What comes into your mind when you hear the word tree? For starters, it surely is something tall and towering. You may start thinking of big trunks and a deeply rooted body. Of course, that is the generic perception. That is until the bonsai tree came into the picture.
Bonsai is a word used to describe miniature trees. To qualify as a bonsai, a tree should be a lot smaller than it ordinarily is, even at a mature stage. This means that it has all elements like leaves, flowers, roots, trunk, body and sometimes, even fruit. This Ancient Chinese technique of growing plants started two hundred years ago for medical purposes. However, the times changed and bonsai is now considered as a work of art ready for display… rather than a portable tree ready to be used as medicine.
Some of the common themes in bonsai growing are founded by the Japanese and Chinese Schools of Thought. The Japanese aesthetic pays much attention to the harmony of heaven and earth in one container. As such, they pick plants that mainly consist of flowery bushes and similarly colorful shrubs. Some of their favorite subjects are maple, elm, juniper, flowering cherry, azalea and larch. According to the Japanese, the bonsai is a perfecta attempt in evoking a plant’s essential spirits.
As for the Chinese, bonsai is a great way of capturing nature’s beauty in contrast. This is an influence of Taoism, a philosophy that became so popular in China hundreds of years ago. Such double-sided metaphors are related to legends on the yin and the yang. More than the art of growing the bonsai itself, the Chinese also pay much attention to the pots they use. There you will see calligraphic designs, dragons and other stylized paintings that spell common passion for this race.
Bonsais are also very delicate to culture. You don’t just plant them, leave them under the sun and water them once in a while in order to live. A bonsai gardener will always have to patiently check so many aspects of the plant’s surroundings if they want to ensure that it doesn’t dry down, rot or simply wither to die. The reason behind this is the plant’s weakened health. Due to the restrictions in growth, the plant’s immune system suffers a little. As such, it is up to those who care for these plants to prolong their lives so that they could enjoy its beauty longer.
That is the bonsai… colorful, meaningful and delicately beautiful. Experience all these and start your own bonsai garden no. All you have to do is buy materials on the net or a nearby plant store. With a little caution and a lot of care, that bonsai plant of yours will surely be in full bloom!