Bonsai bonanza

The word Bonsai simply means a plant grown in a shallow container. It does not define what type of plant or what sort of container. It also does not tell the novice bonsai grower of the many hours of happiness to be found, in lovingly caring for and training your own bonsai trees.

If you have a plant in your house that is growing very well and becomes too large for its position, you have a number of options--move it somewhere else or throw it away. However, you may not want to give it away perhaps because it was given to you by a special person or for a special occasion. If so, one way of being able to keep this plant is to prune it.

Pruning in this instance simply means reducing the whole of the plant to a more manageable size. Out come a pair of secateurs and you remove unwanted growth. However, then comes another consideration - If you had pruned it slightly differently would it have looked better? Without realizing it, your thoughts are turning to the art of bonsai, even if you might know little or nothing about it.

In ancient times in the far east, bonsai was the attempt made to create a symmetry between man and nature.

Learning to grow bonsai is not as difficult as people think. Admiring and spending time with a bonsai relaxes a person who returns stressed and exhausted from a hard day’s work. Care of bonsai requires a few minutes of a day to check whether they need watering, pruning and fertilizing when necessary. Watching and helping this living art become what you imagined gives many hours of pleasure.

Shanti Fernando President, Sri Lankan Bonsai Association

"Natural Images", an exhibition of bonsai presented by the Sri Lanka Bonsai Association will be held at the Art Gallery, Green Path, Colombo 7 from October 31, to November 2 between 9.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. Demonstrations in Sinhala and English will be on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Japan’s Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki, and Madam Araki will open the exhibition. This is the 16th exhibition organised by the Association.

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