Tokonoma garden display

 

DSC07732A wonderful day before winds will be ripping off some leaves the next days. The Tokonoma was used to do some recordings for next years new videos. I will later this year announce some news about these videos, so stay tuned. Cliffhanger intended.

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The tree is a Crabapple I have been working on for some years (12 years to be exact). Startet as a garden yamadori tree, I got from a friend. Cut back and regrown. Now it is time to add finer ramification, but it will newer be as dense as a Japanese maple. It has a different nature, and I have to go with this.

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Bonsai summer time

It´s summer time, and the Danish summer behaves as it sometimes does. It rains. It rains. And it rains.

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Not much sun lately, but temperatures are alright. It might not be good for humans who wants to enjoy holidays by relaxing in the garden with the sun shining, enjoying the bonsai, eating diner outside – but is surely good weather for the plants. Days shifting between a little sun and then rain to nurse the foliage. Trees are clearly growing good, and benefits from this kind of weather. And there is a special mood in a garden after a night with summer rain that one can enjoy. Waiting for sun though. 😉

Shohin-bonsai India

Do they grow Shohin-bonsai in India? Oh, yes they do. I didn’t really knew what to expect as I travelled to India in November. I was there to teach bonsai but had no idea if Shohin-bonsai was part of the bonsai world in the warm region of Pune. It was a great pleasure to watch how this part of bonsai also was present, and even small Mame-bonsai is developed. In the tropic climate trees are grown from cuttings and seeds, and develops satisfying trunks with speed.

Små træer under bearbejdning.

Small pieces on the workshop.

Especially Chinese Junipers and Shimpaku is grown with very good results. The Chinese Juniper differs from Shimpaku by being lighter in needle colour and softer than the more compact Shimpaku variety from Japan. A tropic variation also was present, but the looser growth and longer needles are better suited for medium and large sized bonsai.

The heat in the tropical environment demands much watering for the smallest bonsai. Therefore they are arranged at tables with pebbles who keeps the humidity up for a longer time. Watering is partly with a sprinkler system and followed by hand watering afterwards, to secure thorough watering. The advantage of the sprinkling system is that the trees are cooled down and leafs kept from being burned by the sun. This does not keep a man with a watering can going through the trees to secure everything is healthy and water evenly.

 

Tokonoma night lights

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Tokonoma version 2.0 Now light is installed in the outdoor Tokonoma, finished this summer for enjoying bonsai viewing. This makes it possible to make a display in the evenings during the darker periods of autumn. Displayed is a not yet finished Japanese maple, but chosen for the autumn leaves change.

New Tokonoma

Just finished building a new Tokonoma in my bonsai garden. A place for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of bonsai. The Tokonoma (床の間, toko-no-ma), or just toko (床), is a special niche used to set up items to appreciate. Seen in Japanese reception rooms, at temples, and at bonsai gardens. In a private house, the Tokonoma may be used for decorations when celebrating New Year and other occassions, as well as a welcome gesture to visitors.

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In the world of bonsai the size often is the size of a tatami mat. 90 X 180 cm, but this varies depending on design. My Tokonoma is build as a center point in the bonsai garden, and can be watched from inside the house as well.

I will use it on a daily basis, but especially for visitors, who can enjoy the beauty of bonsai when visiting our garden. Using the Tokonoma also sharpens my senses of appreciating the beauty of bonsai art.

The landscape painting references

The way bonsai are displayed in a Tokonoma / alcove, is also closely related to the landscape paintings. Therefore the expression and the mood of a bonsai display is always is some extend related to the landscape painting, and time of year. Even the time of the day may be considered. An evening mood with a low sun at a scroll painting can suggest this, or the moon in the night gives the feeling of the cool night e.g.

Having the landscape painting in mind when setting up a bonsai display makes it easier to arrange, read and understand. Referring to the landscape painting, is not only the way trees, grasses, flowers, mountains i.e. can be used as elements through the use of bonsai, accent plantings, Suiseki (viewing stones), scroll painting or accessories, but also the empty space is an important feature. The empty space is that extra element of the untold that is both present in the painting and the bonsai display. The empty space expands the untold part of the story and the imagination fills in the rest and adds the important peacefulness to the picture.

This can all be done in a very modest and simple way, like it can be done with a fuller image with more elements, but always with the lightness and simplicity of the open spaces and landscape paintings elements in mind.

Now this area with bonsai Tokonoma may be were it will be easy to find me in future.