Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring Fling

So Close, Yet So Far

Spring is almost here, but it feels like it will never come!  To appease this restless anticipation, bring some flowering branches, such as Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles sp.), Cherry (Prunus sp.), Crabapple (Malus sp.), and Peach (Prunus persica), indoors and force the buds to open early.  This process is not difficult, but does require some patience.  It's totally worth the trouble, though.  For advice on how to force flowering branches to bloom and which flowering tree to try, go to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service (http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-23.pdf) and University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science (www.uvm.edu/pss/ppp/articles/forcew.htm) websites.

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Another way to bring Spring into your house is by forcing flowering Bonsai to bloom early indoors.  It's an amazing experience to watch tiny green buds slowly getting larger, turning pink at the tips, unfolding each petal to reveal beautiful complex pink blossoms, and bursting into full bloom.  I have chosen the Chinese Plum (Prunus mume) Bonsai to share with you because its blossoms are absolutely beautiful.  

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume) Bonsai


Plum blossoms are widely admired in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.  Many people in these countries cut sprays of Plum blossoms to decorate their houses, especially around the Lunar New Year, an important holiday. In fact, I bought this Bonsai at a Vietnamese market right before the Lunar New Year.  Plum blossoms also appear as decorative motifs on traditional garments, such as the Kimono, on jewelry, precious metals, wood carvings, and ivory art objects.  

It's amazing to watch the green buds ...

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)


open slowly every few days, allowing the pink petals to peak out ...

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Then, watch the petals slowly getting larger ...

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

unfolding ever so slowly ...

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

to reveal the soft white center ...

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

It's delightful to watch the flowers as they bloom ....

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Isn't it amazing to see how tiny green buds 
like these ....
Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)


 are the foundation for complex flowers like these?

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)


I have been admiring my flowering Bosai since February 5th.  There are still many buds waiting for their turn to show off.  This is definitely one way to go in bringing Spring into your house!


Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)

Chinese Plum (Prunus mume)



Think Spring,
                                                                                     Christa






BTW:  You will be surprised to know that the art of growing and training Bonsai trees did not originate in Japan.  It actually began in China over 1000 years ago.  It was an art form among the elite class in China at the time.  It was later brought to Japan by Buddhist Monks.  This art form was popularized by Bonsai artists in Japan and was introduced to the West around the late 1800s - early 1900s.


7 comments:

  1. Wonderful series of photographs. I can't wait for spring!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Ingrid

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ingrid, I am glad you liked the photographs. Spring will be here soon, I hope. Have a great weekend. Christa

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  2. The photos of your Chinese Plum are wonderful. Each little bud looks like a sculpture! The flowers are so intricate and stunning. Thanks for sharing about the ancient art of Bonsai.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan, Aren't they gorgeous? I took at least 50 pictures and almost all of them are beautiful. I think I am going to make note cards out of them. Christa

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    2. Notecards would be lovely! I do enjoy getting a real, handwritten note in the mail... It is such a treat!

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  3. I can't even keep a philodendron alive inside so I am very jealous of your bonsai.

    Beautiful.

    xo Jane

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    Replies
    1. Ah, time will tell! The test is whether I can keep it alive until next year AND force it to flower early. Let's keep our fingers crossed. :)

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