designingbonsai.com "for the art of making miniature trees"
is a free informational site from a group of bonsai enthusiasts in Athens,
Georgia, "Home of the University of Georgia" in the sunny south.
The art of bonsai
design is a creative, challenging, and rewarding hobby for individuals,
groups and garden clubs. Our group started working with bonsai in 2000. We
do it for fun, gardening knowledge, and creative design.
trees dates back more than 2000 years ago in the Far East. Paintings from
these ancient times show that miniature trees in shallow containers were used
for indoor decorating and were given as gifts.
We give "how-to" information for beginning
bonsai enthusiasts, terms for understanding the craft, help for growing in
different environments and how to keep your bonsai healthy. Whether you collect
bonsai from the wild, buy ready-made from a store, or start your own from
good stock, this site will be an easy reference point.
Live bonsais are sometimes ancient, even hundreds
of years old, sometimes decades old, often only a few years old. The art of
bonsai is to make any aged tree look like a mature or even ancient tree but
in miniature form and basically true to its counterpart in nature. So, the
idea is to create an illusion through your own artistic design ideas. Choose
a tree from a species that you appreciate, and make a free-form, unique bonsai,
or you can copy a specific tree of that species that you especially like.
Click on "Starting
Up" to see the most popular bonsai styles in practice today with examples
of trees that naturally go with the described styles taken from nature. See
a 380 year old tree from the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington
D.C. on the "Bonsai Gallery" page.
tools for beginning the art of bonsai design.
tools: For the trimming shears above, any small, sharp, 2" bladed shears
will work fine for small leaf, limb & root pruning. Seed pack for bonsai
propagating - sewing seeds can be done in any trays or pocketed flats made
of plastic or clay. Small paint brushes with natural bristles will smooth
off the soil surface of the planted tree. Chopsticks or similarly pointed
tools are useful for separating roots from soil and also for tamping down
soil in a pot. Use suitable gages of aluminum wire for holding limbs you are
training to go in a certain way. Any small mesh plastic screens or pebbles
can be used to keep soil in tact. Authentic bonsai pots are recommended for
finished trees for the finished bonsai appearance. Individual American potters
are getting into the business of making shallow bonsai pots. Many nurseries
& online stores have them. Shallow pots elude to a landscape, and they
provide different sized beds for trimmed root systems to fit snuggly.
bonsai stock in clay and plastic pots with various other plants in a mulch
bed in Georgia (zone 8). Pots are partially mulched into bark and soil so
roots can reach nutrition and water when they need it. Pine straw is added
all around to blanket against wind and frost.