A bonsai garden can be even more. You may not have the space to make something in the league of the famous gardens of Japan and China, but with a little work, you could have a small piece of your own little bonsai Heaven, Such a garden would allow your special trees to become focal points within a small world.
There are practical reasons too for having a bonsai garden, and for having well-thought out growing areas as well.
|ACBS member Dan Tullius and his gardens|
|Nice shady small bonsai display|
|One of ACBS member Gib Butler's gardens|
|Gib's well thought out work and growing area|
However, this created a whole set of other problems. Since the trees were near the ground, they were often in danger of being accidentally clipped by the lawn mower, or kicked or tripped over by visiting friends and family, not to mention being bowled down by an errant soccer ball. All of these meant damage to the tree or developing branches. Another problem was that without realizing it, grass and weeds growing up around the plant were cutting off light to lower branches, making them weaker. Lack of light caused one of my better pines to lose much of the foliage on a sturdy lower branch, causing it to basically die or atrophy over the next season. So it was becoming obvious that I would have to find a way to better accommodate my trees.
I've admired some of the gardens and growing areas that other members of our club have created, See a couple of the photos. ACBS members Dan Tullius and Gib Butler built some good growing and display areas. Growing and display areas not only protect the trees from accidental damage, they offer a chance to better enjoy their form, color, development and changes--in short, a place where you can actually enjoy every day all of the serenity that bonsai have to offer.
|Bonsai garden under construction|
|Bench made from discarded wood|
|Grass adds color between pavers. Work bench beside shed|
Along the side of the shed, I built a small work bench out of some of the wood from the old deck. I tried to give it a sort of Asian look which I picked up from this excellent youtube video. I like the way the guy in the video made a real solid and practical structure.
In addition, I used a bit more of the old deck pieces to build a bench for just sitting and good viewing of the trees, kind of like the way museums add a bench near a famous painting. I placed it on the slope below the garden, so that when you sit, the trees are close to eye level.
Later, I still want to add a few more things. The growing areas need work. Plus I really like to have my tree nice and high, about 4 to 5 feet off the ground when I work on them. So I want to add a tall post with a wide work platform on top somewhere in the growing area just for pruning and wiring proposes. I think that height is not just good for viewing/visualizing as you work, but his is also easy on the back.
|New Patio with display areas|
Another thing I tried to for bonsai enthusiasts to experiment with is creating bonsai new kinds of display stands within your gardens. It's kind of a whole other topic for another next post.