Monday, October 3, 2016

Bonsai & Penjing

Over the last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington D.C. on the grounds of the U.S. National Arboretum.

The collection began in 1976 with a donation of plants from the Nippon Bonsai Association to the United States, with the collection growing to 150 plants. 

Some of these plants date back several decades and some several centuries. 

Japanese White Pine
Started: 1873

Japanese White Pine
Started: 1625

Yes, the tree above was started in 1625. At almost 400 years old it was an amazing site to see.

I was expecting to see some wonderful bonsai when I first decided to visit, but I was surprised at the degree to which the museum offered so much more. I also was not well informed about the Chinese art of Penjing and was able to expand my own understanding of this art as a result of my visit.

The Chinese pavilion was very nice and had some great specimens.

I also loved the way they incorporated flower imagery into the window screens.

There was also a large collection of North American plants.

I also admired a potted Japanese Dwarf Male that was near the entry way. It gave me hope that I might be able to do something interesting with the Maple I recently located near my Moon Window.

The Museum, which is open daily from 10:00 - 4:00 is free, and well worth the visit.

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