08/08/2012 (press release: Kneecap) // San Francisco, CA, USA // D. Michael Pitalo
Certified Bonsai Professional Boon Manakitivipart began producing bonsai training videos in 2008 through his company, Bonsai Boon. Since then, he has released a total of seven acclaimed and successful DVD titles.
A recognized teacher and expert in Bonsai, Boon spent the past four years creating a unique series of training DVD programs for experienced bonsai enthusiasts. During that time, he also received many requests for a beginner’s version, a basic but comprehensive guide for people who want to get started in the world of bonsai.
Now, after eight months of work, Bonsai Boon has just released “Bonsai 101: An Introduction to Bonsai.” Boon is very excited to present this unique program, which can open the door for those who have been interested in bonsai but not sure how to begin.
Created specifically for beginners, “Bonsai 101” presents all the essential information for the basic care of bonsai trees. For those who have never owned or cared for a bonsai before, this detailed program will provide the tools to get started and maintain a healthy, beautiful bonsai.
In simple, easy-to-follow steps, Boon explains watering, placement, pruning, and fertilizing. Viewers learn the basics of pots, soil, design, and styling, as well as the countless varieties of trees that are used in bonsai. “Bonsai 101” also includes two in-depth features about repotting and wiring, two essential methods for keeping a bonsai healthy.
The demand for Boon’s DVDs has continued to grow, both in the United States and internationally. While Boon’s training programs have previously been offered exclusively through his website (bonsaiboon.com), the new DVD can also be found at Amazon.com.
Boon’s start in bonsai was the result of a birthday gift: a small juniper bonsai. Before long, he joined the Bonsai Society of San Francisco, the club through which he took his first beginner class in the spring of 1989. Anxious to learn as much as possible about bonsai, Boon studied with as many teachers as he could find in California.
Serious study began when he hosted Akio Kondo, Kihachiro Kamiya’s first apprentice. Mr. Kondo arrived as what the Japanese call a first-year professional, and stayed at Boon’s home for one year.
In 1993, the Golden State Bonsai Federation awarded Boon a Teacher Development Scholarship; two years later, he received the Ben Oki International Design Award for styling a Sierra juniper. In 1995, Boon received several informal offers to study bonsai in Japan. Months later he traveled to Japan where he studied bonsai for his first year as an apprentice with Yasuo Mitsuya.
Later, his “bonsai home” became Kihachi-En and his master became Kihachiro Kamiya, a great bonsai master with multiple national awards. Boon said once, “He showed me bonsai standards through his amazing talent and deep personal integrity.” Boon returned repeatedly to Japan for prolonged periods of bonsai study until his master’s passing in January 2004.
In 1998, Boon founded and became the teacher of Bay Island Bonsai, and started his business, Bonsai Boon. In April 2000, Boon won the Grand Prize in the Kindai Bonsai Styling Contest in Japan (sponsored by Kindai Bonsai Magazine). Contestants styled large Japanese white pines. Boon was the only non-Japanese in the contest. The World Bonsai Contest recognized Boon’s trees in 2000, 2001, and 2002 as among the world’s top 100 entries, and his students’ trees have been recognized in every year’s contest to date.
In 2010, Boon was awarded the “Professional Certificate” by the Nippon Bonsai Association (Professional Branch) in recognition of his five-year study of bonsai in Japan. For more information about Boon, you can visit his personal website at www.bonsaiboon.com.