Bonsai from Longwood Gardens

Laura reminded me by her comment to my Ginkgo biloba post to look at the three photos of bonsai my friend Rosa took at Longwood Gardens on April 29, 2005. One of them is a Ginkgo biloba tree! So here’s the recognizable leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree that one of my books says looks like duck’s feet:


The sign to the left of this bonsai says:

‘A Working Display
At times, a bonsai may be perfectly groomed and be at its perfection for viewing. This is typical of bonsai you see in competitions or at flower shows, where only bonsai at their peak are on display.

Longwood’s bonsai are under constant training and maintenance. Longwood choses to have as many bonsai on display as possible on any given day. You will view some bonsai in perfect order and some in various stages of training. We hope you enjoy seeing the pruning and wiring techniques that are used to create these magnificent specimens.’

This one looks like a Metasequoia glyptostroboides to me:


And I’m not sure what this one is, but I think it is pretty.


There were more there. When I go in April I’ll try to take photos of all of the bonsai they have out for all of the bonsai lovers! Myself, I’m not a huge fan of bonsai. How about you?


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 12:03:05

    I have always loved bonsais but never owned one. For a long time I lived near a man who tended to bonsais on his mini-farmette. The entire property was a garden, complete with a huge pond, oriental flowers and figurines. It was like being on another planet, almost. Those are beautiful photos and I think I like the red flowering one the best but the other two are very nice also.


  2. Pam
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 12:17:14

    Mary – the mini-farmette sounds really cool! I love people who have interesting “yards.” It is my dream to get rid of all of the grass, but I have clay soil and it is really hard work to just dig one hole!
    I don’t know why I’m not into bonsai – with being a tree lover you would think I would be!


  3. Sandy
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 18:16:34

    I do like bonsai and wish I had the patience to grow them. That second onelooks like a tree in the forest, doesn’t it?
    By the way, your comments are coming through okay now. Guess the note to Akismet worked, slowly, but worked!
    I am having computer lag tonight for some reason. You notice anything different?
    Now, I have to go do supper, and don’t even know yet what I am going to make.


  4. Mon@rch
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 19:36:44

    WOW – I can’t believe how much work went into these to make them this way! WOW


  5. Pam
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 21:22:13

    Hi Sandy – I guess it does take quite a bit of patience from listening to people who enjoy doing it. The second one does look like a forest tree.
    Finally my comments are going through – yay! They finally figured out I’m not anyone bad.
    Sometimes I get really bad computer lag – I sometimes I catch it when everyone is on the Internet, or something is going on with my ISP. I got home at 7:00 and didn’t notice anything different.
    What did you end up making for dinner?

    Hi Mon@rch – I can’t either! Amazing what they can do with trees!


  6. Laura
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 21:32:38

    Yup – those are the familiar leaves!

    Do you know the English for that second one? 😉 Very pretty, whatever it is. I agree with Sandy that it looks like something you’d see in a forest or bog.

    I like to look at Bonsai – when they are displayed nicely. I don’t know enough about pruning and the other techniques to ever attempt one, but I love to see a multiple display that looks like a forest in miniature. Kind of sets my imagination to blazes!


  7. Pam
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 21:41:58

    Hi Laura,

    Yes, I’m sorry, it’s Dawn Redwood. I love it’s latin name – it was a tough one to learn and to spell correctly on tests so I learned it well!

    There is so much to see at Longwood that I didn’t focus in on the bonsai, but I will in April! Rosa will be happy because she loves it, too! Every March there’s a big garden show here and all of the bonsai people bring their trees in and it is fun to see the way they’re displayed. They trim them and shape them in front of us, too to show techniques.


  8. Susan Gets Native
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 23:31:48

    I love looking at bonsai, but I utterly fail at keeping one alive. I think I love them to death.

    I especially like looking at the bonsai at our Conservatory…the ones that are over 100 years old, and about 2 feet high. Amazing.

    Speaking of tests….???


  9. Lynne at Hasty Brook
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 23:51:58

    Bonsai are magical but I can’t even keep a Walmart potted plant alive!


  10. Pam
    Jan 23, 2007 @ 08:21:49

    Susan – I agree, it is fun to see bonsai that is over 100 years old!
    Tests – let’s see, there’s the one I took that I haven’t found out anything about yet except I am getting job postings from the state.
    There’s the one my friend had that he won’t find out the results from for another 8 days.
    And there’s the blogthing one that I’m hoping you’ll take because I want to see how it turns out for you!

    Lynne – I hear you! Which reminds me, I need to water the Euphorbia.


  11. Egret's Nest
    Jan 23, 2007 @ 10:04:27

    I like Bonsai and recognize them for the artwork they are. I can’t imagine owning one and caring for it. I tried once and it died while I was away for the weekend. They can be very delicate.

    I love Gingkos and that bonsai’d one is lovely.

    As a redwood lover, I find the idea of a bonsai’d redwood a trifle disturbing! They are meant to be huge and majestic not small and in a pot.

    One of our local state parks has all three types of redwood trees growning right next to each other — our own coastal redwood, the giant redwood, and the dawn redwood. It’s pretty cool to see the differences between them.


  12. Pam
    Jan 23, 2007 @ 13:43:35

    Hi Liza Lee, You’ve described how I feel about bonsai very well! I didn’t realize they were so delicate. I definitely would end up killing one if I had one. I like plants I can forget for a week or two and they’re still happy.
    I agree with you on the Dawn Redwood bonsai! I love the shape of a fully grown Dawn Redwood.
    Ohhhh, do you have photos of the different types of redwoods? I’ve seen them in person but it’s been a while. I’m sure you don’t take living with these trees for granted at all.


  13. Dipa
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:56:55

    I love Bonsai of any form. Yes, they require patience and hard work, and in the end it is really worth it. But there are some that are some that are considered beginners ones that require less attention, just watering and some nurseries carry them. The Longwood Garden’s Bonsai’s are fantastic!! Saw them many years ago, time to re-visit that place again!!!
    I have a 5inch tall Ficus that has so far grown just about an inch in the last 13 years!!!! I bought it at a local nursery and really requires very little care other than regular watering. On vacations I leave it with a friend so that it will be watered, however infrequently.
    Very recently I have started a Ginkgo bonsai but is not having as good a luck with this one. It has lost all its leaves and I am just wondering whether it is dead (I still water it) or will grow new leaves in the Spring!!!


  14. Dipa
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:58:25

    Would love to hear from other experienced Bonsai growers —-


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