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Shohin and Mame: Size Does Matter


If you are into the smaller side of the bonsai obsession you need to immerse yourself in the intriguing world of shohin and mame sized bonsai at the following 2 day event.


Oyama Bonsai Kai has put together an exciting program for their annual Winter Bash for which the focus this year is shohin and mame bonsai. The event will take place at Bishopsford Bonsai Nursery in Constantia, Cape Town on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of June.

Several vendors including Bonsai Tree will be selling a great variety of products, so bring your wallets too! 

The event forms part of the CRAB (Cape Regional Association of Bonsai) yearly program.

Viky Petermann wild olive bonsai tree

Image caption. Wild Olive shohin by Viky Petermann


All the topics have been carefully chosen to fit in with this theme and will be presented by very capable award winning bonsai artists, who are all also experienced speakers. The program is rather packed but there will always be time for you to ask your questions of the respective speaker.

List of speakers in order of appearance:

  1. Cindy Rodkin
  2. Phil Levitt
  3. Terry Erasmus
  4. Freddie Bisschoff
  5. Viky Petermann
  6. Milly Abrahams
  7. Dr Carl Morrow
  8. Michelle van der Burgh
  9. Brett Simon
  10. Mark Polson
  11. Gail Theron
  12. Hennie Nel
  13. Neil van Blerk

Honeysuckle bonsai Phil Levitt

Image caption. Dwarf Honeysuckle by Phil Levitt

What will you learn?

There is no doubt that you will be much better informed on this exciting area of the bonsai world after the 2 day program. With the knowledge gained you will be able to go home and create your own shohin or mame bonsai with confidence knowing what species work best, how to grow them as material for styling into shohin or mame sized trees, how to style and care for them. You'll know how to create your ideal growing media, how to water them and also how to display your creations at exhibitions.

Wild fig bonsai Hennie Nel

Image caption. Veldfig by Hennie Nel



The total cost including teas, coffees and luncheons on both days is a mere R350.00.

There are very limited seats available, only 32 people can be accommodated. You can download the registration form here.

Please follow the instructions as written in the form for payment and to confirm your place.

Any further inquiries can be emailed to Phil Levitt using phil@pottersyard.co.za

Juniper by Carl Morrow

Image Caption. Creeping Juniper by Dr Carl Morrow.

The program

 Saturday, 16th June

08h30 Registration
09h00 - 09h15 Introduction Cindy Rodkin
09h15 - 10h00 Growing small trees with big hands Phil Levitt
10h00 - 10h30 Case Studies: Olive (Yamadori) and Hackberry (from Seed) Terry Erasmus
10h30 - 11h00 Tea
11h00 - 12h15

Developing Shohin and Mame Stock. The how's and why's. With a lot of involvement from the participants.

Chinese Maple Shohin (Fusing of multiple cuttings)

Freddie Bisschoff



Terry Erasmus

12h15 - 12h45

A clay interlude

Viky Petermann

12h45 - 13h45

Lunch included


13h45 - 14h15

Small rock planting. Demonstration

Milly Abrahams
14h15 - 15h15

Small trees with a twist and of course pots and how important pot choice is with small trees.

Dr Carl Morrow
15h15 - 15h45


15h45 - 16h30

Accent Plants

Michelle van der Burgh


Chinese maple bonsai Terry Erasmus

Image caption. Chinese Maple by Terry Erasmus 

Sunday, 17th June

08h30 Registration
09h00 - 10h00 Small junipers and pines; a presentation and demonstration Brett Simon
10h00 - 10h45 Developing Juniper stock for shohin and grafting to improve foliage Mark Polson
10h45 - 11h00 Tea
11h00 - 11h45 Growing Media for small trees Terry Erasmus
11h45 - 12h30 My small trees and how I grew them. Case Studies Viky Petermann
12h30 - 13h30 Lunch included
13h30 - 14h15 Small deciduous trees: the do's and dont's. From development to maintenance Gail Theron
14h15 - 15h00 Displaying Shohin and Mame bonsai Hennie Nel
15h00 - 15h30 Displaying small trees: my way Neil van Blerk
15h30 Raffle Prize winners announced

Mame bonsai Hennie Nel

Image caption. Mame sized Veldfig by Hennie Nel