Last week, I purchased a few bonsai pots and one beautiful sapling. Today, I converted the sapling into a bonsai. What is the plant, you ask? Well, it's the Pony Tail Palm (botanical name is Nolina recurvata). Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaucarnea_recurvata.
I cut the tangling roots and cleaned the plant a little. This plant swells up from at the bottom of the stem and the leaves droop like curls of hair. For me, it was love at first sight - instant liking towards this tree. I used a small square bonsai pot to plant. The swollen stem sits nicely at the center of the pot and the leaves (like thin blades of grass) fall elegantly. I placed two terracotta tortoises on the pot, as decoration.
Oh, this one needs a lot of sunlight, but less water! The leaves are tender, so exercise caution while touching the leaves; be gentle. One problem is that the squirrels may find the stem a delicacy and eat it. We have many squirrels, running hither and thither; my challenge will be to safeguard this plant from them.
Now, I got to wait and watch how this one grows. Wish me the best! The other bonsai is fine, shooting new leaves. :-)
At one of our buildings, I spotted a group of Ashoka tree (Saraca asoca) saplings, growing in sand. I asked my husband to pick a few for me. When he gently pulled the saplings out of the sand, we could see the seeds still sticking to the plant. My plan is to have a bonsai forest out of these saplings sometime in the future. That would be fantastic! For a sample photo of the tree, see http://www.beautifulfreepictures.com/images-A/ashoka-trees/Page-1/pictures-7.htm.
About bonsai in India, see http://www.indianbonsaiassociation.com/bii.html. Also check this site, http://www.dattapeetham.com/india/gardens/Site/About%20Bonsai%20in%20India.html. According to this Web site, in the 12th century, bonsai was called Vamanatanu Vrikshadi Vidya (in Sanskrit).
That's all for this week. Happy gardening!