With an eager attitude to gain some knowledge on Bonsai, 55 enthusiastic students along with a few parents and teachers attended ‘The Navhind Times Planet J Bonsai Workshop’ on Sunday, January 10 at the Dempo House in Panaji. The half-day workshop aimed at presenting the ancient art form to the participants and giving them tips on how to to go about creating a bonsai tree and garden. Conducted by Daniel D’Souza, horticulturist and landscape designer, responsible for introducing bonsai in Goa; the workshop was extremely interactive and had students participating from the word go.
The meticulously planned agenda included selection of plants, styles / sizes, soil, containers, tools and equipment, potting and re-potting, training, wiring, pruning, water and manure, pests and diseases, Mame bonsai, identifying plants and bonsai etiquette.
The introduction by Daniel where he said, “Bonsai is not just for a few and can be started with just Rs 100,” had the audience listening with rapt attention. With the help of slides and his own bonsai trees that he had brought along (some of which were 18 and 22 years old), he explained the various styles in bonsai and stressed on the need of selecting the right sapling and container. “Choosing a container for a bonsai is as important as selecting and training a tree itself. Lack of harmony where the pot and plant do not match, devalues the bonsai. The bonsai container is like a picture frame to a painting.”
In the session that covered tools and equipment, Daniel explained the various implements and also had a practical session wherein participants were invited to the stage and given the opportunity to prune some of the trees that were on display. Bonsai etiquette and various guidelines on growing bonsai were given and participants could be seen jotting down all that he said. “Do not criticize anyone’s collection or touch another’s bonsai,” he reiterated.
Throughout the workshop participants were encouraged to interact and at the end of the presentation, a quiz was held whereby the participants were asked to name the different bonsai styles. Many attempted to remember all the 14 styles but only two succeeded and were given prizes.
The workshop ended with certificates of participation being handed out by Daniel.