241 Zen and the Art of Bonsai

It takes about a week of staring and trimming. Bonsai, the staring part. Nothing should overlap. The structural shape is key.

No. No mini bonsai here. I feel like I would kill one of the complex plants in the blink of an eye. One has to be a serious gardener to take on that challenge.

Somehow, orchids think that this house is the bomb. They bloom and re bloom, growing the craziest of flowers. There is one that looks like the plant from the Little Shop of Horrors. You can almost hear it call out, “Feed me Seymour, come on and feed me.” It has frightening spots and colors, and the blooms look like mouths that are ready to consume a limb. Visit at your own risk!

As far as bonsai, the Japanese maple in the front yard comes the closest. It is, however, huge. And it does require the “bonsai touch” for pruning. Repeatedly, the people who come to accomplish the big jobs on the property say, “That tree is the centerpiece of the property.” No pressure. It’s three quarters of an acre. One shrub that stands six feet tall and about 12 feet across is the absolute centerpiece. Don’t prune it incorrectly. Don’t kill it. Love the tree.

selective focus photography of green leafed bonsai
A Bonsai Plant Photo by Zulian Yuliansyah on Pexels.com

I have pruned it every winter. Last year, the spring brought it in bushy and leafy. That is NOT the goal with a bonsai, or a Japanese Maple.

It takes about a week of staring and trimming. Bonsai, the staring part. Nothing should overlap. The structural shape is key. Minimizing the leafing creates the see through effect. It is an art form. And it is a love form. Every rain free day, I sculpted for hours.

Loving nature through interaction. It is one of my favorite games. It does not come in the form of flowers or plantings or pots. But my love of nature does include staring, staring and shaping. Shaping the nature of “what is” into the most beautiful and functional way of being. Zen and the Art of Bonsai.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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