People young and old turned out to mark the Wagga Bonsai Society's 40th birthday exhibition held at the ARCC Hall over the weekend.
Yackandandah's Neil Padbury had a trident maple forest on display and said the art of growing a bonsai is to tell a story and inspire the imagination.
"Bonsai is about telling a story of the trees and the feeling and memory of different places," Mr Padbury said.
"This forest is a good example of that.
"I've had children come up and say there's fairies in there, or imagine themselves running along the path.
"One of the things for an artist is to stimulate people's minds and get them to ask questions.
"So if I can get people to do that, then I've achieved my goal."
For Mr Padbury it all began at a workshop led by a visiting Japanese bonsai expert about 40 years ago.
"I took in a whole lot of seedlings in a box and said I wanted to make a forest out of that and he rolled his eyes," he said.
"But I went ahead with it and although it took years to develop, it's gradually formed into a forest."
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Also on display at the weekend was Guy Horsfield's 25-year-old Deodar Cedar.
A more recent bonsai grower, Mr Horsfield retired to Wagga from Sydney with his wife Deidre several years ago.
"I wanted some social interaction, so me and Deidre went to the Wagga Agriculture Show," he said.
"The Bonsai Society had a stand there, so I joined it and I've enjoyed it ever since."
Organiser Gail Tooth said the event went well, with many visitors coming through the doors, including travellers from as far away as Goulburn.
There were about 45 trees on display at the exhibition, varying from juniper to fig, olive, Japanese black pine, Chinese elm and more.
Curator of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection Leigh Taafe was also on hand to present the award for best bonsai tree to Wagga's Gary Talbot for his five-year-old coastal banksia tree.
A series of workshops also taught interested attendees the skill of starting a bonsai tree and how to tend to it.
Bonsai is a Japanese method of growing ornamental trees and shrubs in pot that mimic the shape of full-sized trees.
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