Rosemary landscape planting

Behr

Yamadori
Messages
83
Reaction score
2
Location
Kyle, Texas USA
Here in south central Texas we have a somewhat unique area and variety of tree species...One of my favorite trees in the area is the Honey Mesquite...There are many that have obviously fought hard against the forces of nature for many years, and some of the most unusual forms with contorted trunks, trunks laying on the ground, and trunks that bend over to touch the ground...I hope to someday find suitable material to work with to emulate some of these unusual forms...A few of the most outstanding characteristics of the Mesquite is the contorted twisting trunks and branches much like the 'southern live oak', and the 'muscling' and twisting of the trunks...I have found the species very difficult to work with in 'pot culture', so like the 'live oak' it is better to look for a species to capture the 'essence' of the Mesquite rather than fight to keep it alive in a bonsai pot...

The Rosemary I believe has some of the desirable traits to emulate the Mesquite...Especially the contorted and muscled trunk and branches...

Here in San Antonio we have what is probably the most famous and well known Spanish Mission in the whole nation, the Alamo, but we also have just south of the city several other missions [still in operation as Catholic churches] that were built during the same time period...Many other locations in the area also have examples of the same type of 'limestone masonry' that is a characteristic of the missions, including a few other missions that are now in ruins...When one tours these missions one will see many old Mesquite trees on the grounds of the missions...In fact it is a very common site...

This was my inspiration for this planting, which I started working on 2 years and 4 months ago...It still needs much work before it will be shown this coming spring, and hopefully for the ABS seminar here in June of next year...

This photo was taken recently as part of a program I did for our club on 'Bonsai portraits'...I hope you enjoy, comments are welcomed, and suggestions will be considered although I am quite satisfied with my plan for this work...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 

Attachments

Last edited:

anttal63

Mame
Messages
187
Reaction score
5
Location
melbourne victoria australia
USDA Zone
8-9
i love the way you have worked with your shapes and lines . heaps of potential here. look forward to more of it. thanks for inspiring, i have plenty of rosemary.
 

Rick Moquin

Omono
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
8
Location
Dartmouth, NS Canada
USDA Zone
6a
I also have a rosemary as a bonsai. It has been doing well for the last 2 years. It started life as one of those Christmas trees that are sold in box stores. To you your inspiration came for you surrondings, to me I am trying to emulate a Buddist Pine. Your composition is well thought out and put together quite nicely.
 

Tachigi

Omono
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
32
Location
PA.
USDA Zone
6b
Behr once again you have managed to pull off magic. Can you give us the size on this landscape so I can put into perspective the ground cover. For me what really suggests age in this image is the lower left branch growing across what once use to be the door to the mission.

BTW: Your skills as a mason seem pretty good. Any chance you'd be willing to do a Texas style BBQ pit ;)
 

Ashbarns

Mame
Messages
131
Reaction score
3
Location
Victoria Australia
Behr this is without doubt a very important work. It truly embraces the feeling of the American identity as in sakei or penjing which is what you have been trying to convey through your writings for a while now. This reflects what the artist Christopher Guise has been showing us with his English countryside scenes. It points the way ahead for national identity and recognition rather than blindly following the origins. Sir if I were American it would bring a tear to my eyes. It does anyway thank you Behr.

Ash
 

candyjshirey

Seedling
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire, NH, USA
USDA Zone
5b
comments are welcomed,
Behr -

Your composition is evocative and you did a good job in communicating your cultural landscape. I like it very much. You found a good substitute (rosemary) to represent the honey mesquite.

I was reminded of the following Nick Lenz creation. Nick used cotoneaster to represent apple trees in his ruin landscape.
 
Last edited:

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
This magic of Behr's is something that is hard to see in pictures, and has to be seen in person to understand the miniscule details he includes in his work.
Each rock is placed to perfection!
And the colors are so well done as to invoke the feeling of being at those Missions!
I played as a child at those missions and cannot describe the feelings that rolled over me when I first laid eyes on this one in his backyard!
I am so pleased that he has decided to share it with all here.
Irene
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
19
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Behr, I was down to san Antonio about 7 years ago, the Alamo was my first stop, try as I might, until I checked your photo I couldn't put a good picture in my head. well done. Can't wait to see your version of the river walk :), then again nothing like being there.

What is your experience with these are they a slow grower, and do you have to stay on top of these like a spruce, or loose the inner foliage??
 
Last edited:

Behr

Yamadori
Messages
83
Reaction score
2
Location
Kyle, Texas USA
Mr. anttal63, Thanks for your comment...Mr. Kimura once stated "look for an interesting shape or line in your tree and repeat it"...It does work...

Mr. Rick, we see those rosemary Christmas trees here too, and I look forward to seeing how you are developing yours...They are supposedly not a long life plant, and somewhat of a challenge to work with due to 'brittleness' and 'touchy roots', but they are indeed fun and rewarding if you learn to work with what the tree gives you...I am glad you enjoyed my composition...

Mr. Tom, 'magic' is a truly powerful word, and my sincere appreciation to you for that thought...I had never measured the composition so I put on me boots and waded out into the garden to measure it...The tree is 10 1/2 inches from the soil to the tallest leaves, and could be made into a 'legal shohin' in less than 5 minutes...It is 20 inches wide from the 'photo front', with about a 1 inch caliper trunk...The sandstone [w/lead, yep it is heavy] slab is 26 inches wide at the rear...The arch window is 1 1/2 inches at the base with a 2 inch sill plate, and the doorway is 2 1/4 inches wide...Most all of the stones in the wall are 1 inch or less at the widest point...Yes I could indeed build you a Texas style BBQ pit in a regulation size or miniature...What did you have in mind?...

