The National Bonsai and Penjing Collection is Australia's largest collection of bonsai and penjing. The collection can currently be found in Commonwealth Park, and while it's a small building with some very small trees, there's a lot to learn inside.
While they may just look like tiny trees, a lot more goes into creating and crafting a bonsai or penjing. They're not actually naturally small tree varieties like some think. Seedlings or cuttings are usually planted, and when they reach the desired size transferred to their final pot. The pot restricts the growth of the plant, and continuous cutting and shaping creates these miniatures.
The collection is stunning to look at, it's amazing how things so small can still seem so huge. Bonsai and penjing are crafted to mimic fully grown trees of their species, so even the smallest often feel like they should be sitting amongst a giant forest.
The National Collection is so interesting because of the variety of different trees on show. The collection itself may be quite small but inside you'll fine maples, cedars, elms, junipers, paperbarks and pines. When you visit you get a little booklet which explains each tree and where it originated from. There will usually be plenty of people around who can answer any questions you may have.