A couple of centuries ago, bonsai, then referred to as punsai, was first introduced in China. This practice of planting single specimen trees in containers or pots could also be attributed to the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism. Contrary to popular notion, bonsai is different from dwarfed trees. Bonsais are developed from cuttings and branches of young trees or from naturally undersized trees. By pruning their branches and roots, the height of the bonsai is kept to approximately 2 inches to 1 meter. Wires are also applied into the branches and trunks to shape the tree into the desired form. The bonsai is considered a representation of a separate and individual entity. It should be noted that bonsais are not planted with their roots. Aside from the container and the soil, the bonsai is totally independent.
Bonsais can enjoy an extremely long lifespan, reaching up to hundreds of years. How long the bonsai will live is totally dependent on the care it has been given. It is no longer a surprise that families who share the love and appreciation for bonsais end up passing their valued specimens from one generation to another. Bonsais have become their heirlooms. Through the bonsais, younger generations will get the opportunity to feel the love and care of those who originally cared for the specimen.
Indeed, the meticulous care that bonsais are showered with will always be worth honoring. Nevertheless, how long the bonsais can live actually comes secondary. Most bonsai enthusiasts pay greater importance to the aesthetic effect created by the plant, its suitability to its container and its health. In the eyes of a bonsai artist, these three factors will make up a successful bonsai. Other positive features are just icings on top of the cake.
What most people are not aware of is the fact that any tree species could actually be made into a bonsai. If you are searching for suggestions, you can never go wrong with the most highly recommended species for bonsai ? the small leafed varieties. Bonsais are not designed to be an exact replica of nature. However, it is regarded to be a reflection of the artist?s personal aesthetic philosophy. Any artist is free to integrate his individuality into his bonsai. However, the rule of thumb has to be followed. The resulting look should still remain as natural as possible. The intervention of human hands should not be easily detectable. In most instances, you would see bonsais in the outdoors.
In the earlier ages, bonsais were naturally grown and cultivated in the wild. Because of their natural exposure to elements, bonsais became a point of interest with the many adventures and challenges they were witness to. Sadly, the number of naturally-grown bonsais dropped down as time passed by. To cope with the decreasing availability of natural bonsais, societies started venturing into experimenting with landscape and nursery plants. Interested individuals started developing means and techniques to replicate the look of the natural bonsai specimens through the trees that were available in the natural habitat.
Growing Bonsai of Today
As bonsai rose into popularity, it has also become a subject of a debate ? horticulture vs. art. Some bonsai enthusiasts focused more on the design while others took greater interest on the plant?s overall health. Different folks may have different opinions on this issue but one fact remains true after all these years ? bonsai has become deeply embedded in both fields.
Nowadays, even those who are not actually interested in art or horticulture would find themselves falling in love with the mystery and depth of a bonsai. Some make this practice as their hobby. Others even make a profit out of bonsais by selling or by teaching others on how to make their own. The possibilities on how a bonsai could be a part of your life are countless.
Whether you are a beginner in this practice or you already have the basics under your belt, you could never go wrong by reading this book. If you are already confident of your gardening or aesthetic skills, the instructions and principles you will find in this book may end up challenging what you think you already know. After all, bonsai is like no other. Once you get hooked into this hobby, it will require you to make an investment in time. There are lots of things you need to learn so you can successfully grow and take care of your own bonsai ? ranging from pruning techniques to storage and display parameters.
It will require much patience and determination. Mastering the techniques for bonsai is not possible in an overnight. You may commit a lot of mistakes along the way. The learning curve may not be as smooth as you expect it to be. However, do not let these frustrations get in your way. Continue reading and understanding the techniques and principles this book has laid down for you. Then, complement what you have learned from this book by applying them in actual. You will never be a master of anything that you have not tried.
Even the bonsai experts whose names are often cited in magazines and books nowadays also had their own share of blunders. What made them successful in this craft now is their persistence to keep on going. Continue learning. Without a doubt, the sight of your well-crafted bonsai masterpiece will be worth all the efforts you exerted.