Imagine a garden with arched wooden bridges over bubbling streams where green mossy stones are set in diamond-white sand, shaded by prehistoric umbrella ferns. Ultimate tranquility and peaceful zen awaits as you immerse in the surroundings as time falls away. Such idyllic green spaces do exist. Just ask the Japanese - they've been creating picturesque spaces like this for hundreds of years, seeing gardening as the ultimate form of living art.
While it is not financially possible or even remotely practical for the everyday gardener to create a garden to replicate that just described, creating your own green zen garden albeit on a much smaller and modest scale is achievable through Japan's very own contribution to horticulture: the bonsai.
To help craft such a space, the Defined Garden Bonsai Studio on Chevron Island in the heart of the Gold Coast offers bonsai in all shapes, sizes and varieties. Whether it be wishing to replicate a coastal plains theme or mountainous cliff face, there is a variety of bonsai to create the theme desired. The art of bonsai is about replicating scenes from nature in the miniature through specific theming and careful crafting.
The Bonsai available range from the classic to the extravagant
To help create your own desired effect, The Defined Garden offers many accessories to create a miniature environment and transfer your own ideas into your living art form. The accessories available at the Defined Garden include pebbles, pots and oriental figurines to provide inspiration. On site are a wide variety of established and precision grown bonsais available for purchase, which range from small pruned bushes with two or three pom poms, to stunted ancient looking fig-like trees with roots twisting around each other.
Like artwork, the prices depend on the size and complexity, with the classic hedge style bonsais starting at around the $50 mark, while the extravagant ancient-looking Japanese Juniper trees are priced to fetch over $1000 depending on species, size and rarity.
This stunning bonsai might need you to refinance your house to afford it.
Shaping your own bonsai requires careful engineering and growth can be slow and painstaking depending on the species. The end result however yields a prized and rare possession with a certain prestige in displaying a collection of unique and rare bonsai, not to mention the pride in creating your own natural art form.
[ADVERT]To offer advice and educate bonsai sculptors, studio owner Roger offers workshops catering to all skill levels to help demystify the art form and encourage enthusiasts to express themselves in their bonsai creations. Roger is a nationally registered tutor and demonstrator and has conducted many bonsai workshops throughout southeast Queensland. Visiting the studio itself provides a fascinating glimpse into the art form of bonsai and the creativity and design process that goes along with their creation. Workshops are available individually or in groups and prices start at $40 per session. For more information visit the Defined Garden Website.
The Defined Garden conduct bonsai workshops to train and guide in the art of bonsai creation. Picture courtesy of definedgarden.com
While I didn't purchase anything or book a workshop, I felt free to browse the studio and wander the rows of bonsai at leisure and with the open outdoor location off the side of a well-trodden footpath, passersby are encouraged to take a closer look. After a visit to the Defined Garden, I guarantee you'll learn a thing or two about the bonsai and it'll be on your radar like never before. A week later and counting, and its still on mine.
The Defined Garden Bonsai Studio is at 66 Thomas Street, Chevron Island, QLD, 4217.