Little tiny trees

Duranta repens, pigeonberry

Durant repens, or pigeonberry, beginning its life as a bonsai

Living in Malaysia and not making bonsai is like living in Minnesota and not snowmobiling. You’re just not taking advantage of what is on offer. With a 12-month growing season, plenty of sunlight and rainfall throughout the year, the slow, slow pleasures of bonsai come just a little bit quicker.

It took me years to come around. I thought bonsai was for people who can’t appreciate the natural beauty of the plants growing all around them, that it was cruelty to trees, that it was kitschy. But really I just hadn’t seen the right bonsai. It was Harry Harrington’s site that did it for me. The images there are so sublime, so evocative, I thought if I could create something a tenth as beautiful one day, it would be worth it. Take the time to look through his galleries, they are stunning.

So far I’ve been puttering away at this hobby for about a year and a half. The picture above is the first piece I think has any potential, taken on the day I took it out of the ground, two days ago. Check back in three to five years for a finished product.