Bonsai (bon – the trunk, sai – the pot) is a common tree diminished by special gardening techniques. It is shaped by artist, so that it can fully represent the beauty of the tree which grows in nature. What kind of feeling would have such a small tree arouse in yourself, the tree which can fit in palm of your hand, which develops its young leaves during the spring, have dark green foliage in the summer and have its leaves in reddish colour just before they fall off in autumn? Isn’t that a serene feeling of peace which nature can bring into your home?
The ancient art of bonsai comes from China, where it developed during the Han dynasty, two centuries before Christ. Bonsai, or penjing, its Chinese name, for a long time represented a privilege of nobility. After they invaded and took Japan in fourteenth century, Chinese have brought many aspects of their culture, one of which is bonsai. In today’s Japan, bonsai is very appreciated as a symbol of their culture and ideal. Nowadays, bonsai is not only a privilege of nobility, but of a common people as well.
What are the conditions requested for cultivating bonsai tree? Prior to decision of cultivating it, you have to decide where would you keep it. Indoors or outdoors? If it’s outdoors, you’ll have to calculate the coldness of winters and to consider species which can stand it. If it’s indoors, you’ll have to calculate the quantity of light and if there is too much heat on the designated spot. When you decide upon a species, have in mind the fact that bonsai can only stand the conditions which are similar to those in their natural habitat. Species like maple, hornbeam, elm,and others better stand outdoor conditions, but have to be taken in during morning frost or it’s root have to be protected, while fichus, bougainvillea and camellia are exclusively indoor types. In Japan, bonsai is exhibited in special wide dents in the walls called tocanoma. Bonsai itself stands on the small table, while rock or suiseki can be additional element which represents vision of the faraway mountain. Types of trees which can stand the direst sunlight are only a few, and that stands for the bonsai as well. As a result of strong, direct sunlight, leaves are bending and withering at the edges, eventually falling off. Too dark places are also not convenient for the bonsai, because tree grows tall in its search for light and its leaves become lighter in the color. Moisture in the air will be secured by sprinkling with rain drops, which are of crucial significance for bonsai. Same effect can be achieved by putting bonsai on wet pebbles or ornament rocks.