Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

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Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Lazaro Quintino on Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:40 am

Here is a picture of my son Matthew that was taken this morning at Jim Smith's bonsai nursery in Vero Beach. The tree pictured is one of his many Ficus salicaria that he has on display at the nursery. As you can see in the background most of his beautiful trees had not yet been brought out of their temporary storage due to the freeze. Unfortunately I was not able to buy any trees because of the recent freezing temperatures and Jim not feeling comfortable selling any of the possibly damaged trees. It is a testament to the quality of individual that he is. I hope to go back in the very near future.

Here is an enormous Portulacaria afra

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:28 pm

This looks like an awesome nursery. That "jade" is bigger than your son, wow!
Best, Todd

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:08 pm

There is no doubt Jim Smith is the nicest bonsai guy you will ever meet.
And he has a great collection, much of which will soon become available for viewing at public garden in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

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Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Patrick Giacobbe on Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:01 am

Here are some photos from last October at Jim Smiths nursery. A Bougainvillea 4’6"x 6’2” a Buttonwood 28”x 40” called “The Battle of Anghiari” and a Ficus Salicifolia. The Bougainvillea is a four man tree, the Buttonwood is a two man tree, and the Ficus Salicifolia is a one man tree. Jim Smith has donated 100 trees to the Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Ft. Pierce Florida, estimated to open in the spring of 2011.






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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Neil Jaeger on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:38 am

Wow! Some real amazing trees. Jim sounds like a real class act. The kind of collector I can only hope someday to become. Thanks for posting.

P.S. What are the wires that go from the soil to the ground?

Neil

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:47 am

Neil Jaeger wrote:Wow! Some real amazing trees. Jim sounds like a real class act. The kind of collector I can only hope someday to become. Thanks for posting.

P.S. What are the wires that go from the soil to the ground?

Neil

Not wires, micro tubing for water

Jim Smith is the primer grower of tropical bonsai stock. He introduced a number of species to bonsai including the Ficus (nerifloia, salisifolia, salisicaria) One plant many names, AKA Willow Leaf Fig, I think he also introduced the Wrighta religiosa. (Indonesian Water Jasmine)


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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  William N. Valavanis on Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:10 am

Billie,

Although I have the highest respect and admiration for Jim Smith and all he has done to introduce new species to the American bonsai community, I do not think he introduced the Willow Leaf fig. I'm certain he has made it more popular and available to people, and introduced a cultivar of it which survived a severe frost (I "think" 1983?). I believe someone from the southern part of Florida first introduced Willow Leaf Fig.

I think bonsai pioneer Jim Smith first purchased a young plant in 1975. Joe Samuels, another bonsai pioneer in the Miami area discovered a young plant in 1965 in the Fantastic Gardens Nursery. It took him a year to correctly identify the plant as Ficus nerifolia, which now has been botanically renamed a couple of times. Joe's original Willow Leaf Fig bonsai was poetically named "The Cloud" and was displayed at the BCI Convention in Miami Beach in 1975.

Bonsai pioneer and master artist Jim Smith has introduced other species to the bonsai community, including the Water Jasmine and a dwarf cultivar of it too.

Respectfully,

Bill

And Happy New Year!

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Dustin Mann on Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:13 pm

Thanks Bill. What I was told by Mary Miller(Florida and great friend of Jo Samuels) was as follows: Jim Wilkins took up interest in Bonsai with Garland Faulkner in 1956. In 1957 he started his Jaboticaba seedling from Fairchild Tropical Garden and the following year began to work with Joe Samuels. Jim Wilkins was a paraplegic and Joe did the physical work on the trees(Jim passed away in 1969.Garland Faulker is still alive-93yrs. in Coral Gables) Jim Wilkins had a number of Willow leaf figs and Joe acquired cuttings he grew in Fantastic Gardens with the cloud being the 'infamous' one. Jim Wilkins son, Gary still lives in Homestead Florida and may still have some of his father's trees. Dustin Mann Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:56 pm

I stand corrected on the Willow Leaf Fig. The cultivar is '89'.

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:58 am

Dustin Mann wrote:Thanks Bill. What I was told by Mary Miller(Florida and great friend of Jo Samuels) was as follows: Jim Wilkins took up interest in Bonsai with Garland Faulkner in 1956. In 1957 he started his Jaboticaba seedling from Fairchild Tropical Garden and the following year began to work with Joe Samuels. Jim Wilkins was a paraplegic and Joe did the physical work on the trees(Jim passed away in 1969.Garland Faulker is still alive-93yrs. in Coral Gables) Jim Wilkins had a number of Willow leaf figs and Joe acquired cuttings he grew in Fantastic Gardens with the cloud being the 'infamous' one. Jim Wilkins son, Gary still lives in Homestead Florida and may still have some of his father's trees. Dustin Mann :D :D

Goodness! Lot of old familiar names and acquaintances there. Takes me back. In my early days in bonsai, Mary and Joe were regulars at Miami Tropical Bonsai. Mary used to be an IBCer.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:23 am

Mary has her own Bonsai site now, but she has sold off much of her collection and moved to Mount Dora, FL, a few miles north of Orlando.

