Training a Bonsai Tree
I have been trying out a couple of new kinds of plants for use in ripariums that might be good candidates for developing more or less as bonsai specimens. I started another discussion over in the Aquascaping forum about the idea of borrowing from ikebana
floral arrangements to design a planted riparium layout. Here is the link to that thread...
I copy here the general proposed characteristics for a riparium of thi sort...
- shallow and broad rimless aquarium enclosure
- the best hardscape and gravel materials
- graceful, slender and vertical driftwood branches
- nano fish
- erect riparium stem or grassy plant with open foliage and graceful form
- shorter midground foliage providing depth and contrast
Some of the new plants that I have in mind for this kind of planting are swamp trees or bushes and I imagine that it might be useful to use bonsai methods for getting them into the right shape, size and proportions to go along with the tank enclosure and other parts of the layout.
I don't envision training a small tree as a formal bonsai intended to look like a large mature tree in miniature, but instead as something more like literati
bonsai, which generally features a slender trunk rising up with natural curves. Here are some examples of literati bonsai trees... http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl...w=1070&bih=590
I have one of the plants that I intend to grow like this already. Buttonbush is a native North America swamp plant in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and it has attractive and fragrant white snowball flowers. Here is a still dormant plant that I got through an eehbay sale.
Most temperate zone trees/bushes like buttonbush do not like to grow indoors and require a cool winter dormancy period, but I found several references to growing it as indoor bonsai. So I'm going to try it out.
I have a few more pictures to share and I'll post more later. I should have more plant material this weekend and I'll try to get additional new photos and descriptions.
(Wikimedia Commons image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ce...cidentalis.jpg