We take our inspiration from natural woodlands & full grown trees….
The amazing art of bonsai – A bonsai is a small tree in a pot. The word ‘bonsai’ literally translates to ‘potted tree’. However, a bonsai is also a work of art, one which is never finished. Over many years, each tree is skilfully styled and trained, from the branches, to the trunk, and even the roots. This is a lengthy and delicate process, but is more than worth it! Each little tree is styled of a fully-grown one; when we are out on a walk, we are constantly looking at the mature beauties that can be found everywhere, and we bring the very best bits to our bonsai.
However, buying a bonsai is just the beginning. Once you have received your new house-mate, you can continue to work with it to create your perfect bonsai.
Furthermore, an important point to remember is that the tree is alive! With the right care, they can live for hundreds of years, but they will die if the care is not quite right. Let us consider the attributes of these three beautiful specimen bonsai. We hope this gives you a taste of the artistic design features we are trying to achieve.
These 3 bonsai are mature specimens and many of these features take many many years to establish. However, we we can start to incorporate these details and aim for such beauty in younger bonsai also. Our hope is that by highlighting some of these features you may start to incorporate them into your own bonsai.
Let us know if you liked this “The amazing art of bonsai” blog and we will continue writing about this and create more content surrounding it!
Note-worthy attributes …
What makes a bonsai great!
The first point to note is the root flare (called the nebari in the bonsai world) on each bonsai. This is a lovely feature which literally grounds the tree to the soil. The exposed roots lead the eye up the trunk and give the bonsai a sense of stability and character. The trunk flow and taper are both very important design aspects. In an ideal world you would have a thicker trunk at the base of the tree which gradually tapers as it reaches the top.
These three bonsai are all ‘informal uprights’ and sport wonderful S-shaped trunk flows. However, a formal upright style tree is a more traditional shape with lovely even canopy and straighter trunk – this maybe your personal preference. We find the ‘informal upright style’ such as shown in these examples is most popular.
If you consider our three examples you will note that the all have a clear trunk flow. Try to ensure the main trunk is uncluttered and that there are no branches pointing directly towards the viewer. Space is vitally important when creating a bonsai. Each of these bonsai, although quite different from one another, boasts plenty of space between the branches. The branches are highly refined in design, forming foliage pads of leaves. Over time the branches thicken and become more in proportion with the trunk stature.
Don’t forget the right pot!
When choosing the pot, there is always an element of personal preference. Try to choose a pot which is harmonious with the bonsai. When you view the overall composition the tree and pot should appear well balanced and one element (ie the pot or the tree) should not stand out overly. There are occasions when choosing the best point there may be a compromise – it maybe just the best one you already have or in these strange times of Covid-19 we have found obtaining stock from China extremely difficult & there is a general shortage of pots. Thus the ideal pot colour or shape may not be available to you.