Mr. Ash, my friend, what can I say about your comment...Although we have never actually met, I do feel a 'kindred' closeness with you, and such a thought is like 'icing on the cake' for me...You did bring a tear to these old eyes...

Mr. BO, even though you are probably tired of seeing this tree by now, I do appreciate your thoughts...But let's be real...'Devine' is of God or the Messiah...Thank you...

Ms. Candy, with the appreciation I know you have for works of this type from Mr. Nick your thoughts are certainly welcomed...To be even thought of in the context of Mr. Nick is an extremely high form of praise for me because I too admire his work and vision as one of the greatest artists of our nation...

Mr. Attila, welcome to the 'nut house' and thank you for your comment...It is a very highly regarded approval to me...

Ms. Irene, I do recall the day you and some of the other members of the club visited my garden, and in fact I was working on this planting at the time...Interesting you should mention the colors...As we both know the colors also represent our area being usually somewhat arid with an abundance of limestone and 'caliche' everywhere...The color of the 'turface' used to top-dress is very natural looking and the colors of the stones in 'real life' are also 'right' for this area, although I do plan to do a bit of ‘coloration’ on a few of the front stones if they do not age to suit the feeling...

Mr. Bill [aka Mcspeed], thank you for your approval, but most of the natives here try to avoid the 'Riverwalk' except when we have 'out of town visitors'...I did a couple years ago dress a tree for the club Christmas party with the strings of lights hanging down as they do on the Riverwalk...I have no doubt my experiences with the horticulture and upkeep of the rosemary will be much different in my climate than in yours...Here the rosemary is a common landscape plant, and needs no winter protection...With roughly a 10 to 11 month growing season I trim my rosemary about 3 times a year, unless I need a sprig or 3 of fresh stuff to grace a filet of salmon on the grill...Yes I do enjoy the flavor of fresh rosemary, and when you only have to step out to the garden...The herb will bud back on old wood somewhat with aggressive pruning, and 'clip and grow' is a good way to shape, however as with most conifers I never cut back beyond some green leaves...If they are not pruned hard each season they will definitely get very leggy...The inner growth only seems to happen with more openness...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 
Messages
2,776
Reaction score
15
Location
Michigan, USA
USDA Zone
5
Behr,

Nice visual image. I want to think on this for a little while, let it soak in, I have some questions, but I want to enjoy the image as presented first.


Will
 
Messages
136
Reaction score
10
Location
Milwaukie, Oregon
Behr--good job at conveying the feeling of standing right there. What really works in this planting is the suggestion of a mission; it doesn't overpower the tree. And the tree gets some help from the setting it's in. Thanks for showing it--Greg
 

BonsaiWes

Mame
Messages
128
Reaction score
1
USDA Zone
7
Lipman, U.S., Mexican, Spainish and the French have all spilled blood in the history surrounding these old missions. If these walls could talk.


Your rosemary is a perfect choice for creating the mesquite, it looks just like one!! You have already blown anything Lenz has done away with this trayscape but thought about an accent or something? made from the skull of a coyote?
 

Boondock

Shohin
Messages
253
Reaction score
1
Location
Puyallup WA USA (zone 8)
The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like a ham-and-egg breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.



grampz... errr... Behr, you're a pig



amazing work !!!
 

irene_b

Omono
Messages
1,415
Reaction score
2
The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like a ham-and-egg breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.

grampz... errr... Behr, you're a pig
amazing work !!!
OMG Dave!
What an analogy :D
But commited he is!!!
Irene
 

Boondock

Shohin
Messages
253
Reaction score
1
Location
Puyallup WA USA (zone 8)
I have nothing other than total respect for Behr. His viewpoint regarding bonsai is unique and refreshing. I have learned much from this man.
 
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, KS
USDA Zone
6
Something just struck me as I was looking at this wonderful representation. Great artistry, Behr, and the tree shows exactly the image you are aiming at!

What really struck me is that, speaking strictly off the cuff, someone please correct me if I am wrong, but Japanese saikei don't use mudmen or buildings strictly speaking. Chinese penjing plantings use very small figures to give a wider perspective in the tray. And although this as well as Nick Lenz' plantings use a much closer perspective (point A), the dominant theme is ruins rather than whole buildings.

An argument might be made that the Japanese attempt to emphasize untrammelled nature, and the Chinese the ascendancy of nature with man playing a small part. Along that way of thinking, what would these plantings as well as the gargoyle planting among others, be trying to say?

It could be something as simple as "a snapshot in close perspective" or something as profound (or profane depending on your political or philosophical leanings) as the victory of nature over the works of man.

Does anyone have thoughts along this line?
 

candyjshirey

Seedling
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire, NH, USA
USDA Zone
5b
It could be something as simple as "a snapshot in close perspective" or something as profound (or profane depending on your political or philosophical leanings) as the victory of nature over the works of man.

Does anyone have thoughts along this line?
Chris -

I don't see the "victory" of nature over the works of man in the stated compositions. Rather, the impermanence of man and nature. To me, Behr (and others) has managed to capture wabi sabi.

Andrew Juniper claims, "if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi." There are many in this thread that have alluded to the wabi sabi in Behr's composition. The success of this work is based in Behr's talent to capture the wabi sabi in his composition.

-Candy
 
Top Bottom