Monday, 17 September 2007

Training first tree


eucalypt bonsai 070915, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

Last Christmas, Mum gave me a little Bonsai starter kit - pot, potting mix, fertilizer, training wire, and a couple of seedlings - along with some books on the art and how-to's of Bonsai. Quickly devouring through the books, it became clear that this was hobby that you commit to for years to get results. It also became clear that design and balance and technique were paramount.

I got a little spooked. I plonked the seedlings in regular little pots "to grow for a while" and worried about getting it right. There seemed to be so many things to take into account. One of the seedlings didn't make it through the summer, but the peppermint gum (eucalyptus nicholii) seemed to do ok.

Finally, this weekend just gone, I realised that I was over-intellectualising the whole process and that I didn't need to get it perfect first time. So I pulled up the gum tree seedling, trimmed its very vigourous roots and little branches and plonked it in the pot. It ended up off-centre because of the shape and angle of the roots. I wired the trunk and two of the branches so that it wasn't too lop-sided.

Now I guess we'll just have to see what happens.

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