Bonsai mania sweeps city

Hobby

Interest: Women listen to Ponnuswamy at the Bonsai workshop held in Mysore recently.DH photo by Prashanth H G Growing miniature trees in small flat containers called Bonsai, dates back over a thousand years and has evolved its own unique  aesthetics and terminology. But according to Bonsai expert Ponnuswami, who has been practising Bonsai, as an art gives an altogether different expression to the whole effort of growing this mini wonders. Speaking to City Herald, M Ponnuswami, who is also an International consultant to the World Bonsai Friendship Federation, USA, says growing Bonsai is equal to meditation.

It requires the same patience, tranquilises the person involved in it and gives a great satisfaction.

Small garden

Bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating yard-size  or park-size gardens or landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Bonsai can be created from nearly any perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species. Some species are popular as bonsai material because they have characteristics, such as small leaves or needles, that make them appropriate for the compact visual scope of bonsai.

The practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfing, but dwarfing generally refers to research, discovery, or creation of plant cultivars that are permanent, genetic miniatures of existing species. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques like pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation, and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees, said Ponnusami.

Ponnusami had served as a senior president, advisor, at Sakthi Sugars Limited, Coimbatore. He was a Fellow Member, Institute of Marketing & Management, New Delhi, Associate member - Institute of Purchasing and Supply, London and also a Member of American Management Association, USA.

Bonsai, which began as a hobby to Ponnusami, soon turned out into a passion and he has been growing bonsai and landscaping for more than 30 years and owns about 1,000 bonsai plants.

He was awarded a citation and awared at Asian Bonsai Meet in Mumbai in March 1996, for the speciality in Bonsai from Nature. He also was the winner of the World bonsai contest - 1999, conducted by Japan airlines and winner of South Asia’s best bonsai award in 2006.

He had exhibited his collections in the workd Suiseki exhibition  (Japanese word for stone appreciatin) held at Shangai, China and was awarded a citation at the world convention in 1997.

He was honoured with the title ‘Sasya Bandhu’ by Sri Ganapati Sachidananda, in Mysore in May 2007.

Participating in the day-long Bonsai workshop organised by  Srushti, Bonsai Study Circle, Mysore as part of its 14th anniversary celebrations in Mysore recently, Ponnusami explained in detail to more than 25 members, who participated with ethusiasm the drift wood method in Bonsai.

There were a lot of bonsai specimen exhibited at the premises, which naturally motivates the onlookers to begin with one. Almost all the participants in the workshop were the pride owners of a collection of Bonsai, and still had the enthusiasm to learn more about it.

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