As a girl in a small Australian town bonsai was the most exotic thing I had ever seen. Our elderly neighbour introduced me to them; she grew several and displayed them on special shelves in her garden.
This traditional Japanese practice of growing miniature trees dates back over a thousand years.
The bonsai is a complex tree to grow requiring dedicated pruning of roots, branches and leaves. Branches are gently shaped using wires and clamps to give the tree an attractive form and mature appearance. Roots are also teased out and can be grown over rocks to create interest and the illusion of age.
There are traditional bonsai styles which describe the orientation of the trunk such as formal and informal upright as well as the slant and cascade styles. Other styles may describe the trunk or bark of the small trees.
What is the purpose of bonsai? They are planted and configured solely for contemplation, both during their creation and when viewing an established tree.
My local bonsai club held an exhibition today and here are some photos. I have included close up shots so you can see how detailed these bonsai are and marvel at the contortions of their trunks and roots.
Please enjoy, and as you view the bonsai I hope you relax and contemplate.