Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bonsai, Daniel-san!

In the horticulture building, among the rows of gourds and legumes and ears of corn and monster pumpkins, you will find an entire aisle dedicated to the traditional Hoosier art of miniature tree sculpting. Sadly, being indoors, my cheesy pocket camera flash photography wound up looking like washed-out ass for most of the more interesting ones, except this little dude, who looks for all the world like a clump of nano-scale Adansonia grandidieri:

Bonsai is a hobby I'd love to take up, except for that whole incredible lack of patience thing and total brown thumb problems. Other than that, I think I'd make a good tree sculptor.

15 comments:

Bruce H. said...

I started getting interested in bonsai one time, until I got to the part about having to mist them five times a day (or more, in a dry climate like mile high Colorado).

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

See, an engineer would work out a system to do the misting automatically.

Nylarthotep said...

I've been doing Bonsai since about 1990. I've done alright with tropical varieties for the most part. I have some japanese maples and chinese elms now that I own a house, but the ficus' that I've owned forever are much happier now that they can sit outdoors year round.

Fortunately it's not horribly dry in NH in general so the misting thing isn't really required.

The part I've always found difficult is the part where you rip the trees up and chop the hell out of most of their parts then stick them back into a pot and pray that you didn't just destroy many years of work.

Real nice photo.

Nylarthotep said...

Um. Geez, I need to proof read. Ficus' only sit outside during the summer rather than indoors year round. Couldn't have gotten that more wrong.

Windy Wilson said...

I stopped buying bonsai when I realized I could buy pots much cheaper if I didn't insist they include a plant to die at home.
I've had better luck with cactus.

Kristopher said...

Have you considered raising Bonsai Kitties?


( Sorry, old old old meme ... )

og said...

You could just save time and jam a stick into a potful of dirt, then claim it was bonsai until its untimely death.

JD said...

Tam, don't worry about the "brown thumb" thing. My wife has a black thumb. She kills plastic plants.

We can't even keep a green lawn half the time and the Sierra Club has us on their most hated list.

But, since I hate lawn work and generally just hire a lawn service as well as a tree-trimming service, my wife's Black Thumb has some economic benefits.

She even killed a Lucky Bamboo plant--and all you have to do is add water, for crying out loud.

Good thing *I* don't operate on chlorophyll. . .

JD

Anonymous said...

With your brown thumb, you might want to look into banzai trees instead; they kill themselves, saving you the trouble.

Also, it'd be interesting to see a couple pics of the ones that look like ass...

agirlandhergun said...

There are some amazing Bonsai tress at the Huntington Library. I used to love gong there as a kid. Beautiful.

Drang said...

I adopted a bonsai that would otherwise have been tossed by it's, um, owner (?) when he deployed on no notice to Desert Storm.
Took it then-fiance's house, where, despite our best efforts, it gave up the ghost. Maybe it missed him, I don't know. By the time he returned, the unit had been deactivated and we were all scattered to units all over. For all I know, he ETSed from Saudi.

Borepatch said...

Yeah, but it would be cool to have Roseholme Cottage rock the world's smallest "Little Prince" Baobab tree.

Jim said...

In Japan long ago I gave a young lady a bonsai. She pretended pleasure, but I later learned that as a romantic gift in that culture it is the rough equivalent of a crock pot.

Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy in Alaska that, as a Bonsai shortcut, would drive the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm outside of Anchorage, and look for trees that were stunted by the constant mowing and brush clearing on the sides of the road. He would dig them up and repot them, and then he would maintain the wild shape and size using Bonsai methods. This sounds like a way to ease into the hobby.

mikee said...

Easiest bonsai to do: Get a dwarf juniper from Home Depot, about $5 to $10. Replant it in a shallow bonsai planter or a conveniently left over pie tin.

Often they do not even need trimming to look like a windswept evergreen.

Take pictures of it. If it dies, your proof of excellence as a bonsai master will remain available for bragging purposes.