Lief, showing off his collection

Lief Rosengaard brought a great sample from his 177 strong bonsai collection to the club meeting this month. His offering contained examples of several types of bonsai including cascading, semi-cascading, windswept, slanting, broom, clump, literati, informal upright and formal upright. His oldest bonsai was one given to him back in 1967, a Moreton Bay Fig. Needless to say, we were impressed.

Lief is an adherent of the Chinese style of bonsai called, Penjing. The basic tenants of this type of bonsai differ from the standard Japanese bonsai in a variety of ways, the most obvious being that with Penjing, no wiring of branches is done. The various shapes are created with pruning and sometimes the use of temporary weights to aid gravity.

One of Lief’s objectives when creating and maintaining his bonsai is to minimise or eliminate the need to repot the plants. In order to achieve this he doesn’t feed the plants (with the exception of a rare application of Seasol), he simply prunes.

It hit home what a labour of love these treasures are when Lief explained that, like pets, they need constant care and attention. Almost every day he mists his plants, he waters them weekly, they are kept in filtered sunlight and he even puts them outside at night if he’s turned them into house plants. No house cat could want for more 🙂

Lief suggested that any of us interested in starting out in bonsai ourselves should visit the Ray Nesci Bonsai Nursery in Dural where we can find everything we need to set ourselves up.

Our next meeting is Thursday, 1 October 2015 when Betty Noordhuis will talk about the Keukenhof Gardens and her trip there to see the spring tulips. Don’t forget to check out the gardening article in the Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine. It features information about the goings on in this club.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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