The back? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about this tree: “A Dwarf Japanese Juniper (Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’) bonsai on display at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum. According to the tree’s display placard, it has been in training since 1975. It was donated by Thomas Tecza. This is the “back” of the tree.” This explanation begs at least two questions: why isn’t this view the front (you can scroll all the way down to see the front and decide for yourself)? and, is this a phoenix graft (isn’t the trunk way too massive for a procumbens nana)?
Long live Wikipedia!
I use Wikipedia a lot. Not so much for direct bonsai research, but for related botanical stuff, like confirming Latin names, plant ranges, plant diseases, etc. It’s also quite handy for exploring other non-horticultural passions, like ‘what was the name of that guy who….?’ I know you have to take some of facts with a small grain of salt (a little extra research doesn’t hurt), but mostly Wikipedia is reliable and easy to use.
In addition to everything else, Wikipedia has a wealth of useful bonsai information, especially for the uninitiated (I know I’m opening myself up to be shown a fool once again). Thus, this post, which is the result of stumbling upon a Wikipedia page titled ‘Bonsai Styles.’ I won’t say much more (you can check it out and decide for yourself how useful it is) but I will show you a few photos that I lifted and perhaps indulge in a passing comment or two.
Cascading pine. The Wikipedia caption for this distinguished tree is a little light on information: “Bonsai at the “Foire du Valais” (Martigny, Switzerland, oct 2005) by Dake.” I’ll leave the rest up to you.
Coming down to earth a bit. This sweet, simple planting appears on the same Wikipedia page as the two more lofty trees above. Here’s the Wikipedia caption with its somewhat cryptic ending: “A bonsai forest planting of Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca var. densata), with small dwarf boxwoods representing shrubs, on display at the 2008 exhibition of the Bonsai Society of Greater Hartford. Date 13 July, 2008, Source Own work, Author, Ragesoss.”
Simple illustrations can go a long way in clarifying basis principles. From Wikipedia.
The front of the tree at the top of this post. This is only photo shown here that is not from Wikipedia. You can find it, and plenty of other photos of high quality bonsai at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s website.