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.


It was an extremely unique and informative workshop on a little-known art form in Goa. Very well conducted by Daniel who is an expert.
Abraham Fernandes, Don Bosco College, Panaji
It is really amazing how Daniel made me fall in love with bonsai within such a short span of time.
Leander Paes, Goa Medical College, Bambolim
The workshop was awesome! I learnt a lot and also this will give me an opportunity to get closer to nature.
Myron Dias, Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College, Assagao
It was an amazing workshop with a lot of useful information and ideas. Enjoyed it.
Fiona Ferrao, Housewife, Carmona
Daniel D’Souza is artistic, a life-trainer, moral guide, and entertainer all in one. The session was very interesting and I feel confident of going ahead and having my very own bonsai.
Devansh Choelra, Goa College of Engineering, Farmagudi
It was a one-of-its-kind workshop organised by planet J. We need more of these kinds of workshops as such art is rare.
Maria Ferrao, Service
The workshop inspired me to be more creative and artistic and also get close to nature.
Rohit Gurav, Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College, Assagao
It was an enriching experience. Many thanks.
P V Kadam, Assistant Professor, Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College, Assagao
It was a good workshop and I got to learn more about bonsai.
Shruthi Premanand, Dempo's, Panaji
An interesting workshop. Daniel is very passionate about it and can see it in the way he explained everything. Learnt a lot about bonsai and will surely appreciate other people’s collection knowing the amount of time and effort that goes into it.
Mysia Paes, Goa Medical College, Bambolim
I love plants but Daniel has taught me how to grow it differently. As he said, it is truly a stress-buster. The workshop was wonderful and thanks to the Planet J team for a really good learning experience.
Afshan Sayed, Lecturer – San Miguel Higher Secondary, Taleigao
Bonsai may be the art of making plants short but it is definitely the art of achieving your large dreams. Daniel’s message of never to give up on your dreams was absolutely profound. I will henceforth try to make this living art form a part of my life and encourage others to do so as well.
Rajat Bakre, ex IHM, Porvorim