Lots of people asked for copies of the article in Joint Ability. I am posting the Winter 2015 edition here for all to read. Yeah! Bonsai going places!
Jill Badonsky said that the feeling of being creative is synonymous with joy and fulfilment. Is it therefore seriously necessary for your bonsai tree to comply with all the bonsai ‘rules’? If you copy, so-and-so’s tree, is it still yours?
When I walk through my garden, I do not see the faults in my trees. I see the memory of the person in the tree that I made when they passed away. I see the love and patience and fun I had when I thought of the person in whose memory it was created. It is a testament of the fact that I think of them often. That I will never forget.
But the beauty of bonsai is that you can have your own reasons for making one. It does not have to be my reasons. Sometimes, it really is just for fun. Unless you are a world renowned Master. Then your bonsai can never be just for fun. (Too many people are watching you).
Masaru Yamaki said: “Each bonsai has its special quality. Some express changes in the four seasons, while others express the elegance of nature in a pot. Bonsai is not limited to expensive trees in a classic shape. Indeed, by using excessive wire or growing unnecessary branches in order to create a classic shape, the artist may fail to express the tree’s essential beauty.
Trees best expressing bonsai no kokoro (the spirit of bonsai) are often marked by unaffected simplicity. Even if the tree has a slender trunk, it can still touch one’s heart deeply, conveying with overflowing vitality the beauty of nature in fields and mountains.” (twistedsifter.com/…/centuries-old-japanese-white-pine-bonsai-that-survived-hiroshima)
So, this morning, I removed the tanuki’s around my thin-trunked Yellow wood. I am going to develop the lower branches and enjoy my tree. I potted my thin trunked Rosemary in a shocking blue pot and put my Riverbush willow (Combretum erythrophyllum) forest in the most beautiful forest pot. Not nearly ready to be potted, but I had the most beautiful pot beggin for some trees. (Yes, it is no Goshin or Mieke’s Forest, but it is “my” forest.) It is named after an old school friend who gave me a handful of seeds in 2008, so, Peter’s Forest it is! (I wanted to post a better photograph, but it is raining – so it will have to wait.)
In this case, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Nothing should stop you from enjoying your trees. Don’t wait. Do it now. Make a bonsai, plant a tree. Feel good!