My first bonsai 初めての盆栽

Lately I have been mentioning bonsais discretely, sometimes in my posts. It’s a new hobby of mine, and I have kind of started being serious about it now. This is my first bonsai. And I know I know I know, this bonsai looks like a total retard. Nevertheless, it’s my first one. It’s a poplar. We have 2 big poplars in our garden, and they grow like no other tree. The leaves are like 20 cm long (which is another reason to why they don’t suits as bonsai) and they have crazy sprouts getting out erywhere. Our poplar trees are standing on one of the sides of our house, and on the other side, roots and sprouts are emerging. They are impossible to kill and my father hates them because they try to take over the garden. But as my first bonsai, maybe it’s a quite good choice. Since it’s basically immortal, I wont kill it (too soon at least) and I can experiment it and see results quickly since it’s growing so fast. I looks retarded now, but maybe it would make a quite nice forest like root bonsai in the future, who knows.


Actually, to take a plant from the wilderness (in this case a root from our garden) and then plant it into a limited pot, cut and wire it, is totally not the way to treat bonsais. The old Japanese way is to go out in the forest, find a tree that looks older then it actually is (has been unable to evolve like a normal tree of its species would do that is), dig it up, place it in a big pot and let it rest for 2 years until starting to cut or shape it. And trust me, people have reminded me about this a tenfold times, I will have to wait for like 5345 years until my bonsais will even start looking nice. However, if I don’t start now, I will never have nice bonsais, so the sooner the better. By the way, I don’t really like the thought of buying a finished bonsai. I like the process of creating a nice plant of something else, and that is what I will focus on. I mean, it wont be a challenge otherwise, right? So, my botanist father and I went out into the forest during easter to find suitable trees. Our first really good (and maybe the best?) catch was a juniper living in a ditch between the forest and a field. I don’t know what it’s life story is, but the trunk is thick enough to suspect that the tree is about 10-15 years old, but still it’s only  around 60 cm high. The middle branches are dead and look spooky and awesome, while the top is thriving. It almost look like a 100 year old bonsai already. We took it with us home (by bike) and I repotted it carefully. I so hope it survives!!

実は、外から木をとって(この場合庭の根から)枝を適当に切って小さいポットに入れるのは適切なやり方じゃない。 伝統的な日本のやり方は森に行って、実際の年齢より古そうな小さい木を見つけて、掘り出して大きいポットに入れて切るまで二年間を待つことだ。何回でも言われたよ、ちゃんとした盆栽になるまで5345年間待たなくちゃいけないでしょ。だけどね、今やり始めないともっと時間かかるから、やるしかな。ちなみに、違うひとに育てられた盆栽を買うのあまり面白くなさそう。いい木を育つプロセスを見るのはポイントだから。挑戦ほしいし。ということで、週末に私植物に興味ある父親はふたりで森に木を探しに行った。最初見つけた木本当に素敵だった!変な溝にあった杜松だった。何の生活をしたのか分かんないけど、幹結構太かったのに高さは60センチもしなかった。たぶん10から15際かなあ。真ん中の枝は怖い風にも死んでるけど一番上はきれいで緑。自転車で持って帰った。死なないでほしい!

Our next findings were some small oak trees growing under a great oak on a peice of our neighbour’s forest. The point with these 20-30 oaks were that they seem to have been eaten on by deers every year for the last few years. A normal oak with the thickness of the trunk as these have would probably be like 1,5 m tall. Not really bonsai size. These however have been acting as food, and instead of me doing the hard work of cutting the oak for 5 years every spring, just waiting the rest of the time, a nice deer has done it for me. My dad also wanted an oak for making into a bonsai, and hence we have to little oaks at home, measuring not more than 50 or 60 cm and already looking like little trees. Thank you deers!


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