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Bonsai & # 8212; the art of living miniatures. A young tree, at the whim of the gardener, remained miniature, according to the sculptor's idea it acquired an intricate form, according to the idea of the philosopher, filled with deep meaning … Bonsai is eternal, like nature itself, and distinctive, like an original work of art.
About him in a publication prepared by us together with the famous master of plant compositions, researcher of the Central Siberian Botanical Garden, Yuri Ovchinnikov.
ORIGINS OF BONSAI CULTURE
The content of the article:
The art of bonsai is at least two thousand years old. Its history began in Ancient China and, I must say, began very pragmatically. Taoists (followers of one of the Chinese religions) used miniature trees to study how the world around them affects the Tao of the root cause of the universe. And a certain emperor, according to one of the legends, ordered them to be created in his court to draw up a mini-landscape of the empire, a kind of volumetric map that included cities, villages, rivers and mountains. Over time, “penjing” (roughly the Chinese name for the culture of growing tree species in containers) was recognized as something to admire, and began to be viewed as a work of art. Then bonsai came to Japan.
And it was brought to perfection by the diligent inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun. This culture became so Japanese that the original term “bonsai” appeared, which meant “what grows on a tray.”
< p style = "text-align: justify;">At the end of the nineteenth century, Europeans became interested in oriental exotics. They were struck by the beauty and grace of the bonsai presented at the world exhibition in Paris, and then, in 1909, in London. Unfortunately, a number of social and political cataclysms pushed back interest in this art until the end of the fifties. Then it again began to spread around the world, starting from the west coast of the United States. In this country today is the oldest (of the registered) bonsai in the world: a miniature juniper, about a thousand years old.
FINE BONSAI CREATION
Initially, to create beautiful mini-compositions in containers, the Japanese used dwarf plants of unusual shapes that grew in nature. But such specimens are very rare, so a “home” method was invented to give trees a “light” silhouette .. There are many requirements. The most common of these is that the shape of the crown of the tree should be conical, divided into clear horizontal tiers, and have maximum foliage (or needles) thickening in these tiers.
But then it is an art to deviate from the rules, be guided by your own aesthetic preferences and plan the appearance of the bonsai as you wish. Planning, however, implies that the master is well aware of the biological characteristics of the cultivated crop: its development cycles, climatic, soil requirements, etc. With this information, an experienced bonsaist can predict what a tree will look like in two to three to four years and take the necessary steps to improve its appearance.
Graceful mini-shapes can be formed from absolutely any woody plant. Another thing is that not every large representative of the flora looks good in miniature. For example, it is difficult to imagine a eucalyptus or a coffee tree as a bonsai. These crops grow very quickly and have a rigid architectonics, a clear arrangement of shoots. Excellent bonsai are obtained from fruit trees: apple, pear, plum. In the House of Scientists of Akademgorodok, where annual bonsai exhibitions have been held since 1989, tangerines with fruits were successfully demonstrated at one time. But, unfortunately, they were “dismissed” from the exposition, as they turned out to be rather whimsical to the conditions of the content.
Which of the plants you choose depends on where exactly you plan to put the container with bonsai. If it is possible to create a greenhouse, where the plant will be provided with comfortable conditions (temperature and humidity of the air, close to its natural habitat), the choice is practically unlimited. In the case of constant cultivation of a mini-specimen on a personal plot, it narrows down to the range that the flora of our localities offers, as well as the temperate regions of North America. If you decide to place a green art object in an apartment, experts strongly recommend limiting yourself to subtropical and tropical cultures. For example, “indoor” birch or spruce are categorically contraindicated. It is not surprising to you, for example, it does not occur to you to plant a date palm on the site in front of the house. The choice of plants must be treated carefully and correctly correlate their natural requirements with the conditions of maintenance.
It should be noted here that the idea of growing bonsai in residential premises is far beyond the understanding (and acceptance) of the Japanese nation. When purchasing bonsai for the first time, it is better to pay attention to the most unpretentious crops. Ficus is considered the most viable of the “domestic trees”. By the way, he is the leader in the number of mini-replicas in the collection of Novosibirsk bonsaists. This plant grows normally at temperatures from zero to plus thirty degrees. In addition, it firmly endures long “dry periods” (when the hostess for a while forgets about watering it). By contrast, the root system of myrtle and rosemary is very sensitive to “droughts” and requires regular and timely watering.
However, even the ficus will be extremely unhappy and will begin to die if a shaded niche is chosen as a place for its exposure in the room. Light is the main limiting factor that can affect the normal development of any mini-tree. Therefore, the window sill is considered the only favorable territory for an interior bonsai. A less successful, but still a good option is to highlight the composition with special lamps, the glow spectrum of which is as close as possible to daylight. Such lamps are widely used in the aquarium industry. If the lighting requirements are met at a temperature comfortable for humans and low air humidity, any plant will develop normally.
As practice shows, it is unreasonable to expose most other types of trees in residential premises. Unless, of course, you are not seriously passionate about it and are not ready to sacrifice yourself to art. For example, they agree to “cool” their apartment to plus eight degrees in winter so that their favorite azaleas do not die. Those who decide to bring miniature exoticism from Thailand, Japan, China or another country with a developed bonsai industry, where it can be bought quite inexpensively, will also face similar hardships. True, in the case of a juniper or cherry blossoms, for example, it will be necessary not only to maintain a low temperature, but also to replace the walls of the dwelling with glass display cases, and also to constantly humidify the air. That is, in fact, to live in a greenhouse.
The most appropriate interior style for bonsai & # 8212; minimalism, because it is closest to Japanese culture. Or a completely eclectic interior, in which many artifacts are set. Why not put in a small, dainty tree.
CARE OF THE BONSAI TREE
So, the bonsai is purchased, stands on the windowsill and literally radiates vitality. In order not to deplete its reserves, you will have to make a lot of efforts: it will take accuracy and a lot of time. The tree should be watered with settled (or preferably filtered or rainwater), not cold water until water appears from the drainage holes. The procedure should be repeated as the soil dries up.
Bonsai as usual houseplant, very responsive to additional feeding, which must be carried out during the active growth of the plant. For these purposes, it is better to use special fertilizers for bonsai, there are such proposals on the market of the flower industry today. If the plant is at rest, sick or just doesn't look good, fertilizer can become poison for it. Caring for a “tamed creation of nature” also involves constant work to preserve its shape. The procedure includes pruning, replanting, tying individual branches with a wire, etc. So about once or twice a year (depending on the type of plant) you will have to seek help from a specialist.