By P Chong Wed. 14 April 2010
It is the art of dwarfing trees or plants and developing them into an aesthetically appealing shape by growing, pruning and training them in containers according to prescribed techniques.
Literally translated, the Japanese word “Bonsai” simply means “Tray Planting”.
Bonsai is really a miniature tree in a small pot. Allowing your imagination to play its role, you replicate Mother Nature & a landscape in a small pot. You plant a trimmed branch of a tree & make it grow with artistic restrictions in a miniature way. The size usually ranges from a few inches to a few feet tall and could even bloom flowers & bear fruits.
Bonsai keepers always trim their bonsai, so that they keep their original size & shape for years & years, or decades & decades. Vintage Bonsai has passed through generations to generations, and it could live for more than 100 years in a small pot.
With bonsai, you don’t just plant & grow & allow nature to take its course. Due care & attention, love & patience must be exercised to reap the benefits. Every branch and twig of a bonsai is shaped or eliminated until the chosen image is achieved. From then on, the image is maintained and improved by a constant regime of pruning and trimming.
It is an interesting hobby that will provide you with joy & satisfaction. It entails patience & lots of tender loving care. Though it requires more of your time than normal gardening, your creations will be much more lasting & enduring. It requires less space for storing or display.
Here below is a vintage Bonsai which is very old. The age is about 500 years & the pot is 300-year-old. How much is it worth? Or what would you be prepared to pay for it? It’s quite priceless for such a beauty! Make an offer? Perhaps US$210,000!
There used to be Takagi Bonsai Museum in Tokyo (Ichigaya), but it closed in 2004. There is now a district in Saitama prefecture (1 hour from Tokyo) called “Bonsai Village.”
In Perth, Western Australia, there’s this centre:
Bonsai Society of Western Australia Inc
10 Choules PlMyaree WA 6154
(08) 9330 6242