Bonsai is an ancient art form, as well as a practice in nature, originating in China.  Chinese Bonsai is inspired from myth and appears very animal like, recalling thoughts of serpents and dragons through gnarled stem and roots.  Later, the Japanese adopted it as a form of Zen Buddhism, mimicking a more natural tree landscape, a harmony of soul and nature.  As I read further, I am continually intrigued.  This art form is vast and requires daily attention.

We started a few hardy seeds, a long process.

  • using a to go container, fill with seed starting mix
  • dampen and place seeds on top of soil
  • cover with a fine layer of worm castings
  • cover (close the to go lid) and set in refrigerator for 4-6 weeks
  • seeds can germinate anywhere from a few weeks to a year after being removed from dormancy in the refrigerator
  • patience

After the bonsai’s first year of growth, you begin training its stems and roots.  Rather than purchasing seed and starting this way, you can also purchase trees.  Please grab a book or check out one of the following websites before purchasing.  Bonsai is a delicate art requiring more attention than a house plant.  The benefits are beautiful sculptures of nature, alive and able to live for hundreds of years.

Midwest Bonsai Society

American Bonsai Society

Bonsai Empire

Bonsai can be purchased in Chicago at Gesthsemane, Chalet, and B.C. Bonsai.

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