Accents or companion plantings for bonsai are maybe something most people relate to in the summer period. and being something you put together just up to a show where it is used for the display.
Accents are used to compliment the bonsai display, whether it is a Shohin display or a single tree display. The accent adds the feeling of the landscape and further expresses the season.
There is the almost same approach to accent and companion planting as there is to bonsai. The expression of age. On a bonsai, it is the bark and well-ramficated branches and overall expression that shows age. Companion planting is a bit different. The planting itself is often made of soft younger plants and they can’t express age directly.
There is a difference though between a freshly planted accent in a pot and one that has two or three seasons growing fully mature in the pot. You see the difference when it set new growth and kind of fills out the space allocated for it.
Therefore I plan my accents for bonsai displays a good time ahead of a show. Or rather, I do just grow them so I have a selection of plants to choose from later on.
At the moment it is Sedum in different pots that flowers and fade again. I have several because they are good for very small and shallow pots, coping with a small amount of soil and narrow space for their roots. Others sine at other parts of the season.
Sedum and fern in autumn mood.