Thursday, June 20, 2019

Day 3527 - The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

From big things little things grow


With the bestie in town we headed to the National Arboretum to check out the view and enjoy some fine dining at their Conservatory Restaurant. With such an incredible outlook over Canberra we wandered to their back deck area for the mandatory photo session which lead us past the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection.



I've been to the Arboretum several times and have stopped in to marvel at these living artworks and each time I notice the collection seems to grow.

Of course I assumed they were all created and nurtured as part of the Arboretum's commitment to "rare, endangered and symbolic trees" but it turns out the collection of bonsai and penjing are all donated or loaned by the artists, their families and friends.

They are looked after at the Arboretum by volunteers who are knowledgeable in the area of dwarfed trees  and miniature landscapes.   Apparently new volunteers are always welcome and training is provided in this ancient art.

What's the difference between bonsai and penjing?  Bonsai is Japanese and Penjing is Chinese. That simple.










Usually I'm writing about the idea that from "from little things big things grow".  But bonsai is the opposite. It takes something that is going to grow big and keeps it little.

Which got me to thinking about life.

There are so many aspects of our world that we feel are too big to deal with or that problems are enormous and will never be resolved.

But these things are as a big or as little as we choose to make them.  Bonsai and Penjing are the art of reduction.  These trees are tiny versions of what they could potentially be simply due to the patience, the mindfulness, the pruning and the tending of an individual who chooses to take the time and the mindset to not let them run wild.

Perhaps there's a lesson in that for all of us.




Of course I bet you're all DYING to see what my bestie and I have been up to since she's been in Australia.  Well we've just been spending time together to be honest.  Tending our own garden of 30 years of friendship.

Here we are at the Arboretum village centre just outside the Bonsai collection. Twinning in our matching sweaters.


For more information about the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection click here



Are you a fan of Bonsai?

What BIG wild thing in your life could you make small right now? 

Been to the National Arboretum in Canberra?


It's Lovin' Life Linky time.  What are you lovin' about life this week?




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

13 comments :

  1. Well, you learn something every day. I love looking at bonsai but go between thinking it's beautiful and not liking the fact that it's forced to be smaller than it could be - that whole metaphor for life thing, as you say. But then there's also the point that because it is small and completey formed you can see the whole of it rather than just a portion of it, which is perhaps another metaphor & is perhaps a tad too philosphical for this time of the morning.

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  2. Years ago, my sister had a bonsai tree. I wonder what happened to it. Would love to give this a go, I am sure there is a complicated art to it. These trees look old and wise in their little pots and some I see look like they are surviving on a rock!

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  3. Thank you for the thought provoking explanation of bonsai and its philosophy, Leanne. Something for me to ponder today.

    SSG xxx

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  4. Good to see this and learn more too. I had a friend who was a bonsai fan and there was a special nursery in Castle Hill just for them. Loving your bestie and you shot...and the times you are experiencing together. I am sure you will love reading Kirsty's post from Women of Courage..but you may need a tissue.
    I am off to Gosford to a Head and Neck cancer group meeting.
    Denyse x

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  5. Just beautiful Leanne. Bonsai and Japanese gardens are just so peaceful and relaxing. Thanks for the photos I feel quite Zen now. #lovinlifelinky

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  6. I had never heard of Penjing before! I love learning something new. Wonderful to see you smiling and enjoying the company of your bestie. Enjoy the special time together! :-) #TeamLovinLife

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  7. I remember my father was given a bonsai tree as a present once. He felt sorry for it and repotted it to a bigger pot and then planted it in the garden. It grew quite big. A different kind of love

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  8. Well I learnt something today. I had never heard of penjing. Both of these art practices are so beautiful, but I don't think I would have the patience. Have a fabulous time with your bestie! and thank you again for the link up.

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  9. I love looking a Bonsai, I find that they are truly amazing. Thanks for sharing them. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

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