The Gardener
Discussion The Ethos And Inspiration Of Bonsai Image Credit: The Gardener
Discussion The Ethos And Inspiration Of Bonsai Image Credit: The Gardener

Discussion - The Ethos And Inspiration Of Bonsai

Agriculture, husbandry and working with plants are some of the oldest pursuits of mankind.

Gary English

Agriculture became popular not long after hunting when people figured it was a lot less risky than killing angry bison with toothpicks. However, there is something far more fundamental in working with the soil, something that goes beyond the mere production of food. Plants are essential to our survival and advancement as a civilized race and are the only way to convert the sun’s energy into a form that living organisms can use. The closest our much-vaunted technology can come is solar panels, which are not particularly efficient and are currently very expensive. Plants are the ultimate solar power stations: self-reliant, self-repairing and very efficient.

Plants recycle our air, breathing in the stuff we breath out and breathing out the stuff we breathe in. It’s interesting to note that the vast majority of the job of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen is done not by terrestrial plants, but by algae in the oceans, with the rainforests a distant second. This makes it all the more critical that we take better care of our oceans as well as our forests.

We create bonsai to honor nature, and trees in particular. Clearly our small trees are not going to recycle a huge amount of oxygen, nor are they going to store enough carbon to slow climate change on their own, but by honoring nature in such a way we spread our love of nature and the environment. We expose people who may never give the environment thought to these beautiful miniature representations of


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