Posted by: maureenc | April 28, 2014

Bonsai and Penjing

Another reason to visit our country’s Capitol……to visit the arboretum especially the Bonsai and penjing! Isn’t the Banksia FANTASTIC! I kept looking for the “big bad banksia man” to appear


A popular feature of the National Arboretum is the extensive collection of bonsai and penjing. If you are like us you will have some idea about bonsai, being miniature versions of trees, growing in small decorative Japanese dishes. Bonsai has been practised in Japan for at least 1,200 years.IMG_2074

Penjing is quite similar but involves more than one tree. Penjing is the art of growing a miniature landscape in a pot or tray, and has been practised in China for at least 1,400 years.

Penjing Penjing

The oldest known bonsai and penjing are over 600 years old. While trees can live for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, bonsai and penjing can live indefinitely because of the constant regeneration of their roots.

Coastal tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum Coastal tea tree, Leptospermum laevigatum

About 80 bonsai and penjing are usually on display in the Collection, including a variety of traditional and modern styles, and both exotic and…

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  1. So cool! I never knew about Penjing! Amazing examples of both that you posted!

  2. Until I read dadirri dreaming’s blog I was also unaware of Penjing!
    She blogs some really interesting quirks of nature and my reblogging of her work is to show my appreciation.
    Thankyou for following my blog..I am finding your travels very interesting. I’m glad I finally found you! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for reading! It was quite the adventure and I wanted others to know more about that fascinating part of the world. I appreciate your well curated post and reblogs as well!

  4. The Bonsai is one interesting plant. It can take the shape of almost anything. Like in the first photo of the reblog, it looks as if it has legs. It amazes me just how consistently green their leaves are. They must need a lot of water. Never knew you had Bonsai up there in Brisbane. There, I learnt something new today! 🙂

  5. Mabel! I used to think it was “torture” the way bonsai gardeners would coil copper (wire) around branches to create a twisted and gnarled appearance. Check out this site to see what I mean (
    Truth be told, ALL the bonsai and Penjing shown in this posting are at the Arboretum in Canberra A.C.T.
    Bonsai grow well in SEQ…..except for an Umbrella tree that lasted for 25 years, most of my attempts don’t get past 3 years!:-(

  6. Ugh, it would be unsightly and hurtful to the plant to wrap wires around them. Thanks for the link. Such an array of bonsai plants and pots there. It must be hard to maintain Bonsai plants. They seem to be very big plants and require a lot of tending too.


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