This past Sunday Nh and I learned 99% of what we know about Bonsai in San Francisco. For instance, that it began as a hobby in China and was probably used to illustrate philosophical (Buddhist?) precepts. We were also provided this information by a random, genial old white man, so it’s anyone’s guess how accurate it is.
Growing a Bonsai tree and getting it ready for a showing appears to require a certain kind of mind — methodical, thorough, with the patience of the ages. Every year or so, depending on the plant being cultivated, there’s some shaping and pruning to be done. And that requires a knowledge of the environment of the plant itself.
Most interestingly, the hormones of the tree work in different ways. The leaves, roots, of the trees remain small and dainty, as do the flowers. But the fruit ripen, large as life, a giant in Jack’s beanstalk. The gentleman we spoke to talked about a man with a pint-sized apple tree, with a stand for the single, huge apple hanging off its branches.
If we’d gotten there a little earlier, we would have gotten to see more of the parade, but perhaps we wouldn’t have gotten the chance to participate in the last block of it.