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TOPIC: Whimsical Penjing

Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1282

Alright, everyone. One of the first things that I did once I realized that bonsai was, at the very least, going to become a significant hobby in my life, was purchase a bonsai guide. It's one of the few non-fiction books I've actually read cover to cover. There was a short section on the history of bonsai, basically explaining that it began in China as penjing, or small potted landscapes, and then was brought over to Japan by missionaries, as the small trees were considered to have magical qualities.

The only difference between penjing and a bonsai group planting is, usually, the inclusion of some other defining landscape feature besides the tree. I saw one at the state fair that had a tree, a little ceramic pagoda, a ceramic bird nesting in the tree, and a little ceramic man. It was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen.

Now, adorning this very post is an image that is familiar to avid fans of My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic. For everyone on this forum besides myself, My Little Pony is a cartoon aimed at little girls with a corresponding toyline.

How cool would it be, theoretically, to have a miniature Ponyville in your backyard? Twilight Sparkle's library tree, Carousel Boutique, Sugar Cube Corner. It would be the ultimate melding of my two recreational loves. :kiss:

I realize that it's midnight and at this point I'm just spouting off hypothetical nonsense, especially since these ponies are really, really big for a penjing, it could take decades to grow trees that big and make them all happy, the tray would be nearly impossible to move, not to mention Ponyville is deceptively large.:unsure:
browse.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&q=ponyville#/d3kk1e9

Assuming I could get a plastic model of even the mane 6 settings, (and not those cheap cardboard ones) was able to gather all of the appropriate materials, character figures, mini animals, proper soil and undergrowth plants, ect., I would have to protect all of the toys from deteriorating, probably have to constantly rearrange everyone's mane, even stooping to the use of hair clips...:ohmy: (which none of the characters wear on a regular basis)

Yeah, far too complex an undertaking at this point. My question to you guys is:
If you could create any miniature landscape you wanted, what would it be? Imagine you have unlimited time, money, and supplies. A miniature of the Appalachian mountain chain? What you think Antarctica could look like if its ice melted? If there were a park on the moon? Mars? How about a landscape from Alderaan before it was destroyed?
What materials might you use? A magical fertilizer that makes plants grow in reverse? That unexplained growing rock from the first episode of Unnatural History? Akadama clay, volcanic mud from the underwater Hawaiian volcano, a free-floating ball of water?
Tell me! This is entirely for fun, and although I feel a little like a certain teacher I had a few years back, I can't wait to see your responses! :woohoo:
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"For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent...

Re: Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1297

I would make the Alps, with beautiful pines and other needle-trees. Cascades, semi-cascades, upright, giant rocks put together, different mosses, waterfalls that are falling down and I would use some kind off material that looks like snow.

I would need a lot of trees to make a miniature of that, but it would be great :)
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‎"Go to your home land, look at your native trees,...

Re: Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1302

howdy B&B,
i try to imagine a landscape for each tree of mine i did it before i even knew about chinese penjin. a forest island would be my choice,there is a perfect example in the Harry Potter movies the trees are amazing.i would also like a small forest on the back of a large turtle.i have a thing for turtle rocks ...well rocks all together i have quite a collection.i actually have the turtle and 5 yellow pine seedlings so this one will happen

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its 12 inches around so i think it will work.
as for your my little pony idea you will just have to find tiny figuines and possibly make small versions of the scenes,also you don't need to make it all in one pot ( one pot with a tree maybe a few in another pot...)i have learnd to belive if you want to do something just do it (no this isn't a nike ad :P )it may take your whole life but in the end you did what you wanted to do
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Re: Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1388

Youri- I agree, that would be amazing! I've never been to the alps, but all of the Google images look absolutely beautiful.

manofthetrees- I've never seen Harry Potter. Parents are Christians, it will poison my mind, yada yada yada. Not allowed to touch it. :( The turtle thing is cool, though. I read a native American folktale at school about the world being on the back of a turtle. (I didn't tell my parents about that one. :P ) Or perhaps it could be like the turtle in that episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. There are lots of legends of moving islands that turn out to be the top of a sea creature. And a miniature one in your garden? Awesome!
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"For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent...

Re: Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1391

I think I would like to have a medium oval pot, with a crab apple on one side, tufts of tall grass on the other side, separated by a winding gravel path in the center.Some kind of animal laying under the tree would be nice :)
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patience........wait for it..... :)

Re: Whimsical Penjing 6 years 6 months ago #1410

Pinkham, are you modeling this after a particular place you know of, or something you made up? I want to search for pictures. :cheer:
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"For there is hope for a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent...

Re: Whimsical Penjing 5 years 11 months ago #3986

I don't know if anyone is still following this post.
I decided to try it. My plans have changes a little. Instead of a crab apple I'm using 2 woody geranium (Pelargonium) cuttings.That way I can have something to play with next winter. The color of the dish isn't spectacular, I know. I got it at a thrift store for less than $1.00. I can live with it for a while. :)

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patience........wait for it..... :)

Re: Whimsical Penjing 5 years 11 months ago #3990

Cool! :) Can't wait to see it with the tall grass and everything together!
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‎"Go to your home land, look at your native trees,...

Re: Whimsical Penjing 5 years 11 months ago #4161

The Geraniums (Pelargonium) are starting to root. In a few weeks I'll go to the hardware store and get some grass. this should be finished by the end of summer if these two cuttings root. If they don't, I'll find something else to put there.
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patience........wait for it..... :)

Re: Whimsical Penjing 5 years 11 months ago #4164

This thread is exciting. Hannah, if you can't find small enough my little ponies, you could find little horses and paint them. I was a big fan of the show at one point, too :).

I would like to have a large shallow dish, as a lake, and put smooth stones at the bottom, and willows and grass around. I'd have to research short grass. :) Pinkham, what kind of grass are you going to use? Maybe also an old tree with a tire swing. I'm looking forward to these progressions.
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