My Bonsai Tour of South Africa
 By Jerry Meislik

In October of 2011 we had the great experience of fulfilling a long-held dream to visit Africa. Africa is a huge continent and our visit only permitted us time to visit South Africa and Namibia.

Our first segment of the tour was arranged by our friend, bonsai artist, writer and teacher Charles Ceronio. Charles is well known throughout the world for his bonsai teaching and his book on Bonsai Styles of the World. This a classic book that deserves a spot in every bonsai lover's library.

We were able to view Charles wonderful bonsai collection and spend time with he and his wife Elsie before heading north. Charles arranged for a several day tour to the north. During that time we would visit a number of bonsai collections as well as getting acquainted with the unusual and exquisite forms of natural African trees. Among the species we were able to see were the incredible Acacias and their flat top forms as well as the immense and memorable Baobabs.

In this first article I will put the emphasis on Charles' bonsai collection and in a follow up article I will describe some of the natural beauty of South Africa and other bonsai collections.

Charles' dog, Dozie, chasing the water spray!

Buddleja, upright, Ceronio collection, 2011

Charles and his Acacia forest, 2011

Ficus natalensis, exposed root style, Ceronio collection, 2011

Ficus natalensis, epiphytic style, Ceronio collection, 2011

Probably the best bonsai Ficus sycomorus, root over rock, Ceronio collection, 2011

Acacia, Ceronio collection, 2011

Buddleja, Ceronio collection, 2011

Forest planting, Ceronio collection, 2011

Buddleja, Ceronio collection, 2011

Click here for the second article in which we will document some more bonsai collections in South Africa as well as the spectacular scenery we experienced.

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