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Shikoku Bonsai brings art of Japanese design to Roberts Creek

Shikoku Bonsai brings art of Japanese design to Roberts Creek

Delicate bonsai trees can take decades of careful pruning and training to achieve the preferred weathered effect.  Photos Allan Forest

Delicate bonsai trees can take decades of careful pruning and training to achieve the preferred weathered effect. Photos Allan Forest

Just below Highway 101 at 2530 Miles Road in Roberts Creek, Gerald Rainville has created an oasis of Oriental calm, known as Shikoku Bonsai, Nursery and Landscaping.

A lifelong gardener determined on a career in horticulture from the age of 10, Rainville majored in landscape design at Ottawa’s Algonquin College until an exchange program at the 1976 Montreal Olympics changed his life’s – and career’s – direction. Hiroshi Yamaji from Yaji Sanshoen, Japan, captured Rainville’s imagination and after graduation, he travelled to the Japanese island of Shikoku to apprentice with him. Returning to Montreal, Rainville founded Shikoku Bonsai, introducing and training in the art and skill of this exacting branch of horticulture.

In 1986, after a year’s sabbatical in Japan, Rainville relocated to Vancouver. Weather had everything to do with this decision – the climate is similar to Japan’s and excellent for outdoor cultivation of the evergreens which are painstakingly trimmed and trained over a period of years, even decades, to produce the gnarled and weathered effect so important to bonsai design.

Shikoku Bonsai, a design/build firm, addresses all aspects of planning and landscape with a focus on understanding and then integrating clients’ needs with the various attributes of each site into a design that maximizes the full potential of the space. Rainville’s team carries out all aspects of landscape construction and installation of their designs.

During December, container bonsai will be available at the Shikoku Bonsai outlet in Sunnycrest Mall. To visit the Roberts Creek nursery or arrange for a consultation, call 604-886-3915 or visit the website: www.shikoku.ca

Staff writer

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