Usually when the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens hosts a special exhibit, visitors can expect to find something extra peaking out from all the greenery, like the Chinese Latern show I attended in 2017. But on my most recent visit I found myself in a small events room, surrounded by small folding tables. Lined up on each one were delicate, twisting bonsai trees cultivated by local gardeners.
Each one came with a small card showing the type of tree, and how long it’s been “trained” by it’s owner. Training is the process of shaping the bonsai tree, primarily by pruning and then wrapping the branches in wire until they set in the desired shape. If you look closely, you can see wire wrapping some of the trees in my photo’s below. Some of the trees (like the one shown above) have been painstakingly cultivated for 30 years. I’m sure any writer with their own WIP can relate to the dedication and patience that would require!
Hades Cypress, 20 years old, trained 15 years
Crepe Murtle, 4 years old, trained one month
Chinese Elm, twelve years old, trained two years
Chinese Juniper, 5 years old, trained two years
Kingsville Boxwood, 30 years old, trained 25 years
Harland Boxwood, 10 years old, trained 4 years