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National Bonsai and Penjing Collection

Home > Canberra > Gardening | Free | Gardens
by Felicity Banks (subscribe)
I'm a writer of interactive and normal novels including steampunk fantasy app books set mainly in Australia. Banks
Published January 26th 2015
Perfection in Miniature
Canberra's best (and oldest) bonsai are now housed at the National Arboretum, on the other side of the café from the Pod Playground.

The trees embody miniature perfection. Their shapes are by turns peaceful, tortuous, formal, or dramatic. I was taken by surprise at how fascinating they were. The passion of the artists is abundantly clear in every millimetre.

At the time of writing, there are plenty of European and Asian exhibits, plus Australian plants (including a bonsai Banksia), and a couple of pieces of petrified stone.

The one drawback of the collection is that touching is strictly prohibited. It was a difficult rule for me to obey - and even more so for my three-year old. We had to limit our exploration to our sight and smell.

"Bonsai" means a miniature tree or shrub, whereas "Penjing" indicates an entire scene in miniature, like this forest:

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Why? Strangely Compelling Miniature Nature
When: 9:00am-4:00pm
Phone: 13 22 81
Where: National Arboretum
Cost: Free (buy paid parking)
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