Today I visited the second of a two-day show presented by the Accrington & District Bonsai Society held at Barton Grange Garden Centre, Lancashire. The trees on display were a range of quality representing all levels of expertise within the club - and including some excellent bonsai. The club seem to be a friendly bunch and are keen to welcome new members.
Unfortunately, space seemed to be a little tight and some trees were partially obscured by their neighbours, or by awards presented by Ian Warhurst the previous day.
Of particular note was the below Larch with had information written as follows:
The tree that you see here is a twin trunk Larch (Larix decidua) started at the same time that Barton Grange Garden Centre opened; it was formed from two separate seedlings in 1963 by one of the founder members of the Accrington & District Bonsai Society. That member was a gentleman named Don Daglish who lived in the Whitefield area of Manchester. He was to become a great friend and loyal member of the society. Unfortunately over the last few years Don had been unable to look after his trees due to ill health, so in 2010 the society was asked to look after this tree and others in his collection. Sadly this year Don died but his trees live on through our club.
During the 1970s and 80s it was pruned, trimmed, re-potted and styled into a wonderful bonsai which eventually won many cups and trophies at our annual shows.
You will notice that the bark on the trunk of this tree has crackled with age over the years, but if you look closely you will also see that it has extended to the branches as well. This takes many, many years to develop, and a lot of credit must go to Don for the time he must have spent working on it.
In conclusion I hope that this tree and Barton Grange Garden Centre will continue to thrive for another fifty years and more!
On a slightly lighter note (if you will forgive the toilet humour) I feel I must say something about Barton Grange Garden Centre's toilets! These are surely some of the loveliest facilities I have ever had the pleasure of using and can honestly say that I have never peed into a giant porcelain flower before. Upon exiting this fine restroom, I was drawn to a framed photo on the wall (see below). I wonder if a photo of Barton Grange's beautiful flower urinals hangs on the wall of Latrine No. 1040 in Giharo?!