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:07 am

Thank's Billy. I visited it, and Mary's got a quirky little site. Worth a look: http://www.bonsaimary.com/

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  jrodriguez on Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:23 am

Dustin,

Your story is accurate. Jim Wilkins was, in fact, Joe Samuel's teacher. A great number of these early trees, including the kaboticaba you mention are still in top shape and are being refined by Jim's son Gary.

These are some of the oldest bonsai in Florida.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Patrick Giacobbe on Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:44 am

Continuing the bonsai history of south Florida, here is an interesting story from a pioneer of bonsai, Mayna Hutchinson talking about other pioneers. From the story, I would think this tree is a descendant or one of the Jaboticaba seedling from Fairchild Tropical Garden in 1972, that Jim Smith exhibited at the BSF 2001convention in Orlando.
Enjoy,
Patrick Giacobbe

“John (John Naka) always came to Florida during the winter; one of his first visits was in March 1972. It was a chilly night at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, where, in an unheated building, the Bonsai Club of Miami had arranged for a Miami Herald photographer to take slides of John's demonstration. Flood lights and all the other rigging were set up for the big show.
I was nervous since I had been selected to find a suitable tree for John to work on. In the middle of the floor in it's pot, was a jaboticaba, well over six feet tall, a good 12 inches taller than John! John worked and posed for the photographer for over three hours - he did a wonderful show. After all the clapping and accolades were quieted down, John said, "I'd like to tell you something. I learned a new Japanese cuss word tonight - JABOTICABA!"
It was quite an evening. As we were leaving for the night, John turned to me and said, "Mayna, I think you better put that tree in a larger pot." Unknown to him, in Florida where bonsai was in its fledgling state, we had it in the largest pot available!
The tree lived with me for many years and developed nicely. I gave it to Jim Smith in Vero Beach several years ago and he refined it and exhibited it at BSF 2001 in Orlando. It looked great! It just goes to show you that, although the tree was selected by a novice, it was styled by a master and that gave it the groundwork to become a masterpiece. Mayna Hutchinson (Miami, Florida)”



Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) H,35” W,32”, root spread 7”, trunk 4” in a tokoname pot.


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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  neyleite on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:01 pm

Patrick this depoiment was amazing.
Thanks

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Dustin Mann on Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:26 am

This thread on Durastone visit and history of tropical bonsai got me thinking about history of tropical bonsai trees in USA. The first Jaboticaba bonsai was Jim Wilkin's(1957) which has been on cover of Florida bonsai magazine as well as in Chris Rojas/Mary Miller defunct 'Tropical Bonsai Forum' publication. If Gary Wilkins does not still have it, then Don Blackmond (Gregory Beach Bonsai) now owns it. Don has one about 50" width with 4-5" trunk, that the detailing/ramification is amazing. The oldest USA Portulacaria afra goes to Jim Smith(1960-61), which may now be in Heathcote Botanical Gardens. Not sure about Bougainvillea glabra but would guess Jim Moody(Alan Carver), Jim Smith, or one Norm Nelson(???DK if tree still alive).The rest...don't know...would be interesting topic to research tropical species with photos. I have a Ficus Microcarpa(Retusa) I call my shopping mall fig I purchased in 1975 and dwarfed in clay pot until Jerry Meislik convinced me about 18yrs later it was form of bonsai. There has to be some microcarpa grown in USA befor that. Buttonwood....Mary Madison had her 'Dragon' one..hm.. anyone want to pipe in here. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Dustin Mann

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Patrick Giacobbe on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:01 am

Dustin, The magazine you are referring to, World Tropical Bonsai Forum by Chris Rojas is now available on CD. All fifteen issues of the magazine have been put on CD in pdf format. These magazines are a wealth of info on tropical’s. The graphic below is the only cover with a Joboticaba on it. I don’t know if this is the one you were referring to. This is Chris Rojas e-mail, nickelgirl789@live.com if anyone is interested in getting a CD.
Patrick Giacobbe

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:16 am

Dustin,

The jaboticaba you refer to is still owned by Gary Wilkins and is not the one featured in the illustrated magazine. I believe it might be shown as an example throughout the article.

Gary is a good friend and an excellent artist.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:32 am

jrodriguez wrote:Dustin,

The jaboticaba you refer to is still owned by Gary Wilkins and is not the one featured in the illustrated magazine. I believe it might be shown as an example throughout the article.

Gary is a good friend and an excellent artist.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

Hey Jose, Happy New Year. Is this the same GW that has had several alter egos on this forum?


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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  Dustin Mann on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:24 pm

Sorry Rob/Jose Luis. I posted Durastone thread response on Willowleaf ID thread by mistake. Feel like I am little 'nutso' or have alter senile ego. Yes Rob....you are correct about Gary W. being same person who used to post on a few forums and would 'excite/provoke' until administrative closing of thread. Hope to meet you guys one day. Dustin Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:37 pm

Rob,

Yes! This is the same Gary. I spoke to him yesterday and he is quite busy with his landscaping job.

I hope the new year brings you a lot of good fortune.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Jim Smith's Dura Stone Nursery

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