The ancient art of Bonsai goes back generations. Some describe the art as requiring the delicate hands of a sculptor, one who knows that his creation will outlive him by generations. Others describe the practice as Machiavellian, whereby harmful tactics of manipulation are employed in order to force the miniature tree, and therefore nature itself, to bend to the master’s will.
Whichever side you fall on, it is hard to deny the absolute breathtaking beauty of this art. Master cultivator Ted Matson of the Huntington Gardens sits down with me and explains Deadwood (not the TV show), the Semi-formal Upright style, and the importance of a man named John Naka.
Training your Bonsai
The Formal Upright style
The Banyan Style