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A Bonsai Idea - Dwarf Shrubs And Rocks

This is a great Bonsai project for a classroom or family activity. The Japanese took this form of art and created beautiful displays throughout Japan. Their unique way of shaping shrubs has become popular all over the world, especially in the United States.

There are less complex projects that you as a teacher, student, or parent can do. Below are a couple of easy projects done by a local landscaper here in Greenville, South Carolina. Bill Sharon is a graduate of University of Georgia and owns Paradise Gardens. He created the two small projects using dwarf shrubs, natural rocks, and fresh moss.

Two Bonsai Ideas


Blue False Boulevard Cypress With Moss And Rocks

Juniper and Cotoneaster

Sea Green Juniper and Cotoneaster and Rocks

The first structure has a Blue False Boulevard Cypress planted in the tiny garden. The second structure has a Sea Green Juniper and a Tom Thumb Dwarf Cotoneaster. As you can see, they are not complex, making this a great educational activity. If you noticed each one has a base of a larger flat rock.

See if you can find these rocks out in nature, and if you can't, they can be purchased at a rock and stone supply company. Some nurseries and garden centers will carry them, too. The smaller rocks are positioned to stabilize the the plants and dirt.

Bill created the smaller rocks as a border around the miniature garden. Of course you will have to use dirt in the garden area. A light weight potting soil can be used. Add some humus and vermiculite to the soil.

The other option is to add regular dirt from the ground. This will depend on the soil conditions in your area. Notice how the soil is mounded near the plants. This will give some depth for the roots. He created an uneven surface to give the appearance of a natural shaped environment. He also used wire to attach the different materials.

Herbee's Hot Buzzing Bonsai Tools


Entire Set Of Tools

More Pruning Tools

If your age group is unable to deal with wiring, scale down this project to one smaller garden. Use smaller rocks and glue them to the base rock and to each other.

He finished the garden by adding natural moss. I loved how in the first picture, he put a rock on the outside of the garden and covered it with moss. Moss is available in our area and gives you a great finished look.

Other ground covers to think about are Corsican mint, creeping Thyme, and Pearlwort. If these won't grow in your area, a small amount of pine straw or mulch will complete the look. Either of these projects can be done using the topiary or bonsai method.

Although both of these art forms take time to create, each represents a different appearance as they are developed and maintained. The topiary shrub or tree is formed into a specific shape such as an animal or ball, or they are done in different layers. You will find topiary plants in many formal gardens throughout the world.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Properly Pruning Shrubs And Trees --- Juniper Family

Indoor Plant Activity For Winter Besides Bonsai --- More From Garden Learning Center

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