Welcome to a work in progress for the above.  This site will provide valuable assistance as to

How to successfully raise bonsai in the Sonoran Desert area of Arizona by way of the experiences of the
Phoenix Bonsai Society .

The club meets at 7:30 pm on the first three Tuesdays of the month, September through May, at the Valley Garden Center, 1809 N. 15th Avenue, one block north of McDowell Road in Phoenix, Arizona.  Visitors are always welcome.

At this Web site you will be able to find information specifically for this area:

    As a very small sample, the hardiest plants here as potted dwarfs are bougainvillea, assorted figs ( Ficus benjamina, F. nerifolia, F. nitida ), lantana, dwarf myrtle, fruitless olive, African sumac ( Rhus lancea ), elephant's food ( Portulacaria afra ), and Chinese elm ( Ulmus parvifolia, especially the Catlin variety).  Scores of other plants are attempted and raised with varying degrees of success and failure here in one of the most challenging places on earth to practice this wonder filled gardening art.  Many more varieties of trees and details will follow, all based on years of actual experiences by our club members.
The key to having thriving bonsai here is a good quality, fast-draining coarse soil mix.  Stay tuned...

Also at this site can be found  Pyramid Dancer Publications, the next logical step in my writing evolution.

  • Designing Dwarfs in the Desert, up through the first thirty-five years of the Phoenix Bonsai Society   is the history of the club, its three Japanese-American teachers, the development of horticulture in the Valley of the Sun, and highlights of national and international bonsai.  (1997, Pyramid Dancer Publications, P.O. Box 35158, Phoenix, AZ  85069-5158,  $12.95, ISBN 0-9659913-3-4)
  • Later this year A Bonsai Coloring Book, a guide to your first dwarf potted trees  will be an introduction for kids of all ages.  (Pyramid Dancer Publications,
    $3.95, ISBN 0-9659913-4-2)
    Finally, some background will be available on yours truly, Robert J. Baran,
    with a second generation American Polish (Barana/Jemiola) and Hungarian (Varga/Muranko) heritage;
    how I was doing creative writing in the 6th grade and initial attempts at bonsai during my high school freshman year in Seven Hills, Ohio, a wooded suburb of Cleveland;
    my participation in the Phoenix Bonsai Society (of which I am a past president, ongoing publications editor and information junkie);
    an annotated list of my published writings to date (including four articles in the American Bonsai Society Journal, one in the Bonsai Clubs International magazine Bonsai, and one book -- see above);
    and other interests of mine, including cats (especially Maine Coons), fish (tropical and salt), languages, Daoism, natural science, history, classical music, healthful living, some of the people who've influenced me (from Mohandas K. Gandhi, John Lennon, Alice Cooper, and Jim Croce to John C. Lilly, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Jane Roberts, and Mary Chapin Carpenter), and -- oh, yeah -- list-making....

    Beginning Hot Link(s)

      Bonsai Web

    Please stop by again soon. It will be worth your while. (Last update: April 12, 1999)

    If you have comments or suggestions, email me at rjbphx@uswest.net

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