07 May 2009

Tray trees

Every year at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival there are several stand-out gardens that warrant a closer look by guests touring the gardens and by the community admiring them from afar. Among this year’s fantastic gardens are the fragrance, tea, troll, Pixie-Hollow, and bonsai. Over the next few weeks, the Main Street Gazette will be taking an in depth and up close look at these various gardens. Today, however, we’ll start with Japan’s bonsai garden.

During the International Flower and Garden Festival, the always lovely gardens of Japan and shore alongside the torii gate are accented by beautifully sculpted bonsai specimens. This year’s displays were created with the help of the Bonsai Societies of Florida, and featured not only dramatic examples of bonsai, but also some information on the history, pruning, watering, and fertilizing of bonsai. Below includes the bonsai information provided by the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

BONSAI Centuries ago, the Japanese began collecting and potting trees that had been distorted by nature. Bonsai, or “tray trees,” is the art of cultivating dwarf trees, the duplication of nature in miniature. Bonsai plants of great age are highly valued in Japan.

BONSAI PRUNING The aim of pruning bonsai is to recreate the form of a tree in nature. The windswept trees that cling to the windy mountainsides are favorite models. When pruning, gardeners carefully consider each cut and delicately prune to resemble a full size tree. Metal wire is often used to bend branches and train them to grow in a certain direction over a long period of time, enhancing the look of enduring beauty.

BONSAI WATERING Due to their confined root area, bonsai need frequent, if not daily, watering. A layer of green moss is helpful in reducing water lost through evaporation. Also, setting bonsai on a shallow tray of pebbles and water can increase the humidity around the tree and help it to avoid drying out.

BONSAI FERTILIZING Bonsai appreciate frequent, small doses of fertilizer throughout the growing season. The small amount of soil cannot store nutrients for future use so fertilizer must be applied a little at a time. During the dormant season, usually winter, it is best not to fertilize bonsai.

1 comment:

Princess Fee said...

I adore these Bonsais - I think they are gorgeous! So thank you for sharing them all, for us people who cannot get to the World right now...