How Wld Is That Bonsai?

November 3, 2021

Reflections, Day 26

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

We went for a walk in the yard yesterday evening. Dekie calls it “a garden tour.”

It was a pleasant stroll. We talked about some of the flowers. We discussed some of the evergreens. We were “wasting time,” I’m sure in some other universe.

At one point, she was walking off to my left. I heard her say, “I’ve really developed a deep love for this one.” This bonsai plant was one of her first and she visits it often.  The first question a lot of people ask when they see one of these plants is, “How old is it?” I thought about it and came close to figuring out how old the plant is:

In the spring of 2014, seven years ago, I was visiting my plant grower friend at his giant nursery. He has since retired.

He grinned and picked up a plant that was in a three-gallon pot. He said, “I know you like those weird plants that have funky shapes. I’ve been saving one for you.

He showed me the plant and said, “truck run over it.”

I looked at the plant. It looked more like they had run a Sherman tank over it.

Brad then told me about the plant. “It’s a Blue Star juniper, and they are very special plants. The good part is they are slow-growing. The bad part is they are slow-growing and no one wants to pay for the extra time it takes to grow it.”

Brad told me that he had been growing the plant for three years from a rooted cutting that came from a propagating nursery in Florida or maybe south Georgia. That nursery probably had started the cutting a year before Brad got it.

So, if you add it all up—one year as a rooting cutting, three years at the grower’s nursery getting some careful treatment—until the truck ran over it.

I took the poor plant home with me. Dekie loved it because it wasn’t perfect. A year or two later, we fixed up one of our trademark “saikei” gardens. That discipline calls for a “garden on a flat surface.” Dekie has tended this tree for five years now. The dwarf pennywort ground cover just sort of showed up on its own.

So the bonsai plant in this photo would be 11 years old, more or less. It has been “in training” for about five years. How cool will it be in 10 years? 20?

—john schulz

Power to the patient.

Published by John P.Schulz

I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis. My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment. I write an article a week for my blog, which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden. I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills. I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks. You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at

2 thoughts on “How Wld Is That Bonsai?

  1. That is beautiful!!! I’m also going to have to look up the pennywort stuff! 😉❤️ Thanks, Diane Carlson

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