Bonsai - Eloquent Silence
The art of bonsai is aerobatics in crop production. To do this, you need to be a little ... Japanese. After all, there is a bonsai occupation - a lifestyle, a special form of leisure and even a way of knowing the meaning of life.
In all my life I have not planted a single indoor flower and could not stand it when I saw window sills in other houses, covered with all kinds of geraniums, cacti, and violets. I considered this violence against flora: plants must live in freedom. So nature has decreed. Why argue with her? But my strong conviction once shook. It was twenty years ago when I was in the Far East on official business. There, in one of the houses, I first saw a living miniature tree. I was shocked! His eyes kept returning to him. From that moment, my "medical history" began. Diagnosis: bonsai.
Bonsai - where to start?
I found my first tree in a mountain crevice, in the same place in the Far East. It was a pine. She grew right on the stone, was pretty beaten by storms, but fought desperately for life. I rescued her from stone captivity, which, incidentally, greatly facilitated my task. Hardened in harsh environmental conditions, she was already ready to live as a bonsai. True, the roots were weak. Therefore, upon arrival home (I live outside the city), I first planted a pine tree directly in the ground. There she grew for almost a year, until she got stronger.
After studying the literature on bonsai, I got down to business. To get started, I prepared everything I needed:
- concave-shaped nippers (grabbing stumps along with part of the trunk, which gives quick wound healing);
- pliers for thick branches;
- two scissors with thin and blunt ends;
- small file (with a blade no more than 15 cm long).
Our advice: When choosing a plant for bonsai, pay attention to its root system. She must be strong, well developed and healthy. Molding a tree can begin in the second or third year of life, and pruning is carried out in the spring, when the first buds appear.
Choosing the Right Cookware for Bonsai
A year later, in the spring I began to prepare my Far Eastern "girlfriend" for a new place of residence. It was necessary to choose a suitable vessel. Guided by the advice of bonsai masters. So, they developed three rules for determining the size of dishes:
- The length of the plate is equal to or greater than two-thirds of the height or width of the plant.
- Width 1-2 cm less than the longest branches on both sides.
- Depth is equal to the diameter of the trunk at the base.
In my case, a vessel with such dimensions was required: length - 60 cm, width - 30 cm, depth - 4 cm. I chose a rectangular clay bowl with large drainage holes.
It is important that the bonsai bowl is made of natural material. It can be ceramics, earthenware, porcelain. The main thing is that both color and form are in harmony with the tree itself.
Now it was necessary to take care of the soil. In composition, it should be as close as possible to the one in which the tree grows in natural conditions. A good mixture of coarse sand with a small addition of humus is good for pine.
Bonsai shape selection
I decided to shape my tree in the classic vertical bonsai style. By nature, the pine was slender, with an even trunk. Therefore, I decided, let it grow. For a vertical style, it is important that the trunk is perfectly straight, tapering to the top, and the branches, slightly sagging, grow horizontally. In this case, it is necessary that the lower branch is the thickest, and the remaining branches are thinned towards the top. In this direction, I started work.
Before planting a tree in a bowl, I trimmed the thin roots (they were quite developed) and almost removed the central root.
It is believed that the ideal bonsai height is about 54 cm. My tree has already grown for 80 cm. Therefore, I decided to shorten it. To do this, sawed off the top just below the desired height, but with the expectation that the remaining upper branch took the place of the top. It turned out well. The wound on the trunk was almost invisible.
In the same way, I trimmed the side branches, giving the crown a triangular shape. At the same time he tried so that the branches were not located one above the other and were not at the same height. And so it happened: the remaining branches looked in different directions and did not interfere with each other. Moreover, the lower branch is located at a distance of 17 cm from the beginning of the trunk.
This is another rule of the classic bonsai style: the lower branch should be 1/3 of the height of the tree from the base of the plant
Choosing a place for bonsai
When the tree was cut, it was time to plant it. At the bottom of the bowl, I laid a thin drainage made of porous plastic, a thin layer of dried moss and several lumps of rough earth. A small layer of the main soil of sand and humus was poured on top and a pine was placed on it so that all thin roots were evenly distributed on all sides.
Then he again fell asleep with soil, filling all the voids between the roots. The soil was well compacted so that the tree sits firmly in place, and the upper roots peek out slightly above its surface. Now about watering.
Our advice: For forming coniferous species of bonsai, instead of pruning, use a pinch so as not to damage the remaining living kidneys. Spend it in the spring when the plant begins to wake up.
You cannot water a bonsai from above
I just put a tree with a bowl (it should drown) in a large basin with rainwater. After planting and the first watering, he arranged a tree quarantine and kept it for ten days on a quiet veranda (without drafts and direct sunlight). Then he began to take the pine tree out into the street, increasing the time of the walk every day. And so for two weeks she got used to the sun and wind. A month later, I gave her a permanent place on the northeast side of the yard. It grows with me there is almost no danger. Only in severe frosts I bring bonsai to the veranda.
I do not forget about my brainchild even for a day. Of course, daily trimming, watering and other procedures are not required. But I just can’t deny myself just to sit nearby, admire and, what a sin, hide in secrecy with a tree. These gatherings have turned into my daily ritual.
And you know, I began to notice changes in myself. What used to hurt and annoy me no longer bothers me at all. There was some kind of inner peace and confidence, I live in harmony with myself and the world around me. I bet this affects bonsai.
Alexander Proshkin. Krasnodon