indeed.




Steve ‘Harleyrider’ Award: Terry Foster, Hawthorn

I was with Terry when this tree was collected from the wild, it was over one meter tall. I love the movement in the truck, the aged bark and gentle arc of the foliage. The Stone ‘pot’ is natural and collected in Scotland many years ago.


English elm bonsai

Sonderpries: Will Baddeley, English Elm

Recognized for the natural appearance yet totally worked by Will the tree is mature and superbly presented. The tree has a majestic presence and is a worthy winner of this prestigious prize.


We thank Tony Tickle for doing this short interview with us, and for supplying us with the photos. The photos can only be copied with permission from Tony, visit his blog here.