Japanese-style gardening to keep clients happy

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I did a small one in Beverly Hills in the backyard, but usually people don’t ask me for that. Just like Ms. Annenberg, all she wants is a bonsai plant put on her table on the outside patio. So I’ve got to make her one. So it’s just tedious, you know, that’s all.

You have to have the right mixture of soil and all that and then you’ve got to have proper drainage. You’ve got to form the bonsai, wire it through the container itself to hold it in place. Then you have to place your stones or whatever to look like a big boulder with a little tiny pea gravel to make it look like a river or something.

If you make one fresh, it doesn’t look mature. So I was thinking maybe for Christmas for her, I’ll buy one from Yamaguchi Bonsai. It’s already in a pot, it looks aged, and I think she might enjoy it. But it’s more work for me because eventually, I’m going to have to take the plant out and cut the roots to keep it small and then repot everything, the entire thing back together.

But anything to keep her happy. She’s always been good to me and she asked me that one…that day you were at the foundation, “Lou, make me a bonsai for my patio.” So I happened to say yes. So for Christmas, I’m going to buy her one that looks mature and the nice kind of old pot. So I think she might be happy with it.

Date: December 1, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Daniel Lee
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

bonsai gardeners gardening

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