Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bonsai 盆栽 Garden Singapore

Hello and welcome to my blog.

I have added a search function. So if you are looking for something you can search for it there.

Continuing in the theme of nature, after the orchids, this posting is of the Bonsai garden in Singapore.

It is Suzhou style and it is claimed that it is the largest of its kind outside China.

Bonsai is a Japanese translation of an earlier Chinese word "penzai". A bon is a tray like pot and the word bonsai means "tray cultivation"

These Bonsai Gardens, are on the west side of Singapore, and are part of the Chinese Gardens.

They were opened in June 1992. They have recently been upgraded and are a beautiful, tranquil place to visit. The first photo shows the approach to the Bonsai gardens from the back.

I hope you feel some of that beauty and tranquility when you see the photos

Alan















The entrance to the garden
















There are more than 2000 bonsai trees imported from
China and other parts of the world






















A properly maintained bonsai
should outlive a full size tree
of the same species
















The Suzhou architecture of the gardens blends
with and enhances the beauty of the trees.
Suzhou is China's "City of Gardens"
















We got there early to avoid the brightness of
the midday sun and were rewarded with
a brief spell of early morning soft rays. The
pebble inlay path is special















A very old tree. The art of Bonsai is
interwoven with Zen Buddhism. Nature in
Buddhism is personified because it is given
a soul, and should therefore be respected
















The traditional bonsai artists believe that the
purpose of miniature cultivation is to
promote the shrinking of human foibles such
as greed and self-centred thinking
















Greed and self-centred thinking promote
the unthinking destruction of all of nature
according to the belief. With the evidence
of what is happening in our world I would
echo that belief
















The branches stretch towards the sky
representing the seeking of a richer thought
process or enlightenment






















This is an example of a full
cascade style where the apex of
the tree falls below the base of
the pot
















Some of these trees are over 100 years old.
One of the oldest living trees is in the Tokyo
Imperial Palace collection. It is considered to
be a national treasure of Japan. The tree is
considered to be at least 500 years old















These next three photos show the beauty of
the gardens landscaped with water
















If you are troubled in mind or soul this place
is a healing refuge
















The sun shining through the water droplets
creates a miniature rainbow
















Man, nature, elements and change are all
intertwined into this unique Zen method of
meditation and expression















Not a bonsai tree but I love banana plants
















A wondefully crafted trunk. There is a bonsai
training centre here at the gardens where
you can sign up to learn the art of bonsai
















A quick break for a couple of photos of a
flower. I love the texture of this delicate
beauty















Standing tall and proud. Do you know what
kind of flower it is? If you do please let me
know in a comment














The bigger picture with the pagoda of the
Chinese gardens in the background. Bonsai do
not do well in wind so the gardens are surrounded
by a white wall to protect them






















Is it autumn in this pot?
















Daniela, who loves Japanese Ikebana,
sushi and can't wait to visit Japan!
















Perhaps not the prettiest part of the gardens
but I had to capture the reflection
















What a long neck you have!






















The pagoda

Thanks for coming. I hope you
feel tranquil and nurtured by
the soul of nature

See you in a couple of weeks?

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Feast of Orchids

Hello and welcome to my blog. Orchids are incredibly diverse and exotic flowers. In the Botanical gardens in Singapore there is a lovely Orchid garden where I took these photos.

The national flower of Singapore is the Vanda Miss Joaquim.

For those who are technically oriented I used my Nikon D80 with an AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

This first photo shows the beautifully
patterned lip of the flower

Enjoy the photos!

Alan





















Though we tend to think of
orchids as tropical, they grow
on all continents except
Antartica
















I was attracted by the light shining through
this orchid
















There is nothing shy about orchids.
Petals akimbo and lip sticking out!



















Heaven, I see heaven...

















Each orchid is pollenated by a specific insect
or bird. To protect orchids the whole
ecosystem needs to be conserved
















They are masters at seducing their pollenator.
A particularly active orchid shoots sticky
pollen balls at bees

















Orchid flowers have their male and female
parts (anther and stigma) fused into a single
structure called the "column". The column is
unique in the plant kingdom

















Three cheeky chappies!
Orchids come in every colour of the rainbow,
but there is no black orchid

















And their shape is very diverse too. it is
estimated that there are 15,000 to
25,000 different species growing in the
wild. And if that wasn't enough there are
no less than 35,000 hybrids!

















Some orchids make me think of natural
Japanese Ikebana. Beautiful shapes and
simplicity













One stands out in the crowd
















Kew gardens has an orchid plant that is 100
years old. An individual flower will last several
weeks unless it is pollenated, in which case it
wilts and dies






















Dripping beauty. Pure white and
seductive violet. Superb contrast
















The first plants of each new species brought
back to England fetched high prices.
The largest amount ever recorded was in
1890 when £1,500 was paid for one orchid,
that is equivalent to around £96,500 today!

















“You can get off alcohol, drugs,women, food
and cars, but once you're hooked on orchids
you're finished.”
Joe Kunisch




















My, what a big and inviting lip you have!




Pretty as a picture
















Simply gorgeous
















A final splash of colour

Thanks so much for coming. Hope to see you
soon. Next time some other flowers, plants
and birds. Hope to see you then

Alan