|The $500 bonsai I want.....|
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a bonsai (pronounced bone-sigh) demonstration at a garden center. What does bonsai mean?- Plantings in tray,- from bon, a tray or low-sided pot and sai, a planting or plantings. It was amazing to see how a bonsai is shaped from the beginning to the end.
|Don't ask me why I love him!|
|The tree before|
The first thing he did was determine which side was going to be the front of the bonsai, and how it was going to sit in the bonsai pot. The table he is using spins so he can look at all sides without moving around the table umpteen times. A table top lazy-susan would work for the non-bonsai professional.
|Figuring out how to situate the plant.|
He began trimming any branches he felt were unnecessary, which consisted of most of them. When cutting and choosing branches, he told us to choose alternating branches, not opposite. Branches look better in an alternate pattern. Make sure you have large branches on the bottom and smaller branches as you get closer to the top. Bottom branches should also be longer than branches at the middle and top. Then, he began to wire the branches. He has to begin training the plant into the shape he wants it to become while the plant is young and pliable. This is were the artistic vision comes in. One has to have a vision of the tree in the future. Look how different the tree looks already in the picture below. Use your imagination and it looks like a full grown tree, leafless in the winter. The wire should be checked every 1-2 months. If it is allowed to scar the bark, it will always have those scars. The wire will have to be loosened, or more likely, it will have to be re-wired. (Sorry about the boxes and things in the background. I really took all these pictures so maybe I could do this sometime, and then decided to share them with you.)
|The wired tree|
|Determining the container|
|Placing the tree in the container|
|Working soil in with chopstick. (Sorry blurry)|
|A last trim|
|Soaking the finished tree in a bucket of water|
|Finished bonsai Shefflera arbicola|
|Bonsai used as a tree in a fairy garden|
|Small Bougainvillea bonsai|
When you get your bonsai home, you need to place it in an East or North window. A South or West window can be too hot and watering would become a huge chore. You need to check your plant everyday for water, and fertilize regularly, as the soil usually has no nutrient value and needs to be fed.
These artistically shaped trees are amazing and I am definitely going to try my hand at this.
|Crested form of Euphorbia neriifolia|