Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feng shui and bonsai power

By Brian J Worley

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice as old as Chinese culture itself (believed to utilize the Laws of both heaven and earth to help one improve life by receiving positive "spiritual energy" that is part of every living thing.

Feng shui literally means "wind and water," but this is merely shorthand for an environmental policy of "hindering the wind and hoarding the waters."

The elements, water, rain, wind, fog and sun were believed to be the energy of heaven and earth. Therefore Feng shui is frequently translated simply as "energy flow.

Most of today's feng shui schools teach that it is the practice of arranging objects (such as the placement of furniture) to help people achieve harmony with their environment.

By manipulating our position in our environment we can control the electro-magnetic energies that surround us

Taking all that into consideration, the origins of bonsai can also be found in the classical Chinese gardens over two thousand years ago.

These creations of carefully pruned trees and rocks are small-scale rendition of the natural landscape. Their artistic composition captures the spirit of nature and distinguishes them from potted plants. They are often referred to as living sculptures or as three-dimensional poetry.

Chinese gardens were created in the same way as a combination of landscape and paintings together with poems - this was the so-called "poetic garden."

The design of Chinese gardens was to provide a spiritual utopia for one to connect with nature, to come back to one's inner heart, to come back to ancient idealism Chinese gardens are a spiritual shelter for men, a place they could be far away from their real social lives, and close to the ancient way of life, their true selves, and nature.

By joining the two cultures, Feng shui and bonsai we can create a unique ancient corner of our garden or home to relax from the frustration and stress of our modern western world

The appeal of including bonsai into the Feng shui equation is that it offers something very practical and unique.

In other words, different trees work best with certain styles and can be placed in the position according to the energy flow of that location.

Each location and environment is different too for each bonsai, and have to be considered when choosing where to place you're Bonsai Tree.

Many garden plants have essential symbolism. Pine trees represent wisdom and bamboo represents strength and upright morality. Plum trees are also extremely valuable to the Chinese for their beautiful pink and white blooms during winter. By incorporating Feng Shui and bonsai in a corner of your garden or home you can create a special place to relax and live more harmoniously with nature The living bonsai will change from season to season and from year to ... and as time goes on it will become more and more beautiful. Enjoy

About the Author

Japanese Bonsai For More Information on the Art of Growing and caring for bonsai. Go To:-

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Substitute For Popular Bonsai Species

By: Patrick Desnoyers

Bonsai culture offers the greatest and most beautiful tree species on this planet. Since bonsai originate from asia, most likely from China and Japan, the most popular tree’s are originating from this region.

Doing bonsai elsewhere in the world can be tricky. If your climate doesn’t match the climate in Japan, you may not be able to grow successfully some of the most popular species. Your temperature range could be too cold in winter or too hot in summer. The best examples are the tropical species that cannot be grown year long in the northern climate unless you have the proper setup indoor or the winter could be too cold for hardy species.

Rest assure, nothing is lost. Many tree species originating from certain region or growing locally can be great substitute for a bonsai candidate. The most praised maple is without a doubt the trident maple. (Acer buergerianum) This specie is cold hardy to USDA zone 5 which is around minus 27 celsius. In Canada, the winters are getting harsher temperature. A great substitute would be the Amur maple (Acer Ginnala) which is cold hardy to USDA zone 2, minus 45 celsius. This species is a great replacement since it is very cold hardy, possesses small trilobed leaves and is a fast grower.

Other species liked from bonsai enthusiast are the Japanese pines. But, once again, cold can be a disadvantage. To the rescue comes the mugho pine. This pine will tolerate some very cold temperature plus it is a very tough plant tolerating many bonsai mistake. The mugho pine needles can be reduced much like the Japanese counterpart plus it displays a textured bark.

Another popular specie is the Chinese elm (ulmus parvifolia) but once again, cold is hard on this specie. For a replacement, the less known Siberian elm (ulmus pumila) can be as beautiful as the chinese one. Much like the Chinese elm, the Siberian elm as twiggy branching, grows fast and leaves are reducing well with proper technique.

Some others tree species are the American or tamarack larch (Larix Laricina) for an evergreen, the sargeant crabapple (malus sargentii) for a flowering and fruit producing tree or the European birch (betula pendula) for a broadleaf tree. These all displays beautiful characteristics. For instance, the American larch is the only evergreen to loose it’s needles when fall show itself, the needles will turn from green to yellow for a few weeks before shedding. The sargeant crabapple will give you some nice white to pink flowers in spring and produce red fruit in autumn. The European birch as a nice white paperish bark that peel itself easily. Plus all these are moderate to fast growing tree that would yield a nice bonsai in a few years.

About The Author

Patrick Desnoyers - Avid full time hobby bonsai grower. As been practicing bonsai and gardening for more then 8 years. Owner of, a website with ressource for bonsai seeds and tree seeds.