Remembering that this trip was for bonsai enthusiasts, on April 24th we went to visit the nursery of another master - Master Kimura. At this nursery, I fell in love. Wait until you see both the site Kimura has created around his bonsai and his incredible bonsai. Beware, you may fall in love, too!
The gardens reminded me over and over of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret Garden. Looking through one of the several "windows" through a hedge provided one with lovely vignettes; this one is complete with the prettiest wisteria I've ever seen.
And in this one (in the next two photos) has greenery and an orange tree.
Now, realizing that I am not a bonsai practitioner, I do enjoy the art form in a modest way. I look at trees and frequently will say, "Oh, this one is nice" (or pretty or unusual) or words to that effect. You may read a statement like that later on in the entry. But the trees below, knocked my socks off - so much so that I told D that I'd like to do one of these myself. The three trees pictured are all by Kimura and were inspired by the trees growing up the sides of the rocky gorges in China.
You'll notice that all three are different. In the one above, rocks have been layered with trees between. While one below has been designed on a rock that slants, stair-like, to the right with the trees on the "stair treads".
The third one is a planting in-the-round. The rock is like a rugged cone with trees in all the nooks and crannies. We were fortunate to see Kimura create one of his unique creations later at the International Bonsai Show. He carves the stone, applies concrete to reduce its porosity, and then a colored slurry to give the stone an appropriate color (at the show he only described the process).
Below is another view of the nursery setting. These koi are remarkable not just for their size (which is immense) but also for their color. Their color is such a pale yellow that it's very nearly cream. The landscape of shrubs and trees are carefully sculpted to make a pleasing whole.
Then there was the bougainvillea hedge. Amazing! I've never seen such large planting of bougainvillea (which doesn't mean that I've seen all bougainvillea plantings).
And by that phenomenal hedge is Kimura with David.