On August 23,2011 I had the pleasure of attending a Bonsai lecture at the Druid Hill Park/Howard Pete Rawlings Conservatory. Loved it. I always say plants are my second love (my son might argue that since he says my home looks like botanical gardens).
The Bonsai lecture was free and open to the public was small and quite informative. Some things I now know about Bonsai is that Bonsai (pronounced
bone-sigh) is an ancient oriental horticultural art form. The word Bonsai
literally means, in both Chinese and in the Japanese language, tree-in- a-pot (via http://www.bonsai-bci.com/whatis.html. Ok so I have (as many others) have been pronouncing Bonsai incorrectly. Bonsai are on my plant to-do list and I was not going to miss this opportunity to learn about this gorgeous plant art form. The basics are that the plant have an extremely well nourished feeder and support roots. Of course organic materials are the best. Our lecturer recommended cat litter. (Hmmmmm) Simple tools are required for pruning such as bull-nose pliers. You should decide what shape the particular tree forms then you will need to prune it in that shape.
This particular Bonsai is gorgeous and 5 years old. Yep the first thing you will need is complete patience. As for pots some can be grown on marble slabs. The slabs sustain the roots and keep the roots in one place but if you use pots/dishes they should have good drainage holes.
The lecturer informed the audience that some of his Bonsai have come from people wanting to rid their yards of the trees and others he bought from local garden shops.
Three forms of Bonsai.
The front of the tree should “bow towards you”. The front branches should have “out held arms” and an even shape.
Our lecturer added that good “beginning Bonsai” are Ficus (one of my favorite trees) and Tridad Maple.
Lastly there was a Bonsai help clinic at the end of the lecture.
I truly enjoyed the Bonsai lecture and was thankful that it was offered to city residents. Learned there is a Bonsai meeting group as well. Think I will join to further learn more.
Look for my post about my first Bonsai by the end of the year.