A copse in miniature. A bonsai at the National Arboretum.

Bonsai are a great way to experience the forest in an intimate setting. At least, between you and the trees. They can come in many different forms. From groups of trees, as in this photograph, to single trees. They can range from very small to waist high. From traditional to more modern. Indoor. Outdoor.

They set the scene for your imagination. Rather than the forest being bigger than life, you’re bigger than life. You’re looking down from the sky. From above everything. The National Arboretum has several spaces set aside for these miniature stages. They have trees that are hundreds of years old and some that are only decades old. From small scenes with props to large trees that may have played a role in a Miyazaki film.

Enlarge

bonsai-at-national-arboretum

James Smith