The Japanese adopted bonsai from the Chinese where it first appeared almost two thousand years ago, as pun-sai. The literal meaning of the word bonsai is tree-in- a-pot. The Japanese mastered the art of growing specimen trees in pots using various techniques. They have refined the art of bonsai to a much greater extent than in China. Initially, the simple trees were restricted to the Buddhist monks and their monasteries, but later they represented a symbol of prestige and honour of the aristocracy.
In modern Japan, bonsai represent a symbol of culture and ideals, no longer reserved for the upper-class. Both the executive and factory worker share the joy of the miniature tree. In Japanese culture, bonsai represents a fusion of strong ancient beliefs and Eastern philosophies of the harmony between man, the soul and nature. The Japanese art requires careful weighing of shape-harmony-proportion-scale combined with nature.
Any tree that has been planted in a small pot is not a bonsai. Technically, a bonsai has to be pruned, shaped and trained into the desired shape. To achieve the desired shape and size of the bonsai, the growing conditions are carefully controlled. The branches that are essential for the plant's overall design are allowed to remain while unwanted branches are pruned.
The roots are restrained to a small pot and are regularly trimmed to control the plant's growth. Bonsai are available in different styles, and change from season to season. They require pruning and training throughout their lifetime. They live to be hundreds of years old, and the older ones are more expensive than young ones.
There are many bonsai centres in the UK.
You can easily buy an indoor and outdoor bonsai. Indoor bonsai are woody-stemmed plants with limbs wired to direct the growth. Some of the indoor bonsai include ficus, aralia, azalea norfolk pine, serissa, gardenia, or boxwood. While some of the outdoor bonsai include junipers, maples, elms, pines, ginkgo, hawthorn, and flowering crab apple.
Like all other plants, bonsai need special care, they usually need to be watered every day or two. It is best to maintain the same time of watering every day, whether early in the day or late in the afternoon. Make sure you do not over water as too much is as bad as too little water. Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. There are many books and tutorials on bonsai or you can also visit your local bonsai centre. SearchMe4 is a local information and online business directory that contains the contact details of the UK bonsai centres.
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