Hello to you my readers.
Let me introduce myself: I am a Common Juniper, or Juniperus Communis to give you my posh name.
I originate from Yorkshire, “Eh up, sithee, well I’ll go t’ foot o’ mi stairs!” Yes, that’s me. Although I am a tree of some 50 years, I am only two feet tall. (How come? I hear you say.) Well, I am a Bonsai. For those who don’t know, this means keeping me small by cutting my roots, pruning and wiring my branches to create a miniature version of a tree as seen in nature.
Anyhow up, the practise of Bonsai originated in China about 1500 years ago and the Japanese came onto t’scene a few centuries later. They refined it and turned into an art form. Europeans used Bonsai in formal gardens for some time but it really took off around 1900 due to Paris and London having exhibitions. Within these exhibitions were…(yes, you guessed it)…Bonsai trees.
It is now a huge business with very large nurseries in Japan growing the trees and exporting them all over the world. Some of the older plants are worth a small fortune!
I am looked after by a Lancashire fellow…… say again?….. yes, I know, not good! But actually, he’s OK for a ‘red roser’. My Lancashire lad keeps me free from disease and insects which might harm me (using ONLY organic means!). He also feeds me and waters me when there isn’t much rain. Every two years (here’s the big one…) I get taken out of my pot, my roots get cleaned (ouch!) and cut off by a third (double ouch!), then I am put back in my pot with lovely fresh soil mixed with sand and grit (aaahhhh). My present ‘look’ is Clouds, or Pom-pom; although the aficionados call the shape of my branches Saucers.
I am still a youngster in the world of bonsai and I hope my lad will look after me for many years yet. Have a look at my photo. What do you think? I’m rather smart, if I may so so myself!