RHS Master Grower: Mendip Bonsai Studio

Discover the nursery behind Malvern Spring's 2019 Master Grower

Tiny trees were celebrated at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in 2019 with Mendip Bonsai Studio, which was named as the show’s Master Grower.
The nursery is based in Shepton Mallet, Somerset and is run by John Trott (above), a leading bonsai specialist who has won 88 RHS Gold medals. John showcased his bonsai skills in demonstrations at his Master Grower display in the Floral Marquee. He also exhibited some amazing bonsai plants and trees that fascinated visitors. 

What’s the story of Mendip Bonsai?

John first became interested in bonsai trees aged 15. He would often pass by a house with a Japanese garden while out walking his dog and it piqued his interest. He began to collect miniature trees and his passion grew from there. He joined a club in the 1970s and then later began to give talks in the 1980s.

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Mendip Bonsai Studio was born. John was made redundant in 1996 and it offered the perfect opportunity for the miniature tree enthusiast to turn his passion into a career.
“I’d had enough of the rat race,” said John. “Even though I now work more hours, it’s enjoyable and I get a sense of fulfilment.”
John has built up a successful and thriving nursery since the studio’s inception and now has up to 1000 different species of trees at his Somerset nursery. 

Master Grower display at the show

The Mendip Bonsai Studio display featured British-grown bonsai, accent plants and demonstrations that include ‘clip and grow’, wiring and potting techniques.
“It showed plants from young seedlings to finished trees,” said John. “Ten people demonstrated using juniper, cedar, cypress, larch, maples, beech and elm."
The Master Grower featured in the Floral Marquee at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2019.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.