It’s always a treat when I get to visit bonsai gardens that I don’t see very often. Although it’s thrilling to see great trees for the first time, revisiting favorites can be particularly satisfying.
I had both experiences on a recent trip to Ryan Neil’s garden, Bonsai Mirai.
Since my last visit seven years ago, a lot has changed. Most notably, the number of spectacular bonsai at Mirai has increased significantly.
There’s never enough time to study favorites, but I treat every moment with great trees as precious and as an opportunity to learn.
By far my favorites on this trip were the Ponderosa pines. On the best specimens the twists outdo junipers and the age of the deadwood is incredible.
Ponderosa bonsai can take many different forms, but the constants are interesting movement, great bark, and aged deadwood.
I had a chance to catch up with Ryan during the visit and learn about some of the recent improvements to the Mirai garden.
In addition to creating a beautiful greenhouse, Ryan added a striking shade structure to help with the summer heat.
Mirai’s shade structure
Ryan in the workshop
Because no visit to Mirai is complete without appreciating the collected junipers, here are two very different, and very interesting, specimens, including a favorite, No. 1.
Rocky Mountain Juniper No. 1
(Learn more about Rocky Mountain Juniper No. 1)
Rocky Mountain juniper
Thanks to Ryan, Ira, and the rest of the Mirai crew for their hospitality!
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