That brings us to today’s gardening tale. But first, you need to know that we have had a fairly long love affair with bonsai. I blame it on being born in Japan and Colleen traces her roots (pardon the pun) to a neighbor from her childhood. Now, we started doing bonsai on a less than optimal climate – the Arizona desert. And, throughout the years we’ve persisted, which is what doing bonsai takes – dogged, irrational, irrepressible persistence (in that respect, it’s a lot like writing.) Anyway, we got proficient enough that we actually transported several prized trees from our former desert abode to the Northwest when we moved here.
One such specimen was a “really neat” buffalo juniper. Now, these are among the most ineptitude proof plants for bonsai. They are tough, rugged plants that thrive in almost any environ. Yet, when we got it here to the land of rain, it started taking a turn for the worse. We suspect it was just shocked to have so much water combined with so little sunshine. Now, whenever a bonsai goes into shock, the best chance of reviving it you have it to yank it out of its pot and plop it into the dirt. So, after trying everything else short of animal sacrifice, we finally uprooted the juniper and stuck it in the ground with instructions to thrive or perish; after which we promptly forgot about it.
Being the kind of plant it is – stubborn, obstinate, and contrary – it chose to flourish with neglect. Which brings us to last weekend. After four years of being treated like the Dread Pirate Roberts handled Wesley (“Good night Wesley. Well done. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” – Oh come on! You HAVE to have seen the Princess Bride, right? It’s chock a block full of useful, quotable dialogue!) OOPS! off task again. Anyway, after four years of being ignored, we put it back into a pot. This is a great opportunity to see how a seemingly ugly bush goes to bonsai in training (or, in this case, retraining) in a matter of an hour or so. You also get to see what a mess the back porch becomes as we begin addressing the winter’s effect on the garden at large. Enjoy and we hope you find the juniper’s transformation as amazing as we did.