Last fall’s visit to Mr. Kita’s bonsai collection was a real treat – I can only imagine how nice it would be to see such a scene in one’s own backyard.
A towering hornbeam
Few gardens include large Chojubai like the specimen below.
Japanese quince ‘Chojubai’
Kita’s garden had two.
A stately pair of Chojubai
The hinoki in Kita’s garden offered examples of what we aim for when we develop trees with similar growth habits.
Beneath the foliage of each pad lie scores of thin branches that lead back to each primary branch – development that requires both time and technique.
Well-developed branch pads
Hinoki branch pads – side view
It was also clear that these trees received a lot of food. In many cases, fertilizer baskets completely lined the perimeters of the pots.
In keeping with the aesthetic of the synthetic turf that lined the ground, the trees were displayed on cement tables I’d seen in a number of Japanese enthusiasts’ yards. The tables can let water drain or pool to retain moisture as the season requires.
Cement bonsai table
These details, however, received little notice – we were too busy with trees like the famous white pine below.
Tekka Kazura – Trachelospurmum asiaticum
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