Bonsai Gardens

Since I was a child, I remember being fascinated with bonsai trees. Back in the 1960's, my mother brought me to Bonsai Garden Exhibition with rare specimens dating hundreds of years. I further discovered this beautiful ancient art in my Japanese travels which I am going to share it with you.

Bonsai Art

The bonsai artist shapes a living plant into an object of meditation, imagination and inspiration. A natural wonder.

I am happy to share the experience and pictures of my friend and Bonsai grower Dennis Clark who for more than 30 years practiced this art and has the largest bonsai nursery in Ft Lauderdale.

Bonsai tree fukien tea

Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese "hòn non bo".

The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has evolved its own unique aesthetics and terminology. The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). Bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container. To read more bonsai tree information check Dennis Bonsai Guide

Bonsai Tree Complete Guide

In this Bonsai tree guide, you will be provided with definitive tips and advice on growing and caring for a Bonsai tree so that it looks great and lives a long, long time. Perhaps more than any of your other plants and flowers.

Whether you’re new to the world of Bonsai trees or not, you’ll find all the essential information you need to get started. And discover lots of ideas too! 

Art of Penjing

Bonsai Bougainvillea in Bloom

The Chinese art of penjing evolved thousands of years ago. Its Japanese relative bonsai, although derived from penjing has adapted a little differently over its thousand year history.

As both art forms advanced, they developed their own unique aesthetics and terminology separately. Both however, still reflect the natural world, man's relation to it and nature's effect on it.

Bonsai (pronounced bone-sigh) and penjing (pronounced pen-jing) are both singular and plural. In Chinese "pen" means pot or container and "jing" itranslated as landscape or scenery.

The various elements used are the container/tray, rocks, trees, soil, water, grasses or moss, and figures (human, animal, or architectural). Not every element is required in every creation, often these are simply inferred in the overall composition.

Many penjing (typically landscapes), use rock in their design. The artist is not trying to create an exact copy of a landscape. Instead, he or she tries to portray an ideal image able to evoke an emotion the viewer can "recall" based on their own individual experiences with nature. 

Bonsai Tiger Bark Ficus

Of the tree basic types of penjing (tree, landscape, or water and land), bonsai is most directly related to tree penjing. In Japanese "bon" means plant or tree and "sai" means pot or tray. Most often in bonsai, woody plants are grown in containers as representations of aged or interesting trees.

The most common depictions are: single tree, multiple tree, and forest. Like penjing, bonsai has never been an attempt to create scale models. Rather, this living art form is carefully developed over years as a "statement" about: trees, man's interaction with them, or the often dramatic effects nature's cycles have on them.

True mastery of bonsai and penjing requires considerable knowledge of horticultural and aesthetic techniques to say the least.

Carrying out the art of miniaturizing trees alone is a fascinating process.

Bonsai Willow Leaf
Bonsai Bougainvillea

Doing with strict adherence to various artistic principles while also attempting to depict the often formidable forces of nature itself, is nothing short of astonishing.

Needless to say, one must both possess and be able to convey a deep sense of reverence for the natural world. Is it any wonder then, that both these art forms are so deeply embedded in the histories and cultures in which they originated, or that we, in the west have become so fascinated with them?

Learn the art and history of Bonsai

Bonsai trees

Originated in Japan


Originated in china