Where can you purchase Ume varieties?


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Mission Viejo, CA
For more developed stock, you might want to check out House of Bonsai in LA, not sure what varieties but they have the pink, red and white.


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N. Alabama
Hi Ian, do you know if the red is a true red or dark pink? I know that's relative but I've seen some advertised as red but are just darker pink. Red seems hard to find. Anyone know of a good source?


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Fresno, CA
Some of you will remember this paragraph I wrote in a post a few years ago here.

Some History

In California, I have been fortunate enough to have known some great nurserymen that have not only done much for the nursery trade but also paved the way for some cool stuff for bonsai. For years, Henderson Experimental Gardens of Fresno was “the” place to find rare and unusual plants. The owner of the business, Bill Henderson, a direct descendant of Luther Burbank, started the business in and around 1925. Bill was keenly interested in camellia’s and his lifelong work with Summer Hibiscus. This plant, a clematis was named for Bill, C. armandii 'hendersoni rubra' the plant was named after Bill Henderson. A show winning Camellia japonica had its origin at Henderson Experimental Gardens also.

In the late fifties Don Kleim took over the nursery and began his work with maples and conifers, mostly dwarf pines. A dwarf gardenia was named for Don, KLEIM'S HARDY GARDENIA Gardenia jasminoides 'Kleim's Hardy'
For years I had a cedrus brevifolia grafted by Don himself. Don’s association with three other men would be instrumental in bringing America many of the maple varieties we now enjoy. His friends, Koto Matsubara, J.D. Vertress (the book of Maples) and Toichi Domoto would make many of the maples available thru nurseries in the state of Oregon and propagation in Fresno by Don. Koto Matsubara identified and sought out many varieties from the island of Hachijo and brought them to Don. Koto Matsubara would go on to design and landscape many of the premiere Japanese Gardens on the west coast.

Down the road from Henderson’s gardens another gentleman was doing his thing with Canna Lilies. Mr. Herb Kelly Jr.


Unlike Bill Henderson and Don Kleim, Herb Kelly practiced bonsai. He made it a point to bring in some of the most rare and sought after plants for bonsai. At his home nursery I visited in 1985 I saw some things back then that I had no idea just how valuable they were. At that time Herb was mainly growing three plants that grew well here and not obtainable much on the west coast. Herb was growing Twisted pomegranate, princess persimmon and Hokkaido elm. These persimmon were very small and were perfect Shohin size trees. Many of them were ready for pots just as they were in the nursery containers. (I kick myself now, thinking Shohin was for wimps back then, I wanted “BIG” trees).

The Hokkaido elms were something to behold. At the time of my visits in the early eighties The elms were around 5 inches across at the base and stood about four feet tall with magnificent branches. There were about twenty of them in a circular planter in the middle of his driveway. Any one of them could have gone into bonsai pots and been a masterpiece tree at that point. I have never seen larger or better since than those at Herb Kellies place. Those Hokkaido’s would go on in the bonsai world by the transfer of ownership to Mr. Don Herzog of “Miniature Plant Kingdom.” Pretty much a nation wide nursery at this point since the advent of LGB trains and garden railways in the early eighties and nineties. Don would use the elms for parent stock for his miniature plant business.

In 1981 I was the manager of Fresno Hobby and Crafts and one of many west coast distributors of LGB trains and garden railway supplies. At that time I had a color rack full of small plants from Miniature Plant Kingdom. This was my first introduction to working with shaping small plants to look like a larger tree for scale trains. This would stick with me and introduce me to bonsai two years later.

Now Koto Matsubara, mentioned in the above article, (who is still alive BTW) was the developer of the true "red" Japanese flowering apricot. It is known as the "Matsubara Red" and is quite infrequently found. Send me a PM and I can see what I can do to get one the information on where to get them. Glenn Van Winkle (Ripsgreentree) may have stock that is ready to sell.

Cheers, Al
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