Friday, October 26, 2007

What kind of bonsai lover are you?

Chinese Flowering White Serissa S-Shape - Large Tree of a Thousand Stars (Serissa Japonica)

There are several kinds of bonsai enthusiasts. Some people simply want to collect interesting specimens. Yet, even there, we find diversity.

Among collectors we find the folks who:
  • collect only evergreen bonsai
  • collect deciduous tree examples
  • collect flowering bonsai
  • collect fruit-bearing bonsai
  • collect very old specimens
you'll also see collectors who:
  • view the bonsai as an art form (count me in...)
  • appreciate the history of owning a very old bonsai tree
  • just like to display them in their homes
  • like to give a bonsai as a corporate or personal gift
After the collectors, we find the hobbyists who want to actually grow their own from bonsai seeds. This is a special class of people, as growing bonsai from seed is an art in itself. This is nothing like backyard gardening at all. One needs to know about:
  • bonsai soil
  • bonsai tools
  • bonsai pruning methods
  • care, light and feeding.
The rarest kind of bonsai lover is the person who considers a rare or very old bonsai tree to be an investment. Some excellent trees can go for as much as $7000.

I guess I'm a little of all three kinds of enthusiasts, although I haven't spent more than a couple hundred dollars on any one tree yet. I tend to like the flowering and fruit-bearing varieties, but I can also appreciate the innate beauty of a juniper bonsai!

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