The art of Bonsai gardening
Oriental culture shares with the world many wondrous and beautiful forms of art. None may be so alluring as the Japanese art of Bonsai. Bonsai gardening is ancient in its origin. Generally associated with Japanese culture, there are references to gardens of trimmed and potted plants from as long ago as the Roman and Egyptian empires. It is believed the migration of this type of gardening proceeded through India into China and then Japan.
A common misconception is that bonsai trees are dwarf plants.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Japanese art of bonsai is in
training and maintaining full size species in shallow confined pots. This
process does not produce a dwarf but instead a miniature. All aspects of a
normal size plant or tree are kept intact. The specimen must be proportioned, must have all the affectations of its life cycle, appeared to have met with the elements and it must function as if it were full size. The ability to obtain this level of horticultural theater is truly the embodiment of this garden art.
As demanding as the above statements may seem, it is not difficult to grow bonsai and if cared for properly they can live as long,
if not longer, than their full size cousins. These trees or plants can be of almost any variety. Once the basic understanding of how to maintain a bonsai is learned, you can determine the types of trees or plants your area can support and you should be able to grow a bonsai of those species.
There are three basic categories of the bonsai form, the single trunk, the multiple trunk and the group. Within each category are various styles that are obtained by the trimming and manipulating the growth of limbs and roots. The continuation of this 'training' can be a challenge, but with the proper information and tools, it is among the most rewarding experiences a gardening enthusiast can do.