Before today, my only knowledge of bonsai trees came from watching Mr. Miyagi patiently train his trees in the Karate Kid. After my trip to the arboretum today, I’m certainly not ready to grow one myself, but I now know a wee bit about this fascinating art form.
The United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. has a wonderful collection of bonsai trees from all over the world in their outdoor National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. In 1976, the people of Japan presented the U.S. with 53 bonsai plants to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the U.S.A. Over 150 plants are now displayed.
Penjing is the Chinese art of arranging miniature trees, plants and other scenery artistically into a container. It is also known as tray scenery, potted scenery, potted landscape or tray landscape. Penjing predates the Japanese art of bonsai.
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