Bonsai trees are gradually being welcomed into the gardening and landscaping themes of individuals from all continents. These beautiful, charming trees are excellent because of their variety of shapes and sizes which can easily fit into any plot of land. While all bonsai trees are grown so that they are significantly smaller than their full grown counterparts, there still exists relative differences in the height of bonsai trees. However, despite the overall convenience of their size, choosing to landscape with bonsai trees can actually be somewhat difficult. Traditionally, there are several factors that one must consider when creating a landscape appropriate for best displaying bonsai trees.
1. Choosing the appropriate rocks
While bonsai landscaping obviously does include a strong focus on the bonsai trees themselves, any respectable bonsai landscaping scheme must also highly incorporate rocks as well. This is because bonsai gardens, unlike other traditional gardens, should be designed to tell a “story.”
Typically, a bonsai garden must include both large and small rocks. Small, pebble-sized rocks should be used around the base of each bonsai tree while large rocks should be used as additional focal pieces in the bonsai garden. These large rocks should be more vertical than horizontal in shape; ideally, these large, vertical rocks will also be more top-heavy. In other words, the base of the focal rocks in a proper bonsai garden landscape will be narrower than the top of these rocks; rocks shaped as such are more visually appealing, as they give the impression of a dangerous cliff or narrow rock overhang. Additionally, when deciding between a rock with vertical cracks and a rock with horizontal cracks, choose the rock with vertical cracks; these cracks more easily allow for bonsai roots to fixate to the rock formations. Finally, the rocks chosen for bonsai landscaping should be black, gray, white, brown, or red in color; using rocks covered in green moss is not ideal, since this greenery will make it difficult for the bonsai trees to stand out.
2. Choosing the bonsai tree styles
After selecting appropriate rock formations, determine if there will be a distinct style of bonsai trees displayed in the landscape. More specifically, will the landscape focus on displaying bonsai trees that are groomed to appear to follow the conventions for windswept, half-cascade, or semi-cascade styles of bonsai trees? Or perhaps the garden will be designed to include upright informal curving or straight trunk bonsai trees? Although there is definitely no “right” answer for choosing a style (or styles) of bonsai trees, keep in mind that some bonsai tree shapes are more difficult to maintain than others; for example, a formal upright shape for a bonsai tree is typically considered the easiest tree shape to maintain for beginners.
3. Arranging the trees
Next, after choosing the rocks and trees for your bonsai landscape, arrange them in your given landscaping space. For optimal visual appearance, consider arranging the trees and rocks so that there is an equal balance of filled and free space. In other words, do not place all of the tall elements by each other; equally disperse the tall and short items, so that the entire landscape feels full.
4. Maintaining the bonsai trees
Once arranged, bonsai trees must be meticulously pruned in order to maintain their desired shapes. This process is dependent upon the chosen bonsai tree styles (see step two) as well as the specifications for each particular type of bonsai tree; some trees only need to be pruned once a year while others may require seasonal trimming. Additionally, the age of a bonsai tree should also be considered when making decisions regarding bonsai maintenance; many trees require a different regularity in pruning methods for young and mature trees, and the definition for “young” or “mature” bonsai trees is also specific for each particular species.
5. Adding complimentary elements
Finally, if desired, add other elements to your bonsai landscaping that further enhance the beauty of the trees and rocks. Such elements might include water features like small waterfalls, fountains, or artificially created brooks. These items do not necessarily need to be grandeur in appearance; they are just small enhancements to an already established bonsai landscape project.