I have always loved plants. My pool area is like a small tropical jungle with plants I have grown and cared for. Friends come over and ask how I grow them so well. I say, "Time and care." I have always wanted to learn about Bonsai trees. These are not the ones you see in the mall stores or flea markets - those are not usually true classical Bonsai trees.
Well through one of my patients, of course, I located a nursery (D and L Nursery, google it) that is about twenty-five minutes from my house that specializes in Bonsai trees. It is in the Ocala National Forest down a long dirt road. You can almost hear the banjo in "Deliverance" playing. This place is cool if you are into that stuff. Hundreds of Bonsai, big, little and everything between. It is great to just walk through and look at the types. They range in price from $40.00 into the thousands of dollars.
Etan with his tree prior to starting working on it.
David giving some tips.
David told me D and L Nursery used to be a more traditional nursery that did Bonsai also, but when the economy went south he specialized in this unfilled niche and is riding out the storm with the help of the little trees. I have kind of done the opposite! I have remained broad-based with generalized dentistry and have been successfull, but since David has a specific skill that no one else around here has, he can get away with his approach and actually thrive.
David and his wife Linda hold workshops on how to sculpt and form these little giant trees. Usually a dozen plus people show up on a Saturday with trees in hand for his advice and guidance. He is some grand master or something like that, I guess like an MAGD. He is a true artist. David and Linda have a BYOT (bring your own tree) workshops twice a month. If you do not have a tree of your own, you can purchase one of theirs, unsculpted and raw. They have their own special tools and wire and materials. It reminds me of dentistry. There are rules to doing it and guidelines, but some of it is just artistic design and creativity. Sculpting these trees is like taking a totally decayed molar and rebuilding it into this perfect tooth. I can only imagine a BYOT (bring your own tooth) session teaching and helping people make their teeth into beautiful little white creations, sort of like a denture wax try-in.
My kids like to go and we all have our own trees. If the weather is nice, it is a fun time away from everything. My cell phone does not get a signal very well, so there are no interruptions and we can just have fun working on our trees. These trees can live almost forever theoretically since you are always pruning them back. There is care and attetnion you have to give the tree for its entire life just like the tooth after it is finished.
Caleb and Ethan relaxing after a hard day of Bonsai art!
Some people will appreciate the hard work and care it take to maintain these beautiful little trees just like that amazing little tooth.
Have a great week making your intraoral Bonsai!