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Bonsai Gardening - Introduction to a Living Art

Aug 17, 2007
The first thing that comes to mind when you say the word art is sculptures and painting. However, there is one kind of sculpture that is very popular but does not make use of wood and stone, but its own materials, which is known as bonsai.

Bonsai, derived from a Japanese word meaning 'tree in a tray', is an art that creates miniature bushes and trees. Through careful pruning and years of shaping and patience, the masterpieces are created by using ordinary specifics and creating bonsai.

It is not an art that just anyone can do; it takes a lot of care and patience, to create healthy plants. These are actual plants from ordinary species, such as maple or pine, which are shaped and grown in a small pot.

The artist has to control the perfect temperature and soil type to succeed. They must also possess the right temperament and techniques to perfectly prune the bonsai. There are many various ways of performing the art and it takes a great deal of practice in potting and repotting to attain the results.

The art of bonsai is an exact science right down to the watering of the bushes and trees. If you water the plant too much you will have a plant that becomes water logged and will likely develop root rot and fungi. With too little water, you will find the soil dries very quickly, eventually drying the leaves and killing the tree.

Every aspect of the art interacts with other aspects. For example, potting and soil practices depend on pruning and shaping techniques used, as well as drainage of the trees and bushes.

When it comes to art, bonsai is one of the hardest types to create. This is because all of the above elements, plus others has to be nearly perfect in order for the bushes and trees to survive. However, that is not all; this art also requires implementing pleasing colors, shapes, and styles in both the areas of the pot and plant to appeal to buyers.

When it comes to bonsai, there are 5 basic styles. These are known as semi-cascade, cascade, slanting, informal upright, and formal upright. While these are the basics, there are many advanced styles as well; one of which is called literati.

You could not learn and master this art in the time frame of a month.

Many artists work on one product for several years to create one tree. However, this tree may last more than one hundred years. Because of their longevity, these trees are generally passed from one generation to another, with each passing generating adding their own style to the tree.

The art and mastery of bonsai takes years of experience and training. It is not easy to create miniature bushes and trees from an ordinary species, just as it is not easy to create an ordinary species as it is.

Many people enjoy bonsai because it is handcrafted and takes us back to a time when technology was not an intrusion. Mass production was not available, neither were cell phones, hi-fi televisions, or high priced automobiles. It takes us back to a simpler time, when everything was just.
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