This trident was a purchase from Ian Price of Lone Pine in 2009 at the GSBF convention in Anaheim.
Signature Yamafusa pot purchased for the tree four years ago. Needed all four years to get it into the pot.
This trident maple was purchased from Steve DaSilva in 2013. It was dug from his field.
This Japanese bag pot was purchased from Kora Daleger back from a recent trip to Japan. It has had many root cut backs to get it into this pot.
The accent is all about story telling. In most cases the story is “season”. The accent represents Earth in the Triad. The bonsai represents Man and the scroll represents Heaven. Man keeps a harmonious balance between Heaven and Earth.
The accent, or “companion plant” is part of the display where while there may be rules, it is a time to be creative. Planting can be made in small rustic pots, handmade with rough textures and special glazes, smaller pieces of driftwood or roof tiles, broken pottery, old rusty cans and flat pieces of wood.
In spring, flowers should be held to one or two blooms and the rest in buds. Toko Kazari is about subtlety. The size of the stand under the accent. Is a flowering plant used, should it be a stone or a carving? In the end this last item is really very important. In fact it may so important that the best course of action is to leave it out. In Keido display, formally introduced by Takeyama and then taught to Kobayashi, Kimura and Sudo, the accent is left out and only a tree and scroll are displayed. Why? Sometimes that is all that is needed to encapsulate the perfect feeling. Don’t schlock it up.
More often than not a Kusa in a Keido display will contain only one species of plant within the pot. This is just keeping the display on the simple side. Mixed species Kusa become distracting as the eye is constantly being drawn to the wonderful array of species growing in the pot. Save the mixed species for Ikebana. If usuing mixed plants keep in mind that the plants should all come from similer environments. Desert areas or water areas, high mountain flowers and sedges. When using flowering plants for display, keep in mind the time of the season. Is it early spring, late Spring, early summer, late summer, etc.,etc. In early spring keep flowers to one blossom maybe two at the most. The species can also have a couple blossoms as to kindle the emergence of more flowers but no just yet. That is story telling. A late summer display may contain more flowers and no buds, but maybe an empty calyx depicting it is getting ready for summer and no flowers. L ight colored pots in the pastel range of blues , yellows and green will work for spring and summer. Pots of the Kusa can be more ornamental than the main object. This is where you get to show that small piece of creativity in about 6 square inches.
Fall can be shown with dried grasses turning brown or tall flat leaved stems with burnt ends and edges from the summer just passed. Small leaved succulents with reddish leaves are also good here and can depict most any season since they look much the same all year long unless blooming. Dark color pots are appropriate here, dark blues and rusty colored pots as well as unglazed pots look good in fall and winter. Here is a sample of some of the more common plants used in making companion plants.
Black Brass Buttons
Double Alpine Geranium
Lysimachia nummularia “Aurea”
Origanum x majoricum
Thymus x citriodus
Blue Star Creeper
Thymus Serpyllum “Elfin”
Sedum spurium “Tricolor”
Dwarf Mondo Grass
Pink Chablis Dead Nettle
Lamium maculatum “Puink Chablis”
Athyrium x Ghost
Arching Japanese Holly Fern
Cyrtomium fortunei var. civicola
Himilayan Maidenhair Fern
Accent plants from the many exhibits I have attended.
Chuck is a good friend of mine. Have known him for thirty years in the bonsai game. Recently he gave me a small pyracantha. I called it Taiho after a large sumo wrestler due to the short fat stature of the trunk. I decided I would make him a table for the tree, eventhough he expected nothing for it. I felt the tree was priceless in my eyes so I could make a stand. The table looks really nice with a Kenji Miyata styled juniper on it.
Thats Chuck on the right there taking off the top of a workshop members layered maple.
Last year at the Kazari, Chuck came in first place and I came in second. I hope to reverse that this year. If he wins again with my stand I will have to see if I can get the other half of the pyracantha he split to get my tree.