During late July 2012 I had the great pleasure of visiting the beautiful city of Zagreb, Croatia. Croatia (part of the former Yugoslavia) has a burgeoning bonsai scene and some very active members within the International Bonsai community. Here is a selection of images from my visit.
Zagreb City park, Park Maksimir
Three Swamp Cypress growing in boggy ground in front of an ancient Oak at Park Maksimir
The Oak deadwood
At the home of Luka Musich, I saw this massive Carpinis orientalis (Oriental Hornbeam) collected by Luka himself. This tree will be ready for styling next year and will make a stunning bonsai. The Oriental Hornbeam naturally has much smaller leaves than the European Hornbeam and is native to Croatia.
For an indication of the size of this tree, here is the author pictured alongside it!
A selection of Luka's collected Pines and Junipers
Juniper was collected by Luka and features in this article on Bonsai4me.com from 2010.
A large snail (6-7cm wide) found living in a privet bonsai
We were joined by Ninoslav Pirs, the man responsible for the design and printing of my 'Bonsai Inspirations' books, seen here discussing a field maple bonsai.
Re-carving the uro (deadwood hollow) at the top of the field maple's trunk using a die-grinder.
Wiring and arranging the branches
Considering the design of a Privet bonsai with Luka Musich
Wiring a newly carved Privet shohin
Discussing the forthcoming Bonsai4me.com re-design with web developer Matija........
.......before more bonsai, this time a Mulberry
Marking where the shari on the Mulberry bonsai should be carved after wiring and styling the branches
Image of the Mulberry bonsai 6 weeks later after it had been carved by its owner Ninoslav Pirs and had leafed out
wiring the trunk of a young Spruce
and plenty of the national drink 'Rakija'!
Our farewells; next year (2013) I intend to return to Croatia, with enough time to see more of this beautiful country and conduct a number of workshops.