Jim Smith’s monster bougainvilleais a well-liked attraction on the gallery. Its pot is 4 ft lengthy and the tree can solely be moved by forklift!
I’ve lengthy been a fan of Jim Smith. Each the bonsai artist and the person himself. Jim (sadly now deceased) was a real gentleman whose straightforward going, pleasant method left a optimistic impression with me every time I encountered him. So once I opened the most recent on-line missive from the Nationwide Bonsai Basis I used to be delighted to see a photograph of Jim pruners in hand tending to one in every of his most well-known timber, a Portulacaria afra that serves as the brand for The James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery at Heathcoat Botanical Gardens, in Fort Pierce, Florida.
We’ll begin you off with a quote from the NBF article about Jim: “The world of bonsai is lucky to come across so many legendary artists, a lot of whom are immortalized in shows, buildings or collections at bonsai museums and gardens. For this set up of Bonsai Across the World, we spotlight the bonsai assortment of an eminent and completed icon within the Floridian bonsai group: James Smith.
James Smith engaged on a 5-foot, formal upright Portulacaria Afra – the brand tree for the James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery in Fort Pierce, Florida.
This magnificent Ficus exotica by Jim is 4 ft large, has been in coaching since 1972 and was displayed at Epcot’s Flower and Backyard Present in 2019.
Heathcote hosts a “Backyard of Lights” occasion annually, bringing in 10,000 folks to the bonsai gallery in a matter of weeks.
Podocarpus macrophylla by Jim that we featured on Bonsai Bark just a few years in the past. My finest guess is that Jim used his personal hedge shearing methodology to develop this tree. We discovered the photograph at The Artwork of Bonsai Venture. Talking of the hedge shearing methodology, the primary time i noticed massive one-handed shears getting used was by Jim at his nursery (about 30 years in the past). As a result of Jim had 1000’s of bonsai and bonsai inventory he wanted one thing quick to maintain them in form. Particularly down in Florida the place the rising season is yr spherical. Since then I’ve found our Masters Koyo Sword Shears, that are fairly just like what Jim was utilizing.
A mounded Buttonwood by Mom Nature and Jim.
One other of Jim’s Portulacaria from the Heathcote Botanical Gardens.
This huge masterpiece that resides on the Heathcote Gardens is a Willow leaf ficus. Judging by what I noticed at his nursery, Willow leaf ficus appear to be one in every of Jim’s favorites.
This elegant Crepe myrtle by Jim additionally makes its house at Heathcote.