Dorothy Schmitz wrote:
just an additional thought:
You are probably familiar with Cheng's publications. The one book mainly deals with his sidiao technique. Cheng mentioned that he published the book to also show what you can do with material of secondary quality!
Think about it, 'secondary quality'!
This clearly shows to me how far Taiwan actually has advanced in the art of bonsai, not to mention their fabulous tropicals. (Knowing the Taiwanese juniper is one of the best material there is..)
So, it is not only Europe who is galopping away, for me it is Taiwan which is beaming away even more.
No doubt Taiwan has many beautiful bonsai. Their skill with tropicals is becoming the stuff of legend.
However, let's switch back to American bonsai. I have buttonwood, black olive, bougies, and various ficus in my collection. All are inside now. However, I still have deciduous species and many conifers outside. There is something about a pine covered in snow that is very moving and special to me. You won't do that with a ficus many times.
I guess I'm saying this is apples and oranges. While other countries/ continents have there specialties, none have them all. A Vaughn Banting Flat-top cypress may not seem like world-class to a man situated on a Pacific Island, but it means exactly that to me in the Southeast U.S.
No one is wrong here. Sometimes we agree to disagree and it's best for all. I don't see any nation worthy of the "Bonsai Cup" as it were.
What America does best is not let others decide our fate. Seems like that may be carrying over to bonsai in some way. Let's see what the future holds.