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Displaying Bonsai

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Bonsai plants can be displayed both indoors and outdoors equally well. The thing is though that the plants and trees used for bonsai are usually outdoor species. Displaying indoors is ok but should be restricted to just 1 or 2 days at a time in environments where there is no air conditioning or high temperature heating. Also many bonsai trees may not suit a particular garden or outside area, from such things as cold temperatures where the plant is a tropical specimen. So adequate protection is required.

The ideal place to display bonsai is the outdoor living area of the home, for example a covered terrace or open verandah. Shade house structures are also very popular and they protect the bonsai plant from hot sun and any drying winds. These days shade cloth can also be used to protect bonsai outdoors as they also protect from sun and wind. One particular good attribute of shade cloth is that it allows water penetration but in a misting effect.

Bonsai Plants In The Garden

We shall use Japan as a base point here where the temperatures very rarely exceed 35 C. Here bonsai plants are fully exposed with perhaps a border of trees for protection or maybe an ornamental fence of some sort (usually bamboo) to protect against any incoming winds. In the typhoon season these bonsai are usually tied down on display benches in readiness for the stronger winds that come.

When it is wintertime a wooden frame is usually erected over the bonsai bench in order to support wall sides and a roof. Special individual trees can be situated is box structures with one side open. Because frost is a great enemy of the bonsai, during frost periods these shelters will be completely closed on all four sides. They are made out of wood, rather than glass or plastic, as the wood will allow some air circulation which is vital for your bonsai tree.

For watering it is all done by hand. Each individual pot will receive specific attention after the soil has been tested with a moisture meter to ascertain the moisture levels and requirements. Pure water will be stored in ornamental pots where the water is exposed to the air for at least 1 day before it is used. Very rarely is tap water used to water bonsai. Goldfish are sometimes kept in these ornamental pots holding the pure water.

Where the zone is very warm, shade is provided by permanent shelters with tables and benches in them. The height of the roof with these shelters is not that important but a sloping roof is preferred as rain is then taken away from the pot area.

Bonsai plants should never be placed directly on the ground. A base is required and can be of timber, brick or concrete. If you have a pet dog then further protection for your plants is required for the obvious reasons.

With miniature bonsai the average pot will just contain a tablespoon or so of bonsai soil. This does not take long to dry out in warm temperatures, so its a good idea to take precautions to prevent rapid moisture evaporation. Overhead shade or shade cloth are the preferred options.

Traditional bonsai display is done on a table height bench. Individual trees can have their own small tables. These benches or tables should be situated where they draw attention and become a focus point. If you display bonsai on a bench they should be placed in a single row and any bonsai displayed on tall tables should always be tied in case of accidental bumping.


Bonsai Plants In The Home


When displaying bonsai in the home you dont want the plant to have to compete with anything else like a fine painting or brighly coloured piece of porcelain. Traditionally bonsai are displayed in alcoves in the main room of the home and are the only decoration in the room. The bonsai is never displayed alone in an alcove. It will be accompanied by a hanging scroll and another smaller bonsai which will be a contrast to the larger bonsai.

Existing furniture in the home can also be used to good effect with displaying bonsai. If you have a balcony of some sort they are good for fresh air and the occasional wetting from the rain of the plant, whilst looking good insitu.


Bonsai Pots


Selecting an appropriate pot for your bonsai is the finishing touch. As important as the pot is for display, it should never be forgotten that the most important thing with the bonsai is to select and train a tree and then choose a pot.

Bonsai pots come in all shapes and sizes but colours tend to be limited to earthy colours. For miniature bonsai bright coloured glazed pots can be found and some will even have landscape designs on them giving a Chinese effect.

Bonsai pot size has to be related to the size of the tree and the proportion between the two is very important when displaying. A general acceptance is the height of the tree can be one and a half times the length of the pot.





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