Bonsai, meaning “to plant in a tray,” is a tradition that originated in China about 2,000 years ago and later traveled to Japan. To cultivate a bonsai, a horticulture artist starts with cutting, seedling or small specimen of a woody-stemmed tree or shrub and then trains the plant to grow in a certain way, by pruning leaves and wiring branches into a desired shape. The goal is to create a miniature tree that looks natural, despite the artist’s constant manipulations. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Singer
Ed note: Singer’s Botanica Magnifica features beautifully photographed flowers and even earned a place in the National Museum of Natural History’s rare book room.
I hate bonsai. Hate them. They look like bound, brokenly obedient things to me. I don’t see cultivation or patience. I see a tight-lipped master with tray and scissors and cold dedication and no kindness.
This looks like a starved, twisted creature who’s reaching out with both arms, trying to escape its pathetic box even though it knows it will never see a forest.