Saturday, June 16, 2012

Plant of the Month :  Ficus   Benghalensis
by Suganthi Aiyaswamy (a member Bodhi Bonsai  Chennai.)

 Ficus  Benghalensis   is  commonly   known  as   Banyan. It  is  a large  and  extensive growing  tree of  the  Indian  sub--continent .Due to the  complex structure  of the roots and extensive  branching,  the banyan   is  used for creating  Bonsais.

Bonsai of Ficus Benghalensis

The  tree  produces  propogating  roots  which  grows  downwards,  these  aerial  roots  touch  the ground  and  grow  into  woody  trunks  that  become indistinguishable   from  the  main  trunk.

The  leaves  are  oval in shape,  thick  and  leathery   glossy green  with a    smooth  margin,  and a short
petiole. Young  leaves  have  an  attractive reddish  tinge  to  them.

The  trees  can  be  trained  into  an  informal  upright  style or  can be placed  over  rocks

Soil :Red  earth,  sand  and  humus  in  equal amounts  work well for ficus, The  soil  should  be allowed to dry out  between  watering. Spray  or  mist  the leaves  .

Propagation: Soft  wood  cutting  planted  in  soil  takes  root  in  3 to 4 weeks   Young  trees  need  repotting  every year. Do  not  remove  more than  20%  of the roots.  Wiring  can be done  anytime  of  the  year, but  the  wires  should not be allowed  to remain  on  the  plant for more than  a few months  at a time

A banyan  starts its  life  when its seeds  germinate  in the cracks  and crevices  on structures  like  buildings  and  walls,  or  on  host  trees. As they  grow  they  strangle  the  host tree or building,  so  they  are  also  called   Strangler  Fig.

The  Banyan   Bonsai   is  favoured   by  a  lot  of Bonsai  growers  since  it  is easy  to   take  care.   The  aerial  roots   if properly  controlled  will   improve   the appearance  with  no  risk  of   them   spreading
outside  the  pot.

( This article is reproduced from April 2012 issue of 'Bodhi Bonsai News Letter' )

Monday, June 11, 2012

Omiya Bonsai Garden, Tokyo

The Omiya Bonsai Village about an hour from Central Tokyo, is a small area consisting of a dozen Bonsai gardens, each of which have thousands of exquisite bonsai, some of which are more than 500 year-old trees. (The Bonsai Village is closed on Thursdays). An annual bonsai festival is held there every year from May 3-5.

Here are some pictures:

Japanese Maple

Landscape Bonsai
Defoliated Bonsai

Cascading Arrangement

500 hundred year old bonsai
Wisteria Bonsai
Broom Style Bonsai

These pictures were taken at the 'Fuyo-en' Bonsai Garden on May 1st 2012. Here are some more pictures taken  on the same occasion

And here are some more beautiful bonsai from this wonderful bonsai garden near Tokyo.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bodhi Monthly Meeting June 2012

After summer vacation the Bodhi's Monthly meeting for June 2012 will be held on Saturday 9th June at the Children's Park , Spurtank Road (opp Grand Sweets ) Chennai . The Agenda for the meeting is as given below :

2.30 PM - 2.45 Welcome & introduction of Guest Speaker -- Molly Cherian

2.45 - 3.45 Talk by Shri Jalandar Reddy , Promoter of Adenium India who has 8 years experience in growing Adeniums

3.45 - 4.15 Shaping of plants brought by members

4.15 - 4.30 Tea & Fellowship

Members are requested to attend and benefit from the interaction with Shri Reddy. Members are requested to bring plants if they want it shaped/repotted alongwith tools & materials required .

June Newsletter will be distributed . Members who cannot attend the meeting can request for soft copy of the newsletter and it will be sent by email

Persons interested in Bonsai and not yet members of Bodhi are welcome to attend  as Guest . Guest charges will be Rs 100/-

Looking forward to meet all of you on June 9th .

Saturday, June 2, 2012


By Sheela Babu

Waste management has been a major issue which our government is constantly battling with. We as citizens can contribute a great deal in tackling this issue by starting from our own homes. For now I will not deal with all waste management but focus only on composting of garden and kitchen waste. By doing so ,we not only help our environment, but also make excellent manure for our garden plants. So it is certainly a win –win situation with a little effort from our side! In Defence colony where I reside we have individual homes with some garden space. We have a lot of plants in our compounds and hence generate a lot of garden waste.

We have been successful in propagating composting in our colony by going in for a very simple arrangement. We just used two cement rings of 6ft diameter and 11/2ft depth. In a convenient corner of your garden (preferably away from direct sunlight) dig a very shallow pit of 2-3 inch depth and 6ft dia. Place the first ring in it and then simply place the second ring over the first and presto! Your compost pit is ready. So you have a pit of 6ft dia and 3ft depth. A second such set should be made to be used when the first pit fills up. The two sets will cost you @ Rs 1500. Imagine all the compost you are going to get lifelong with this small effort!!

Now that the pit is ready, all you have to do is add all your garden and kitchen waste everyday. Once in a while you could turn the waste over with a rake for aeration.(this step can be avoided if you find it difficult. I don’t do it.) Adding some cow dung or neem cake powder also helps to accelerate the process. Water the pit 2-3 times a week.This helps to maintain the humidity. Once the pit starts to overflow then cover with 3-4 inches of soil . Continue to water 2-3 times a week.(Time to start the second pit!) In 2-3 months the volume will reduce to less than half. Dig out from the pit and clean out and remove unwanted stuff and separate the lovely black powdery compost. Voila! The labour of your love is ready for your garden. Use it in potted plants, your bonsais and also for all garden trees. See how your plants thrive. Once you see the first results, believe me you will be hooked to composting for life!!

( Sheela Babu is a member of 'Bodhi - The Chennai Bonsai Association' )
 (This article is reproduced from January 2012 issue of 'Bodhi Bonsai News Letter')