Bonsai Culture Group

1st May 2007

The Bonsai Cultre Group is Malta's only Bonsai club. Primarily the club seeks to inform the general public about the art of bonsai and secondly trains its members on the basic and advanced techniques of bonsai training. The club organises meetings regularly on Thursdays between 18:30 hrs and 19:30 during which lectures and workshops are held. Members are encouraged to bring their bonsai trees with them and with the help of the experienced members are helped to shape and enhance their tree. The club also organises several exhibitions and activities. The main exhibition of the club is held anually around June.


But what is a Bonsai Tree after all?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonsai ("tray gardening", in Japanese) is the art of growing trees and plants, kept small by being grown in a pot and by the use of skilled pruning, formed to create an aesthetic shape and the illusion of age, although many bonsai trees are quite old and simply show their age in miniature form. The Chinese art of penjing is very similar to and is the precursor of the Japanese art of bonsai.

Sketches of trees grown in pots, apparently used for decorative purposes, occur in Egyptian tombs, dated over 4,000 years old. Subsequently, caravans were known to transport trees in containers of various kinds throughout Asia. The trees were sources of chemicals used medicinally by healers in the caravans and places visited along the way.

The modern-day art of bonsai originates from China over two thousand years ago, where it has been called penzai and written in the same Hanzi that gave rise to the Kanji above. It was brought to Japan by imperial embassies to Tang China (the 7th - 9th century). In the Kamakura period, penjing that recalled customs from the Heian period came to be drawn in some picture scrolls and documents. In the Muromachi period, penjing has developed into various directions in Japan. Just like a Japanese garden, it came to assume the artistry of "Wabi-sabi" to be essence. However, the bonsai was still the enjoyment of people of the chosen hierarchy in the period. In the Edo period, it became possible to enjoy the bonsai for many daimyos, samurais, merchants, townsmen, and others. The show of the bonsai was often held. In addition, the bonsai pot became popular by each daimyo's employing the pottery master who belonged exclusively to the bonsai pot. It is said that it came to be called "Bonsai" this time. Indeed a lot of bonsais were drawn in many an "Ukiyo-e".

The art is still practiced in China today, often under the name of penjing. As the Chinese art is intended for outdoor display, the plants tend to be somewhat larger than seen in Japanese bonsai.

Read more about bonsai basics by clicking here



Mr. Joe Casha and Mr. Carmel Busuttil co-founders of the Bonsai Culture Group, first met at Tal-Handaq Junior Lyceum for boys in 1984. When Mr. Casha asked Mr. Busuttil if he could help him set up a Bonsai Club in Malta... Click here to read more


Bonsai Culture Group - The Club

The club is made up of over 80 members and is led by the Committee headed by Mr. Paul DeBono as president and Dr. Alfred Grech as the General Secretary. Bonsai Culture Group is an association with a published statute. Membership is on an annual basis and members are asked to pay an annual fee of €20 for a single person and € 30 for a couple. If you are interested in joining the association, come to one of our meetings every thursday at 18:30 hrs at our new premises in Floriana close to the Police HQ and the Curia where we meet for lectures and workshops about bonsai.

Directions to get to our Premises:
Going towards Valletta from Portes des Bombes you take a left just before the lion statue, and ten another left turn after Robert Samut Hall. This brings you to the Curia and teh Police HQ. You then turn left and start heading down towards Pieta. The Premises is the first building on the left right after the bastion wall. Should you need further directions call Claude Sciberras on 79470847


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