Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Maple Bonsai

A few years ago I spent some time looking at photos of bonsai trees, and being quite inspired.  I think at that time I had already noticed a small red maple seedling in my front garden.  I had hoped it was an offspring of my red Japanese maple, but it didn't have the same leaves.  However, it did look like it had a weeping form, rather than an upright one.  Anyhow, about that time, I actually searched for and bought a bonsai pot, for when I was ready to try my hand at it.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally dug up that small maple, which has grown in the past few years, but has a really beautiful shape, even without manipulating it.  Here it is, after planting it up.  It is a deep red color, not glowing, as the photo would indicate, since it was taken in the evening with artificial lights on it.
I have not tried to manipulate it any further, yet.  At this point, I have it in a sheltered location in my garden, and am monitoring that it stays well watered, and will settle into its little pot.  Once it safely settles in, I will take another good look at the shape of it, and what I would like to alter.  But I already like it quite a lot.

We had the privilege to visit China in March, and I got a few photos of the bonsai collection in the "Humble Administrator's Garden" in Suzhou (near Shanghai):

Here are a couple more photos from the garden, which was quite peaceful, even though there were lots of people everywhere, even on a rainy day :

One these days, I'll sort out some technical difficulties, and post more photos from China.  We had a wonderful trip, visiting Beijing, Xi'an, Qingdao, and Shanghai (including nearby Suzhou and Wuzhen).


Tim said...

How did you fit the maple roots into that small pot? I would think that the roots would spread quite a bit, given the opportunity. Did you have to cut the roots, or did you just roll them up?

Garden Lily said...

Tim - That's a good observation. I don't believe I got all the roots when I dug it up, since what I dug up fit quite easily. That is why I am watching it carefully, that it survives this transition. But I understand that with bonsai, root pruning is part of the techniques. So it was part intentional, and part just lazy digging on my end, and not wanting to make a mess of the part of the garden it had sprung up in.

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