Bonsai is defined as growing a tree in a pot, the challenge in growing a bonsai is to keep small and compact a plant or tree that would typically grow in nature into huge trees.
The art of bonsai has been practiced by mother nature since the early days of life on the surface. Any barren rocky climates lacking in nutrients or severely impacted by winds create bonsai and it is from these that the art probably developed in China and refined by the Japanese over a thousand years ago.
Bonsai enthusiasts are not your typical plant collectors as they are not looking to collect plants because of what they are but what they can be. Bonsai is more of an art form in which the grower can express himself and his talents into creating a thing of beauty.
Experts believe there are rules to creating a bonsai but in truth there are no rules. It can simply be an expression of one's self, in bonsai the challenge is not to grow a plant but to contain its size, once a plant has been selected for a pot this will be its pot for life so some work must be done to achieve this.
Roots should be trimmed every 1 to 3 years, branches must be cut back as they get too large, this will keep the plant that size for the rest of its life. The challenge then becomes what the plant will look like, this can be simply a matter of personal choice or a highly refined set of guidelines could be used that could one day create a masterpiece or a work of art.
I am occasionally presented the argument that this can be cruel but it is no different than pruning a rose or a fruit tree or a hedge, the outcome is the same, to be able to contain or manage growth indefinately.
Japanese growers mastered the art over 1000 years ago, there are now many styples of bonsai with each creating a plant that can look far better than a tree growing wild, trees will have predefined layers and everything scaled to resemble a magnificent specimen growing in the distance. Bonsai can live as long as their natural life expectancy permits if cared for properly, this can mean many hundred years making some of the ancient specimens in Japan extremely valuable. A grower will be able to appreciate his tree for the rest of his life and could be a legacy be a legacy to its grower.
You will enjoy it
Your children will cherish it
Your grandchildren will treasure it
The Collector Corner collection is one for the largest public displays of Bonsai in the southern hemisphere.
The collection are of plants we have been donated from growers no longer able to manage their specimens, imported plants or plants we have created ourselves.