walter-pall-styled-tree
Photo credit: Walter Pall 

Here I have posted some pictures to pique your interest if you are not already familiar with the world of bonsai. I have used a variety of photos to show the possibility of artistic expression, variety of tree species, and of tree size. If you are wondering what exactly bonsai is, then I would tell you artistically shaped trees in pots that can live for hundreds of years with proper care, but it entails much more. Bonsai is now becoming an accepted art medium in many places and is becoming increasingly popular around the world. This may be because of the unique combination of artistic expression and horticulture that bonsai offers.

Photo credit: National Bonsai and Penjing Museum
Satsuki Azalea  Photo credit: National Bonsai and Penjing Museum

Many people have the impression that bonsai is something for old retired men who have too much time and money, so they sit on the porch, drink green tea, and perform the complicated bonsai rituals of eastern magic to keep the trees looking good. Really this is entirely false; I am a 15 year old full time student with ADD living in a digitally dominated world where it seems everyone has about a 5 second attention span, and yet I still can enjoy doing bonsai. The chief complaint of people when I speak to them about bonsai is that they do not have enough patience, however the reality is that with a collection of many or even a few trees, bonsai can be a fulfilling hobby.

Photo credit: Ryan Neil
Rocky Mountain Juniper                               Photo credit: Ryan Neil

Others complain that the trees are too easy to kill, however most people have their first experience, ironically, with the trees that are easiest to kill. Because bonsai are regular trees in pots that are just pruned artistically, there are very tough nearly indestructible trees that beginners can have great success with. However no photographs or descriptions can do justice, so you will have to try this amazing hobby to understand my enthusiasm.

Goshin, the famous juniper forest that now resides at the National bonsai and penjing museum
Goshin, the famous juniper forest that now resides at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum