I’ve been hard at work with my trees, now they are beginning to look like proper bonsai. Hard to believe that the bottom one started out a bush with no discernible trunk. Sadly those currant cuttings didn’t make it, I couldn’t get them to take root and they died. No big deal since they were free.
Here is the initial pruning I did on one of my trees, it’s a blue star juniper. Next month I’ll be able to put training wire on the branches, but for know I just need to keep the tree watered and fed. I managed to start a cutting on one of the branches I removed, hopefully I will be able to start on impressive pedigree.
Here in Washington we have several majestic forests. One thing that makes our forests particularly striking is how the trees are usually covered in sleeves of vibrant moss. Some of the moss species are like wool or carpet, others resemble shaggy fur like that of a mountain goat. Often it is something of a cross.
I think living surrounded by so many beautiful trees may have been part of what inspired me to get into bonsai. Microcosms have always intrigued me, and good bonsai are just that. Yes they are kept artificially small and they are artificially shaped and groomed, but they mimic their (often literal) siblings in nature. I’d love to one day do a bonsai of Washington species with sleeves of moss growing on the branches and trunk. However I’m not sure if that is possible, since bonsai are much more sensitive than free growing trees. Certain mosses are often used as lawn on top of the soil, there is even special bonsai moss spray for that.
I don’t own the picture below, it was taken from a fair use website
As an aspiring writer I’ve always felt a milestone that would indicate that I’ve made it in the publishing world is if there is a Wikipedia article about me. A few times I’ve told people that and they said “I’ll make one for you!” or something to that effect. While I appreciate the thought, they missed the point. The reason I believe having a Wikipedia article is an indicator of success is because it indicates that I’ve made my self well known enough that someone I’ve never met took time out of their day to write an article about me. Especially one that meets Wikipedia’s near indecipherable notability standards. A Wikipedia page about me written by a friend right now would get deleted within 24 hours, probably within a few hours.
I’ve never met any major celebrities per se, but I have met and even known a few people with Wikipedia articles. Here is a list of them in no particular order:
One of the currant bushes in my previous bush died. I’m not upset about this because the other two seem to be doing fine and I’ve only had them for a couple days. Not like I’ve had months worth of labor or more go down the drain. Besides, the cuttings were free and can easily be replaced. One silver lining is now I have a ready to go pot set up for my next cutting.
On Monday I had breakfast with my grandma and told her about by progress with bonsai. She lives a short walk away from me and has been an avid gardener for years. Her yard has a number of current bushes with nice flowers and I realized they could make promising bonsai specimens, so I got three cutting from the best bush and she helped me pot them. If I’m lucky they will take root within a month, but they make take until the end of summer or so. Either way it should be quite a while before they are ready to become true bonsai.
Jorge Luis Borges once noted that camels are never once mentioned in the Koran, which proves it is an authentically Arabic book. Anyone who isn’t from the Middle East writing a book set there would feel compelled to mention camels, whether it was necessary for the story or mere tokenism. Reading that Borges essay has given me a critical eye for set and setting, and now any details in a work I examine whether I think they were there organically or to remind you of the setting.
It’s truly astounding how whenever characters go to New Orleans it just so happens to be Mardis Gras or at very least Mardis Gras is gratuitously mentioned, similar with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. No matter what city a film takes place in, you can guarantee that whatever landmark it is known for will make an appearance. In Ratatouille the Eiffel Tower is present pretty much whenever they are outside, even Linguini’s shitty apartment had a clear view of it. That’d be some prime real estate. I’ve been to Paris and I know first hand the Eiffel Tower isn’t omnipresent, I didn’t even see it on my first day there because my hotel room wasn’t anywhere near it.
Today I garden shopping. My grandma needed to go to Home Depot so I went with her to see if they had any potential bonsai specimens. They had a pretty good selection, so maybe I’ll go there next time I want to buy a new tree. After we were done there we went to a local gardening store. It was pretty big and they had pretty much anything garden related you could imagine. They had a great selection of bonsai pots and some accessories like mud men, so I’ll probably return when I decide it’s time to pot my trees.
On Tuesday I ordered a bonsai tool kit on Amazon and it came in today. Now I have pruning shears, tweezers, a mini rake, a spade, and a couple other things. Some bonsai veterans have kits of maybe a hundred different tools and they use every one of them. I don’t need that many tools for now. All I need are ones that are absolutely necessary to train my trees to grow parallel to their free growing cousins.
This is my first tree. Right now it is no different than any other tree of its age. Soon it will be pruned, trimmed, wired and repotted, and it will become a bonsai; beginning a long journey to becoming a microcosm of its free growing cousins.
The Bonsai Club meeting was wonderful. Very informative and the speaker was entertaining and knowledgeable. Best of all, everyone was very happy to see a guest (me) and eager to answer any questions. At the end of the meeting there was a raffle and I won a bonsai tool bag. Lucky for me club policy is if anyone with a winning ticket passes on an item then it goes to a guest or newest member, there were two passes and I got a beginner’s guide and a small boxwood tree that hasn’t been shaped or trained yet.
I’m not sure when I’ll begin working on the tree, I might begin soon and if not I’ll wait for the specimen to grow a noticeable amount. One thing I need to do is begin shopping for essential tools, most importantly fertilizer. Bonsai roots are stunted, which helps the rest of the tree stay small. However this means their roots don’t get as much nutrients from soil, so fertilizer is essential to bonsai care.
I’m eager to start this new pastime, I’ll be showing off my progress here.