My father’s mother who I never met (she died when he was in college) used to have bonsais. There are family stories of how I am a “stamp out” of her both physically and in terms of my willful personality. I guess I follow in her footsteps in another way now. Plant tastes! I think bonsais are fascinating and would have loved to see her collection (she had several that were decades old). I decided that I wanted my own bonsai collection. Four years ago, I bought my first bonsai, a juniper. It died in the chaos that is college dorm rooms because I kept the heat on too high for it in the winter time (experiencing negative temperatures was freaking this maritime climate girl out!). Two years later, I decided to try again since I wasn’t in a dorm.This is what I have now.

I kept it outside in a sheltered place while I was living in Seattle and it thrived. I brought it with me to Spokane and put it out on my deck once the heavy snows were over, reasoning that if I left my juniper out in the snow in Seattle, it should do just fine in snowless Spokane. However, I recently noticed that a few of its needles are browning. I don’t think it is the cold and though my apartment has southern exposure, we certainly haven’t gotten hot enough to burn the needles. I thought about it a bit and realized that the wind almost always is coming from that direction and that whenever I went out on the porch, the juniper always needed watering. So I think it is the wind that is troubling my bonsai and I have brought it inside to test my theory.  Hopefully being out of the wind and more regularly watered will help it perk up. I still need to decide exactly how I want to shape it, by trimming back the excess growth, but I’m afraid I’m horrible indecisive! Do you guys have any advice?

In related news, a little while ago, we got in a shipment of adorable dwarf shrubs and trees at the nursery. They are SO cute! They are like little botanical candy. Myself and I co-worker bent over them and made cootchy-coo noises when they arrived. I was amused to catch one of the guys making similar gah-gah noises at the plants like they were babies later on in the day. No one is immune from their charms!

But before you decide that we all need our heads examined, take a look at this picture:

It is a Tsukumo Dwarf Sawara Cypress. It grows less than an inch a year and is hardy to -30 degrees! Isn’t that awesome?

It is the perfect bun shape! So cute!

And on top of that it looks like a tiny tree when viewed from the side! Rather dignified for it’s size though you have to get down pretty low to get this view.

I have a small blue bonsai pot back in Seattle that I think I will pot this guy into. I’ll put up pictures when I get that done.

My grove of bonsai trees is growing and someday I will have a whole deck full like my grandmother.


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