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"Along with Bonsai Master Ted Matson of California, I had the pleasure of visiting the James J. Smith Bonsai Gallery. To those who do bonsai this is an international treasure and the curator has the trees in great shape." - Billy Rhodes on Heathcote's Facebook Page
Many of the trees in the James J Smith Gallery are known throughout the world. Authors of bonsai books, magazines, and periodicals are thrilled when James gave permission to use their images. You can see this bonsai specimen Portulacaria afra forest created in 1982 that is on the cover of Craig Coussins “Bonsai Master Class”. A bonsai book that focuses on contemporary bonsai tree techniques. The bonsai is on permanent display and you will be amazed of its size and grandeur.
Another unique specimen, the Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). The driftwood on this specimen consist of the four stages of decay that estimates the tree between 100 to 200 years on this earth. It is a collected tree from the Florida keys and started its life as a bonsai in 2004. The Bonsai curator calls this bonsai,“The Battle of Anghiari”.
James J. Smith is noted as the gentleman of bonsai and is recognize as a world class Bonsai Master. His knowledge of tropical and semi-tropical Bonsai is sought after not only by students but also bonsai masters alike. His artistic ability to design classical and natural styles of bonsai goes unchallenged. His foresight to see the artistic development in raw stock is magical.