Bonsai Trees serve as both beautiful accents for your home and an intriguing art form when given the right care and attention. Bonsai serves as a blanket term for all miniature trees held in containers but the tradition of the Bonsai is an ancient practice in Japan spanning over a thousand years.
The power of the Bonsai is two-fold. Firstly, the viewing of the Bonsai is an excellent tool for reflection and contemplation when perceived by the viewer. Secondly, the cultivation and the shaping of the tree is a meditative practice for the grower.
A Bonsai can be created from pretty much any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species with true branches able to be grown in a container. These tiny gems mimic the appearance of a full-size, mature tree and require the same practices of leaf trimming, root reduction, pruning, grafting and defoliation.
The style of the Bonsai tree is influenced by Zen Buddhism and the concept of wabi-sabi – which focuses on the acceptance of imperfection and impermanence. This is why you see many Bonsai trees with an asymmetrical shape and minimalistic design. Other characteristics include no trace of the artist and the proportions of the tree to be as close as possible to those of a full-size tree – only miniature.
This art form allows the viewer and the grower to experience the microcosmic and macrocosmic relationship between ourselves and the world we live in. It reminds us of our transient form and our deep connection to our external nature.