With the dog days of summer upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere), it seemed like a good time to share a trip I took this Spring to immerse myself in the world of wisteria viewing. Much like bamboo displays, wisteria bonsai have a light and cooling feeling. Anyone who loves this genus should consider timing a trip to Japan. There are many uber-famous wisteria viewing locations here; one being in Nara and the another in Kitakyushu. The latter is a horticultural marvel I have yet to experience. Hard to follow that kind of a showing, but Nara’s draw is especially nice for us bonsai nerds with a two-week-long wisteria only exhibition. This show is put on by a bonsai professional specializing in Wisteria spp. and Prunus mume bonsai; two of the most water needy plants ever to be grown in a pot. This exhibition is no small task. The Nara Shokubutsuen (Botanical Garden) and Kasuaga Taisha Grand Shrine filled out my day. As for information on styling and maintenance of wisteria in bonsai, I will leave that out for now. Michael Hagedorn’s blog post covers some aspects well. For now, crank down the thermostat and enjoy the flower show!
In an upcoming post, I’ll share some photos and history about the other wisteria “hot-spots” in Nara, Japan and this plant’s significance to Japanese culture. The botanical garden there boasts 25 different species / cultivars of wisteria with a whole section of the grounds filled with Fujidana, or wisteria arbors, devoted to the annual Spring show. Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine has the oldest wisteria I’ve ever seen and two famous fujidana inside the shrine. Outside the main walls, vines the size of horror movie anacondas dot the old-growth forest.
Thanks for reading and for all the support I’ve received thus-far.