Beautiful Bonsai at the National Arboretum

In early January of this new year, I was feeling a little stir-crazy at home. So I decided to visit the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, at the National Arboretum. I had drifted through the collections before, on other visits, but this time I went specifically to see these miniature treasures.

As many of you probably already know, bonsai is the Japanese art form of growing minature trees in containers (bonsai literally means “planting in tray,” according to Wikipedia). It is over one thousand years old. A similar practice grew up in ancient China, where it is called “penjing” and includes creating miniature landscapes as well as trees.

 

National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, National Bonsai Foundation,  US National Arboretum

Part of the collection at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum.

Because it was winter, some of the bonsai specimens were leafless – but not all of them. A conifer is a conifer, after all, regardless of size. So the Chinese and California junipers, as well as the camellias, still sported their leaves – and one camellia was even in bloom. It was a quiet afternoon, well-suited to enjoying the charms of these beautiful specimens. Here are some of my favorites. If you’re ever fortunate enough to visit the Arboretum, don’t overlook this hidden gem. The museum’s hours are more limited, however, so plan your visit between 10 am and 4 pm most days.

 

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5 Comments on “Beautiful Bonsai at the National Arboretum”


  1. Each one, on it’s own, is a lovely and loved treasure.

  2. Olga Says:

    Прекрасно цветущее мини дерево!

  3. Barbara Says:

    Beautiful Melissa – I do forget about this extraordinary collection. Thanks for showcasing it here.


  4. Very nice gallery! 🙂


  5. Something special flows through the limbs of a bonsai specialist–don’t you agree? Something about the essence of one who understands that unspeakable beauty of the plant world.


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