Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

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Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:58 pm

"Bonkers for Bonsai" shouts the cover.

Inside, there's an interview with Arthur Joura, curator of the NC Arboretum's bonsai collection, discussing the upcoming Oct. 9-10 Carolina Bonsai Expo.

That's all well and good. Everyone's invited.

But the article itself leaves a bit to be desired. The Lead-in headline reads:

"Celebrated bonsai plants are a microcosm of horticultural trends." Your challenge, dear readers, is to tell me (and the world) what the heck that means. (If anything.)

The article touts Arthur's use of native plants for bonsai, but of the 7 bonsai shown, I recognized at the most three that were native.

Carolina Home and Garden is a quarterly publication. It features homes that real people could not:

a. afford, or
b. be happy living in.

It features gardens to match.

There's a British nose-in-the-air magazine that it's patterned after, but I forget its name.

They're all fun to look (and laugh) at, though.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:08 am

Gardens Illustrated is probably the most hoity-toity of the UK garden magazines, although some of the gardens are actual very nice - if you have a few thousand £££s to spare and a gardener to do all the work for you. Haven't read the UK's own House & Garden for ages because it was pretty much in that same mould and really was for those who wanted a nice garden (estate!) to match their country houses. The magazine is produced by Condé Nast and the fact that it gets called Condo Nasty probably sums it up.

Maybe the writer of your piece has just been following the journalists' maxim of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story. I look forward to the issue appearing online so I can see for myself.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:49 pm

http://www.carolinahg.com/pages/current-issue.php


But it's still the "Summer" issue that's up.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:05 pm

Yep, I know. Saw it earlier.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:11 pm

Jim, the magazine article was not everything I had hoped for, either, but I appreciated the publicity for the Expo and the NC Arboretum's bonsai. I was a little stumped by the opening sentence as well. If I had to guess, I'd say the author was making a connection between the use of native plants for bonsai and the greater trend of using natives in the home landscape. But that's just a guess. I also noted that the photos used for the article were not of native bonsai, but the photographer was just shooting what appealed to him. I don't think he had seen the article at that point. In my experience, these sorts of things are just part of how journalism works.

Editing is also part of the game. This article was edited from its original form, as is usually the case, but one part that was cut out was something I felt was the most useful information in the interview. The question along with the entire answer is copied below. The lines in boldface were not included in the final version of the piece.

Q. Your work at the Arboretum focuses on native Appalachian specimens--definitely a new frontier. What are some of those trees? How does this practice speak to the importance of regionalism?

A. There are many plants native to this region that are well suited for bonsai use, among them: Red Maple, American Hornbeam, American Beech, Pitch Pine and Eastern Hemlock. The challenge in using them is breaking away from the standard design ideas of Japanese bonsai, because many of our native plants do not fit so well in that mold. The reward is the satisfaction of using a small living piece of our Southern Appalachian environment as a medium for expressing our admiration of the beauty of nature around us. That part, the influence of the beauty of nature around us, has more to do with connecting bonsai to the idea of regionalism than does the simple use of native plants. The natural beauty of the Southern Appalachians is a major component in what makes this region special. When those who are inclined to be creative, be it through music or painting, writing or cooking, dance or bonsai, use their medium as a vehicle for expressing their personal experience of what is around them, the unique flavor of the region comes through naturally. Not enough of this is happening in bonsai in our country. But at the NC Arboretum, it is. Regional identity is what makes our bonsai experience special.

As a final thought, I thought your critique of the magazine in question was a little harsh. You could say something very similar about Bonsai Focus.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  Chris Cochrane on Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:47 pm

Carolina Home illustrated bonsai article "Taking Shape"...
"Taking Shape [link]"

Nice to see friends sharing! Congratulations on getting recognition for the Collection & facility, Arthur.

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:40 pm

I dunno about harsh. I spent a good number of years of my working life in the editorial side of the newspaper business and continue to care about good reporting. I think even newspaper standards have dropped in the last few years, and of course, the business is really suffering today.

But, I guess magazines like these aren't really "journalism"; they're puffery and vehicles for advertisements and pretty pictures . . . so maybe I shouldn't expect too much of them.

But then, I'm kind of a grump, anyway.


Last edited by JimLewis on Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:38 pm

Our son-in-law teaches "Journalism" at a major University in North Carolina. He and I have regular debates about how "Journalism" is changing. Basically it is becoming more like "Entertainment" than what we thought of as "Journalism."

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

Post  John Quinn on Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:08 am

Infotainment...

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Re: Carolina Home and Garden touts bonsai

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