Friday, March 10, 2017

Pacific Bonsai Museum, at the Rhododendron Species Foundation Botanic Garden


I am no fan of bonsai. I don't have anything against it, it just doesn't appeal to me. So why did I take the time to walk through the Pacific Bonsai Museum, at the Rhododendron Species Foundation Botanic Garden?

Because it was outdoors, and I was curious what the display looked like. Walking to the Botanic Garden entrance you're following along that green hedge you can see above and below. I wanted to see what was behind it.

Once inside, the displays won me over and I ended up walking around and looking at every one of them. I also photographed the name plates, which I hope I didn't get out of order. This, hopefully, is a Japanese Beech.

And this a Korean Yew.

Japanese Maple

The design of the space was extremely well done. Open and airy...

But focused on each specimen, Chinese Hackberry.

Plus the Callicarpa was looking fine, bright on a misty day.

Chinese Elm Penjing

Evidently this little guy was not deserving of a name plate.

American Larch

Oriental Sweetgum

And right about here is where I got the names and trees out of order, so please just appreciate the anonymous form of these next few...

I wonder why the little Sedum clump is lying there?

Cute thing...

Trident Maple, a whole family of them.

This display was actually meant to be seen from the other angle, straight on, but I thought this was more fun.

It included another Oriental Sweetgum.

And here's another Japanese Maple, to finish out our visit.

Weather Diary, March 9: Hi 58, Low 41/ Precip .53

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you stopped there. I wanted to visit it when we spent a couple of days with friends in Kent, WA a few years ago, but there was no time.

    Beautiful specimens!

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    1. Did you see my post on the fern stumpery?
      http://www.thedangergarden.com/2017/03/the-stumpery-at-rhododendron-species.html

      I've still got to edit down my photos from the actual garden too!

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  2. I admire the beauty and form of bonsai but have neither the knowledge nor the patience to care for one myself. We're lucky to have this museum so close at hand.

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    1. But just think how many of these tiny trees you could fit into your garden...

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  3. This is another topic that 1) makes me think "meh" until I see the photos, and am completely wowed by the magnificence of the specimens and 2) scares me because I could see myself becoming obsessed with it. Sort of like bamboo. So I'm not going to try my hand at this art. :)

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    1. It is good to know one's limits.

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  4. It's hard not appreciate the skill and design sense that go into creating these. The Korean Yew is especially striking to me.

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    1. Which makes me wonder who maintains these trees?

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  5. Pretty nice, different in seeing them leafless or just budding out.

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    1. So true! I suppose that means I need to go back in the summer...

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  6. Bonsai is something I appreciate but can't imagine myself doing - it seems a little like torturing plants. The Huntington also has a bonsai gallery but I can usually only get excited about 1 in every 5 specimens.

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    1. There are so many parts of the Huntington that I've never explored!

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  7. Loree, the Sedum is probably a 'kyusamono' which in Bonsai is part of the scene set.If you go to a Bonsai show many of the trees will include a small container positioned near the main plant.

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  8. Are these the same plants that would have been on exhibit 20 years ago? If so, I saw them on a stifling hot August day and was transported. I'd always thought I had no interest, but they were riveting.

    As is the multicolored foliage of the woody plant at left in the opening pic, by the sign; it almost looks painted for Easter. Any chance you know what that is?

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    1. You sent me to their website, which says: "Weyerhaeuser Company opened the Collection in 1989, in conjunction with the Washington State Centennial celebration. The Collection was established to symbolize Weyerhaeuser’s long-term commitments to its customers, its community, and its forest resources." So yes, they could have been there 20 years ago! Although it sounds like they change up the display: "the Museum boasts over 150 bonsai and the most diverse public collection in North America with trees from Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Featuring sixty trees at a time..."

      And I'm sorry I don't know what tree that is in the opening shot. Your description it is perfect though!

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    2. Thanks! The rotating exhibits is what I was wondering about. I'm pretty sure the beech was on display when I visited (in green-leaf season). I remember from the tags that some of the specimens were staggeringly old.

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  9. Barbara H.March 10, 2017

    I'm glad you stopped and I'm REALLY glad you shared your photos. These are beautiful.

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    1. And I am glad you enjoyed them!

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  10. They are really, really beautiful, and the vast skill and patience involved is obvious, but zero interest in pursuing that myself.

    They are objects of meditation, really, like Russian Orthodox icons.

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    1. That's good, I think you've got your hands full already.

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  11. They are fabulous, exquisite, really. Glad you took the time to photograph and show us. But definitely don't have enough time left on this earth to pick up that habit.

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    1. If you're ever up that way (Federal Way, WA) you should stop in. There's this, the fern stumpery and the garden proper to explore. As well as greenhouses and a plant sales area. It's good stuff!

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  12. Not being a fan of Bonsai, I'm glad you kept an open mind. The outdoor setting makes all the difference! I remembered many in the exhibit form previous visits; I have seen them in full bloom and leaf: I think they are darling. Inspired, I potted 3 Japanese Maple starts that germinated in the garden in a shallow "gondola": my Bonsai interpretation. They've been outside without any special care, setting buds this 3rd spring. What will they look like in 20 springs?

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    1. I love your last sentence "What will they look like in 20 springs?" THAT is gardening right there. I hope they reward you with many happy years growth.

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  13. I am a big fan of Bonsai and those are gorgeous specimens. Look at the trunk sizes on some of them! They are not babies despite their size. This is also one of the most beautiful settings for Bonsai I've ever seen. Chicago and Brooklyn both have outdoor Bonsai displays but nothing like this. So very glad you decided to take a look.

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  14. OOOH. I really love bonsai and those are some amazing specimens. A bonsai museum? Fascinating. Glad you took the time to take a look and share your visit. I'm inspired-no necessarily to create bonsai, but just by the artistic nature of the pruning, the containers and the mini landscapes. Thanks!!

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  15. Thanks for stopping the wonderful review. We know that once people visit us the bonsai and the garden design convert many to bonsai appreciators. If you are ever in the PNW again please stop by and say hello.
    Sincerely,
    Aarin Packard
    Curator, Pacific Bonsai Museuum

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    1. Thanks Aarin, although I do live in Portland...so I am in the PNW pretty much all the time.

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  16. Pacific Bonsai center ..first picture...what is that tree/shrub? I sent it to my urban forester friend here but not enough to go on.

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    1. Seeing your other comment on my newer blog post it looks like you've sent the question to the people there at the museum? Hope you'll come back and tell us if you find out the answer.

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