I took a bonsai class at the National Arboretum yesterday. It was interesting, and I now have my very own bonsai to take care of. This is a “before” photo of my plant, a Ficus Retusa:
I almost didn’t sign up for the class when I saw pictures of the plants in the class description — I have killed every ficus I have ever owned. We’ll see how I do with this one. The class was held in the demonstration/lecture room of the arboretum’s bonsai collection, we we got a small behind-the-scenes tour before the collection opened. There are some amazing works of art housed there.
We selected our plants (my first one was infested with scale, so I had to choose a second one), radically pruned them, then learned about wiring and shaping. I am going to try and shape mine into an “informal upright” banyan tree. We’ll see how I’ve done in a few years. Here’s my “after” photo: