Winter Bonsai Exhibit at Chicago Botanic Garden

The Three Friends of Winter is an exhibit of deciduous bonsai trees at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It runs from January 29-31, 2010 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Check out the video of the exhibit post by the Chicago Botanic Garden to their YouTube channel. 

The witch hazel is amazing!


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  • No argument from me on that witch hazel - wow! Like topiary, bonsai is an art I've long admired but never tried.

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    You should, it is fun and a cool way to grow many houseplants. The Complete Book of Topiary is an awesome book that shows how many houseplants can be grown in unique topiary styles.

  • Wow, that witch hazel IS amazing. Bonsai is not something I'll likely every try, but the art of it is growing on me. In fact, I don't much get it as gardening (too much manipulation and I'm very much a go-with-the-flow, let-the-plant-do-what-it-wants gardener), but if I change my view and see it as art, then it's pretty cool!

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:


    Interesting comment. You just made me remember how many control freaks I used to know who grew bonsai. The manipulation aspect is what attracted me to bonsai years ago. I wonder if there is correlation.

  • In reply to gardenfaerie:

    Wish I were eloquent enough to participate in the dialogue on your newest post, but it's late and I'm pooped. Also, you seemed to have commented for me in spirit and in words. (who knew you were a casual student of semiotics... did you attend the U of C ;-)

    O.k., I missed the bonsai exhibit, so it's a good thing you provided a video. I do enjoy looking at specimens, and often feel moved by their aesthetic qualities. Yet in the depths of my imagination, I can't imagine creating one. Pardon me here, but I think of the horror of a crib death. Bonsai seem so vulnerable, like a fragile infant (despite many being ancient). As if one might turn away for a bit too long, becoming involved with some project or mini-crisis, and the plant could wither and die from lack of water. ((I hope that does not offend. If so, feel free to delete.))

  • In reply to AliceJoyce:


    It doesn't offend. When I used to be involved in bonsai I met a lot of people who had similar thoughts about bonsai. From my experience they are as hardy as their full grown counterparts in the ground and in larger containers.

    I remember once going to an demonstration and laughing at the audible gasps the audience let out when the instructor began to chop away at stock material to begin forming the tree. I wish I had video of that reaction because it was hilarious.

  • In reply to AliceJoyce:

    The witch hazel is beautiful! I was wondering...I have a young wisteria bonsai and a jade bonsai. Both have been on the porch happy and growing all summer. Now that it's time to over-winter, I'm worried that I won't do the correct thing by bringing them into the house -- maybe okay for jade, but I'm worried about my wisteria. Any suggestions for over-wintering my wisteria?

  • In reply to BridgetB:

    Your wisteria is an "outdoor" plant that you'll have to find a way to provide a dormant season but keep it from freezing, if that makes sense. So, once it goes dormant you'll have to find a place for it where temperatures are no lower than 25 degrees F. Some place like a garage or enclosed porch.

    Some people take them out of the pots and place them in the ground for the winter, making sure to protect them the same way you'd protect an shrub (covering with burlap, mulching etc).

    Hope this helps.

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