Saturday, April 16, 2011


The bonsai has been hanging out on the laundry room window sill since Christmas. As far as I can tell, other than letting it get perhaps a little drier than it would like, it is healthy, perhaps a little too healthy because it has become one big lump of green. In the class that I took I learned that there are many different styles of bonsai. All of them are meant to be trimmed to resemble a full size tree in miniature, but some of them are more natural, and some are more sculptural. I didn't want to go extreme, but I knew that there was a cool shaped trunk under all the green. With my bonsai picture book for reference, a shiny new pair of ultra pointy nosed clippers, and knowledge that if some how I do kill it, I can obtain another one for about $20 in Chinatown, I set about to work. Half an hour, a tray full of clippings, and an appreciation as to why the instructor suggested getting a lazy susan or cake decorating turntable to facilitate the care and shaping of bonsai, later, I had my finished result. It has been a week and the tree seems healthy, but I think my next project will be to wire and shape the tree. I can see the trunk now, but somehow I feel that the branches are not quite as graceful as I would like them to be. I am beginning to really see the fascination with bonsai. It is at once a delicate operation, but also landscaping. A little bit of patience and the training of the eye is required to create a tree that, set against a size-less back drop, creates the illusion of an old tree, standing proud in the forest, gently blown and twisted (in the exact sculptural form that I desire). I think I will stick with just the one or two for now, but perhaps by the time I reach retirement instead of learning to bonsai, I will be learning how to take care of a forest of bonsai!

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