The Master Gardener lecture series continues with a lively presentation by Okaloosa County Master Gardener Lee Vanderpool as he shares his passion for bonsai. Bonsai is a gardening art form and collectors of bonsai trees enjoy this hobby for the personal pleasure of helping to create and grow these miniature trees.

Vanderpool will start the program with a viewing of award winning bonsai and bonsai that are considered national treasures in the national bonsai collection in Washington D.C. Following the power point presentation, he will demonstrate how to create a bonsai from nursery stock.

You’ll have your own list of questions about bonsai, regardless if you are just starting out, or an experienced bonsai gardener. Do you keep your bonsai indoors, or are you wondering if it would be better kept on your patio or out in the yard? How much sun does your bonsai need? What kind of soil should you use, what kind of fertilizer is best to use? Are there special tools for bonsai and where do you get those?

What about those bonsai that you see for sale on the side of the road? Are they well priced and should you buy one? Vanderpool will have answers to all these questions and a treasure trove of helpful hints to make your bonsai gardening a success.

Vanderpool’s introduction to bonsai was through the Hawaiian Bonsai Association in 1979. He joined the Fort Walton beach Bonsai Society, Inc., in 1985, and founded a study group for bonsai called Hama Matsu in 1989 and was the coordinator for that group until 2017. Vanderpool belongs to the Bonsai Societies of Florida and received a lifetime achievement award from that organization in 2016. Two of Lee’s bonsai trees have been exhibited at Epcot in Disneyworld at the Japanese Pavilion.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. The workshop is from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 18 at the Extension Annex, 127 Hollywood Blvd. in Fort Walton Beach. Call 850-689-5850 to reserve your seat.