#bonsai : Changing to adapt to your environment.

Here is one of my regular visitors. He has been through my garden quite a few times. It’s like the hot dry summer was the perfect breeding ground for chameleons. It’s that or they are attracted to something in my garden. image image image
Now just like these creatures change their colors to fit in with the background so to do we have to change and adapt to our environment. What do I mean by this? I can only share my opinions and views with you. You can decide if you agree or disagree with what I’m saying. What adapting refers to for me in this statement is that you must be able to make alternative plans and change as different elements with in the design as these elements reveals themselves to you. Sometimes what we have in mind does not always work out. The main reason for this is the way trees grow and the constant influence from outside elements and conditions that we did not plan for. For instance the wind blowing at 23km/h. These are things that we learn along the way that no one tells you about.

Most of my big trees with big canopies are secured to the bench with wires. The small trees that can blow over easy I place behind the bigger trees. I only have two sides of my garden that’s open so the wind can only come from one of two angles. Any newly planted trees I place to the back of the enclosure so that they do not get blown around by our strong winds. Someome once told me that Cape Town is a lot like a new born baby it’s wet or it’s windy… must say in the past few months its been more windy.

Wind is but one off the outside elements that influence the out come of our trees. I have had to redesign a tree because I bend a branch to far and it just snapped off. My daughter has kicked the ball into my trees. My puppy bit of a branch from a stump that I had grown and it was the first sign of growth on the tree I almost died that day. Here is that same tree with a lot more branches now. image
I have learned that although I value my tree and I could never replace any of them with another tree. It is not worth stressing about the tree as that might just cause you to get a heart attack. Is bonsai really worth that much to anyone. I now I’m over simplifying this now there are trees that are priceless and should be kept far out of reach. You can do your best to care for the trees but sh*t happens.

If something happens that requires your attention the best thing to do is to stay calm. You can get more do if you are relaxed as you have more control over your though process. By doing this every challenge will be adressed in a timely manner. We live in a westen culture. A bonsai professional that I follow closely mentioned the other day in one of his podcasts is that we have wired into our DNA that we need things to happen now and we need instant results. We live in a time were instant gratification has become part of our daily lives.

If you do not belive me look at YouTube. Videos are shorter than they use to be and time lapse videos is the new hit. Why because within two minutes you can see the whole process of a trees development. This very nice and I too see this in my way I approach my bonsai. I love styling new tree. I’m hooked on taking nursery stock and turning it into bonsai.

Over the years I have come to discover that styling new trees is but one aspect of bonsai. Taking care of the trees and regularly maintaining it’s shape and health is another. The last one is changing you design as the tree ages or gets influenced by outside elements as discussed in the paragraphs above. This is what makes bonsai so unique. Your never done. I get bored easily and like taking on new things and as soon as I get the hang of it I move onto the next thing. Bonsai is one of the few things that I have started that I still do after a few months. It’s been more than 15 years now and I’m still loving it.

Here is a quote I think summarize this blog:

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas A. Edison

Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave you comments below.




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