Members of the Bonsai Society of Southwest Florida are hosting a special day next Saturday, July 21. After a brief regular monthly meeting, they will car pool and caravan on a tour of several member home collections and the famed Wigert's Bonsai Nursery.
All area bonsai enthusiasts are invited to attend the meeting and come along the tour.
Wigert's Bonsai Nursery has a spectacular variety of bonsai, and one of the few bonsai-only nurseries in the country, said society officials.
Local enthusiasts call bonsai a horticultural art, including past president Greg Lignelli.
"Bonsai is a horticultural art that is always changing, so you must be constantly nurturing the trees," he said. "It allows one to commune with nature, so we try to simulate the trees in their natural setting."
Lignelli is a retiree and Pine Island resident.
If You Go:
Who: Bonsai Society of Southwest Florida
What: Monthly meeting and tours of private
bonsai sites and Wigert's Bonsai Nursery
When: Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m.
Where: Support Personnel Association of Lee
County (SPALC) Building, 6281 Metro
Plantation Road, Fort Myers
"I went to see the annual show about five years ago," he said. "I fell in love with the beauty of it and been doing it ever since."
The group meets once a month, and draws a membership from many local communities, including Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Pine Island and Lehigh Acres.
Dave Hamira from Fort Myers is the current president, Lignelli said.
"Our club is of such a quality we've had four members who have been accepted to place trees in the US National Bonsai Exhibition - the nation's most prestigious show for bonsai enthusiasts," Lignelli said. "It's the American Bonsai Society's national show held in Rochester, N.Y."
People call the organization and Wigert's all the time for advice, he said. He said many members are looking forward to that final stop at the Wigert's Nursery on the tour.
Andrea Wigert, and husband Erik, are the owners of Wigert's Bonsai Nursery, which is located in North Fort Myers near Del Tura.
"We're one of the biggest bonsai nurseries in Florida," she said. "We offer full services, from plants to pots and classes. People come in from all over the state as well as throughout the U.S. when they are traveling near here. We've been doing bonsai for the last 10 years. It's just an art form that's natural, very beautiful and relaxing."
She said her husband is "the artist" and she takes care of the nursery and classes. They do monthly classes for beginners and the advanced.
This week, they had a bonsai master - Pedro Morales - teach. He is originally from Chicago, but now lives in Puerto Rico and ia well known and respected in the bonsai world.
Kelvin Cooper traveled in from Sarasota for the classes.
"I belong to the Bonsai Society in Sarasota and heard about the class," Cooper said. "I think this nursery is spectacular and I think Erik is very talented."
The meeting of the society starts at 9 a.m. at the Support Personnel Association of Lee County (SPALC) Building at 6281 Metro Plantation Road, Fort Myers,
For additional information on the meeting, the organization and the tour event, call Lignelli at 560-3275.
For more information about Wigert's Bonsai Nursery, call 543-2234.