Learning from books is fine. Learning from magazines is fine. Learning from online tutorials is fine.
But when it all comes to an end, the importance of practice and learning through your own experience is maybe the most important and valuable part of your bonsai education. But it doesn’t come easy without a little help and inspiration from some friends.
Bonsai dreams versus reality
I watch almost daily enthusiasts showing their new trees on Facebook. Showing them with great enthusiasm and great confidence about the glory they will receive when a few cuts are made and it’s almost like time has passed before the days have ended.
Some of these trees, bought for a lot of money, will not be a good bonsai in their lifetime. Because the material isn’t worth the money paid. Not everything will be a good bonsai just because its price tag is high. Maybe the species doesn’t work as a bonsai, because certain talents need to be present. Mostly regarding the tree. But also from the artist.
Advice number one is to use trees proven to be good for bonsai.
Secondly, listen to the artists that have done this for years. She or he can give you the right direction to succeed with bonsai.
Thirdly, not any material is valuable for bonsai. I strongly go against the agenda that any material can be a good bonsai. It might end up as sort of a bonsai, but it may be a poor bonsai. Selling anything as being good for bonsai is just a sales trick. Not being honest.
Good bonsai comes most often comes from good material. And not just any material. Use your time to search for that material, rather than growing wrong or poor material that will end up with disappointment.
Knowing the species and how they grow is as important as knowing how to style and design a bonsai.
A Japanese maple isn’t just a Japanese maple. There are many varieties, and some are very good for bonsai growing. Others will fail or not develop well in a pot. The varieties react differently to pruning techniques, wiring and growing conditions.
Exceptions always are present when a talented artist spots something simple that can be transformed into something great. But again, then there is talent present in both tree and artist. The one doesn’t work without the other.
If you do that without listening to experienced bonsai artists, you will most likely fail a lot. Of course, you can find your own path your own way, but learning an artform without listening to experienced artists will add a lot of failures to the list.
What a waste of time that will be. I wished I had the same opportunities earlier, which is available today. I think I could have skipped some serious set back in the development of some of my bonsai if I had valid and inspirational sources at hand earlier.
Learning by doing has its own suspense, but boy I would have liked to skip a few of these mistakes.
The online value and relations
Today the value of sharing knowledge online has shown to be of great value. You can`t learn it all online. As you can`t learn it all in a book, a magazine or at a meeting.
Combined though, there are loads of teaching and together this makes a strong community of knowledge.
At Kisetsu-en I strive for excellence. Not only on the knowledge part but also on building up a relationship with members.
I hope you feel that.
June is still early. If you haven’t watched the monthly release these are the headlines of some of the content.
The monthly video magazine in June
Hope you will enjoy the main subjects divided into 5 videos with headlines
Seasonal care – special focus on maples
The species of the month is Hawthorn
Q&A on trident maple, Japanese maple and field maple
Yew styling – setting the bones
Watch now and remember all previous content always is available at the growing video library.
IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS – IMPROVE YOUR BONSAI