the Japanese art form in which woody plants are grown in
containers as representatives of aged or interesting
trees, has become a challenging and creative -- yet quiet
and satisfying -- hobby for many Americans.
The practice of bonsai
culture is marked by a
close relationship between the potted tree, the forces of
nature and the grower. The grower directs the tree's
development while providing water and other needs on a
regular basis. The tree in turn grows and changes giving
continuing evidence of the cycles and beauties of nature
while developing as an expression of what the grower finds
pleasing. The process is continuous. Unlike many other art
forms, bonsai are never finished.
As with swimming, growing
flowers or building sand castles, growing bonsai can be
enjoyed on many different levels. One does not have to
create masterpieces to take pleasure in both the process and
people attracted to the bonsai hobby, it is helpful to do
some reading first to make progress faster with fewer
setbacks. A surprising number of books and periodicals are
devoted to the subject and most librarians are very helpful
in obtaining material not immediately available in local
libraries. The publications listed below are recommended for
a well rounded introduction to the subject.
For those seeking more
support and stimulation, membership in
local and national, is very worthwhile.