What have you learned from "doing bonsai"??

TinyArt

Chumono
Messages
834
Reaction score
1,567
Location
Central Florida
USDA Zone
9
There's a lot for me to take in, just to grasp the basics. But tending to the plants -- I can't call mine trees yet -- keeps me grounded. What do they need today? What should I be doing next? Just watching them, I find some of the answers -- or rather, I can see what I've read about, so I can take a step without worrying.
 

Gaea's listener

Yamadori
Messages
83
Reaction score
139
Location
Ontario, Canada
USDA Zone
5b
I've learned many names of local trees and bushes. I wanted to learn English names for years and somehow couldn't but now it's easy. When studying species so closely, I've learned a lot about energy distribution, cycles and timing of an action and how the tree responds depending on many factors. It's a skill of listening.

I've learned to be brave in taking a risk, an action of chopping the tree which was going against all my instincts, but then seeing the results of the tree coming closer to the image I have. It taught me about cause and effect and a lot about myself.

Last year I couldn't imagine to have a patience and time to sit with the tree and checking all the leaves on my one boxwood and this year I can't imagine not doing it to all my 7 pre-bonsai almost every day lol.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
Messages
12,063
Reaction score
24,980
Location
SE MI- Bonsai'd for 12 years both MA and N GA
USDA Zone
6a
Let's see... 1) Some trees can survive the most amazing abuse and/or neglect for years while others on the same bench can suddenly sicken and eventually die without explanation despite apparently spot on care and husbandry. 2) Collecting/acquiring good bonsai material is addicting... but collecting/acquiring good/great/rare/antique bonsai pots is more so. 3) I look good with a farmer's tan and a wide brimmed hat. 4) Good soil components of the same size and shape really are that important. 5) A few drops of copper fungicide or lime sulfur on your soil won't kill your 600 year old juniper. 6) Really enjoying and keeping/working on very large trees is bad if you live on a steep hill and continue to get older. 7) I married the right woman. 8) My very steep and thorny vine infested back yard is slowly trying to kill me. 8) Standard Japanese maples are the most vigorous and suited to bonsai culture as compared to the cultivars. 9) I have been passionate about bonsai since I first started over 25 years ago and will keep participating at some level until I physically can't do it any more.
 

Carol 83

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,303
Reaction score
20,018
Location
IL
I've learned that this place is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in bonsai, but especially for those that are just starting out. It's also filled with an eclectic group of characters and personalities, that make for an interesting mix. Who needs FB? I have also learned to burn boxes and sneak new trees onto my benches.
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,917
Reaction score
7,810
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
Patience

You won't really learn bonsai reading books, and forums, watching videos and demonstrations. Those can get you started and give you hints, but you only really learn bonsai by working on trees.

You'll never learn everything so learn the important things and a few species really well.
 

ShadyStump

Masterpiece
Messages
2,470
Reaction score
3,585
Location
Southern Colorado, USA
USDA Zone
6a
My wife is bipolar, and we've been having a rough go of it in recent months. I've been staying with my dad. Sometimes people ask me why I've stuck it out with her so long, through mania, depression, episodes, narcissism, never a clue what I'm in for each day.
I never knew how to answer, mostly because I wondered myself. Sometimes feel like I'm too weak to leave for my own good.

Since things went sideways this time around I've been going for walks in the hills near by. I've brought back trees half the time, completely unplanned. Those along with what's back at the house with the wife and kids I have about a dozen trees, and half of them are dying. I keep finding more, trying new things. I have a rough day, and I sit and break up brick and terracotta for substrate over a couple drinks. My dad looks at me funny, but never questions it.
Sometimes people ask me why I keep trying even though I've killed half the trees I've ever brought home. I say it's because some times they don't die, and I have all the time in the world to make that worth it. And if a tree dies, I just get to learn more about whittling. They tell me that's a sign of strength.

I learned that what I love about bonsai is what I love about life.
I apparently only know one way to do things: slow and steady, taking the wins as they come, and learning from the losses; finding something beautiful each day, and taking it home; it's only time to give up on this dying thing once I've figured out what else it's good for, then the new work begins.
 

Potawatomi13

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,086
Reaction score
3,527
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
Never ask qustions about substrate
Patience(sometimes), appreciation for Literati, Yamadori, humility, watering. intolerance for "traditional" by the rules trees/practioners. And there are many here I would not want in my local club.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom