The Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection only recently re-opened after several years of closure due to lack of funding. Now that it's open again, I encourage everyone to take advantage of this wonderful resource.
One small lesson and then I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine when people mispronounce the word "bonsai." I don't know why. I have no Japanese ancestry. I'm just picky, I guess. Usually I hear people say "bon" as in James Bond or bonbons, and "sai" with a "z" instead of an "s." The correct pronunciation of bonsai is more like "bone-sigh". The way most people pronounce it sounds more like banzai, which is a Japanese cheer or war cry. Not really the same thing, O.K.?
Anyway, enough of my annoying nitpicking. Enjoy!
|A small conservatory houses several tender bonsai, such as this magnificent bougainvillea. Many vines and shrubs make wonderful bonsai, and they don't have to be tender species, either.|
|I like big trunks and I cannot lie.|
|Some of these trees have especially interesting histories. This mountain hemlock was collected in 1986 from the Mt. St. Helens area, making it a local!|
|This Tucker oak has a hollow trunk.|
|In places, the living tissue supporting the crown is less than an inch wide.|
|The dead wood flakes in paper-thin layers, giving this oak a weathered, battered appearance that adds to the illusion of age.|
|The base is hollowed and stripped of bark to add a weathered appearance. The wires in the back are being used to pull the branch down, so that it resembles more a branch on a full-sized, mature tree.|
|This juniper has two strips of bark moving up the main trunk in a helical fashion.|
|Everyone has room for a blue Atlas cedar. If not a full-sized model, how about a compact?|
|This Juniperus occidentalis, or Sierra juniper, has beautiful blue foliage contrasting with the large area of dead, bleached wood at the base. Living tissue at the back of the trunk supports the branches above.|
|Ah, one of the multicolored Satsuki azaleas. Not all Satsukis have this feature, but when they do they can be spectacular.|
|This cultivar has dark pink, lighter pink, white, and individual flowers streaked with multiple colors.|
And this is where I'll leave you for now. Enjoy this odd azalea with its marvelous multicolored flowers and beautiful branch structure.