There is more to bonsai than just putting a plant in a small pot.
“Bonsai is a work of art,” Lynne Farrell says.
Mrs Farrell runs the Tasmanian Bonsai Centre out of her Riverside home.
It is an art form that she has been mastering since the early 1990s.
She was introduced to the craft by her husband, Neil Farrell, who has since passed away.
At the time of his passing, Mrs Farrell said she wasn’t sure whether to give away the hobby that she had taken a keen interest in, or to pursue it.
She dived right in, applying for a scholarship to study under a bonsai master in Japan.
She opened the Tasmanian Bonsai Centre in 1993.
“It’s a really peaceful thing to do,” she said of bonsai work.
There are many misconceptions about bonsai, which Mrs Farrell was only too happy to dispel.
Traditionally, in Japan, most of the trees used are maples, but you can use “any species that can grow in a pot”.
Mrs Farrell has even tethered Tasmanian myrtle into bonsai.
She said they worked particularly well, because their foliage was already quite small.
“It has to depict an aged tree that is miniature,” Mrs Farrell said.
“In Japan, the bonsai are passed on from generation to generation, so they are thousands of years old.
“But, in Japan, you never ask ‘How old is it?’ because, they say, you would never ask a beautiful lady how old she is.”
They can also range in size – from being able to be held in one’s hand, to being such a size that “four mean need to carry them”.
There is no denying that bonsai are a high-maintenance plant – so much so that Mrs Farrell even runs “bonsai boarding” for plant owners who are going on holidays.
They require plenty of watering, pruning, and repotting.
“The training of a bonsai is never finished,” Mrs Farrell said.
For those looking to adopt a bonsai into their lives, Mrs Farrell runs a bonsai club.
But not just anyway can take up the art.
“You’ve got to have an eye for it,” Mrs Farrell said.
“You’ve got to like it, have an interest in horticulture, and a bit of an art background.
“There are rules of bonsai to follow.
“[The shape of a bonsai] has to reach out an grab you.
“It’s got to open its arms and guide you into its branches.
“But when you learn the rules, you can break them.”
The Tasmanian Bonsai Centre is open by appointment. For more information visit tasmanianbonsaicentre.com.au or call 0417 581 080.