Bonsai bonanza at Belmont

BONZER BONSAI: Local pruner Paul Buttigieg in action.

Geelong’s masters of pruning and trimming come to Belmont this weekend in a bonsai bonanza of tiny trees.

Geelong Bonsai Show features more than 80 plants and a chance to meet the city’s most-talented miniature arborists.

“A few eat and breathe bonsai,” said club president Paul Buttigieg.

“We’re from all industries and walks of life – we’ve all been bitten by the bonsai bug.”

He and fellow Geelong Bonsai Club members will show off their best-trimmed trees to inspire the city’s next batch of green thumbs.

“We’re more than happy to help people start from scratch,” he said.

The club has been going since 1986, and has members aged from their twenties to their nineties, with varying levels of expertise.

Buttigieg started with a juniper in 2009, from a father’s day gift, and reckoned his horticulture hobby had pruned years from his life, along with not smoking.

“Everyone’s got to have a hobby that takes their mind off the pressures of life and makes them enjoy being alive – for me that’s bonsai,” the 71-year-old said.

“I can proudly say the juniper is still alive and thriving. Often people lose their first tree.”

Geelong Bonsai Club’s annual show runs on Saturday, 9am to 6pm, and Sunday, 10am to 4pm, at Geelong Masonic Hall, Belmont.

The show features daily demonstrations of shaping and repotting, with bonsai, tools and pots for sale.

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