Bonsai is one of those plant sub-hobbies that really interests me. I enjoy the simple, pristine artwork that combines nature and creativity to create something that, in the end, looks like a miniaturized version of nature itself. Bonsai is a lot like some of the other plant sub-hobbies that I enjoy. Just as I enjoy setting up terrariums and aquariums, little worlds of life - bonsai mimics nature on a small scale.
I haven't really had much experience with bonsai, but I do have a couple of empty bonsai dishes. Those containers are reminders of gifts that didn't work out. Twice I have received small Gardenias that were formed like bonsais and I lost them both. I decided I simply don't have the right growing conditions for Gardenias. Having these great shallow pots, I decided to try starting a bonsai myself. After reading through a really informative, short book (Bonsai: 101 Essential Tips by Harry Tomlinson) with lots of pictures for inspiration, I thought I would like to try a small cotoneaster. I knew that the local Lowe's store carried these during the growing year. I bought the smallest cotoneaster I could find in the fall of 2006. I think it was in October, maybe. I cut back the limbs and roots as I had been instructed in the book I read and potted the cotoneaster in my bonsai container. Unfortunately, I think the little plant had already gone dormant and it was really not a good time to be doing any pruning. I didn't ever see any life out of him.
I decided the next time I try a bonsai, it will be from a seedling or a very young plant that is healthy. Either that, or I will purchase a bonsai that has already been started.
So, when my mother-in-law gave me a handful of Jade plant pieces that could be rooted, I knew that I had a good candidate. I chose the smallest little piece and potted him very carefully in one of my bonsai containers.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="My little Jade bonsai start"][/caption]
I have seen some really nice Jade bonsai trees in books and on the internet. I hope to gradually learn more about the art of bonsai as this Jade plant slowly grows to size. I can shape and prune the plant carefully and hopefully end up with a strong, thick-trunked little Jade bonsai tree in the future.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Jade bonsai inspiration - from bonsai4me.com"][/caption]