Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bonsai Gardening, or Not!!

Since our blog is about the adventures and misadventures of gardening outside the box, I thought I might share one of my fascinations (and honey there are a lot of them) with you.
This will be about gardening within a box, actually in a tray - did you know Bonsai is actually 2 words – Bon means tray and Sai means planting or growing.
I have just loved little colorful things, like an old mynah bird, since I was just a little pear ~ if it was little, shiny, or colorful, I had to have it, try it, or collect it, and nothing fits this bill quite like these precious little plants and trees!
It doesn’t matter where you live, everyone can have a bonsai tree and if you spend your year in different locations, they can relocate too – I suggest buying another makeup case just for this purpose!
Learning all you can about bonsai before you make your first purchase will save you time, dollars, and heartbreak – I remember my first was a Christmas gift from our son who said “They said you can leave it outside all winter, just water it”. I did and while it was evergreen it got browner and browner until come spring, all I had left was a pot of crispies ~ that was the “bon” and flakes, no sai.
You need a pot, and a tray, there are millions on the market, so get one that you love; then you need to decide on a starter plant or tree, or start one yourself from seeds.

If you are as impatient as I am a plant or tree is definitely the way to go, while I plan to live to be at least 100, I don’t want to spend all those years waiting for a tree to grow from a seed, I want WOW and I want it NOW!
A great starter tree is the Japanese Red Maple; I love this because the tree’s leaves change to bright red or orange in the spring and fall and a deeper red in the summer.
This tree works so well for an upright bonsai and you can train it so the little leaves are one-inch long or less. The trunk and tiny limbs can be green or red.
You will need tools and instructions on how to care for your particular choice. And from your care will come a lifetime of enjoyment watching your little creation evolve!

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