Bonsai Banter 027 – Chinese ‘Bonsai’

“Chinese artists appear willing to embrace a measure of chaos.”

That is my favorite quote from Karin Albert’s wonderful dissertation on the art of penjing.

More of what she had to say and photos from the Washington, D.C. collection are included on the new penjing page.

Any conversation about penjing wouldn’t be complete without a page on use of rocks and rock plantings.

Penjing, reminded me I hadn’t written about the adaptable, easy to care for Chinese elm.

It now has a page of its own.

Really Bad Pest

The ‘Beneficials’ page prompted a friend from the US Department of Agriculture to ask me to tell you about a recent addition to the not so beneficial, in fact the “horrible” list.

This giant African snail can reach up to 8 inches in length and nearly 5 inches in diameter—about the size of an average adult fist—and can live up to nine years. Read the story and find out where it is now!

A Witches Broom Exception!

“Bad” witches brooms were in last month’s BonsaiBanter.

I neglected to mention, some witches brooms may be “good.” I have added … “some appear to be caused by genetic mutation.”

Unlike “brooms” caused by living organisms, when the cause is genetic, there is often only one broom per tree, AND they do not spread. Be sure you know which type you’re working with.

The Buddhist Pine

Podocarpus is wide ranging tree native to Ecuador, Japan and China.

It is a common landscape plant in the southern U.S. At first it may not look like a potential bonsai subject … however, a closer look will show how the dense foliage, fabulous trunks and nebari make it perfect for bonsai.

Buddhist pine is a frequently used common name, the new page has lots more information about this favorite.

Out of Season

The ‘Winter Silhouettes’ page may seem a little out of season, but the pictures are still beautiful. This page also includes the story of an American first.

Bonsai Societies of Florida

Photos of the BSF 2012 awarded trees photographed by Mike Sullivan will show what a great exhibit it was.

It was wonderful to see bonsai friends and I loved the exhibit. (The use of a dark blue background was a tremendous asset.) Ryan Neil, Peter Warren and Kora Dalager were guest speakers.

I had the opportunity to observe Ryan’s Black Pine workshop and was totally impressed. Not only is he a fine artist but a fantastic teacher.

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