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?
Power to the patient.