You start with your first tree, then you want another, probably a different species, most of us want to try all the species we see in a bonsai magazine or book. Then there are the topicals, if you live up north. if a tree dies, you have to replace it. For a lot of us, our bonsai collection grows exponentially every year till we either run out of space to keep them all, or if we have a lot of space available, we start to lose track of our trees. Maybe we forget a few in a corner that don’t get much water or some other care they needed.
They can be in all different stages, from seeds sprouting to cuttings and new finds at the nursery, to show ready specimens. A lot of us can’t turn down a free tree. If someone is giving one away, or we see a bargain at the garden center, even if it’s a tree we already have several of, we can’t let that bargain go. You can’t have just one seedling, or cutting, you might as well have 20, since they won’t all make it
If any of this sounds like you, I bet you won’t be content with one shelf outside with a couple bonsai on it. Have you ever seen the tv show “hoarders”? You might recognize yourself. Does your home look like this on the inside? Or maybe just the yard?
How many is enough? Does the whole yard have to be filled with trees? Is there a balance? Maybe we get to a point where we do have balance. One tree comes in, and one tree goes out…. Or you can always build another bench.
The pandemic and bonsai
This past year has been a strange one with the Covid pandemic spreading across the United States and the rest of the world. People were told to stay home and quarantine for safety’s sake, none of the usual social activities we were used to were allowed anymore. No restaurants, no movies, no gatherings, usually including bonsai events. Monthly meetings, conferences, trainings and shows were cancelled. Most people eager to still connect to other enthusiasts, tried to make the best of it. Places like the Minnesota bonsai society began to use zoom to have its monthly meetings, I assume most groups did the same. Although it was new technology with its glitches and peoples trial and error with getting to know it. It still was a safe way to connect with each other. Once most of us were spending more time at home- whether for work or just lack of places to go-and with the pandemic coinciding with the start of spring- it was a good time to spend more time with our trees.
One thing that the pandemic has given us a chance to do is to put our lives on pause and reflect. It can give us a chance to look at our lives and analyze what’s important. The same can be done with our bonsai. Turn things around and see it from a new angle. Most of us look at our trees usually from the front. Make a change and turn your trees around and see the back view. It’s not how you are used to seeing your trees and you might see a feature of your tree you have never noticed. This could be a good one that you want to accentuate or a bad feature to correct and even remove. A lot of us have been reevaluating our lives during the past year as well
Another positive aspect of having more time with your trees is that working on them at least for me, is very relaxing. The pandemic is an extremely stressful time full of uncertainty. Working on your trees can help you slow down, relax and appreciate some nature and feel control of at least some small part of our lives.
okamoto bonsai has been down and just forgotten for awhile now. We hope to make it a place that you’ll love to visit soon. our store will be more up to date and we will start posting a new article once a month….. come back often and check us out
welcome to Okamoto Bonsai
I started this site and store, with the idea to provide a new twist to the traditional art of Bonsai, There are many Bonsai artists that follow strict rules of design and display. This is fine and has worked for many of years. There is a new era of Bonsai artists that want to shake things up and change some of those traditions to make it more modern, and possibly attract a new generation of Bonsai artists. We hope to be a site that helps give people ideas to do that, and also keep the old traditions going. We would love to hear from you on what you would like to see in the future.
please send us your ideas here