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Bonsai: Small is Beautiful!


Small but beautiful may not be the right syntax to describe professor Nambisan’s feat; but his miniature wilderness of various plants can rightly be identified as short but long lasting. Born in early thirties, qualified in horticultural doctorate, he served in Coimbatore, Madurai and Kodaikkanal agricultural centers. He had at least 150 published research papers and one book, ‘’Design elements of landscape Gardening’’ (IBH) and guided 20 PG and Phds. ‘’A Bonsai is a dwarfed, Miniature tree raised in appropriately sized pots with an artistic base’’ says the eminent professor. The art evolved from china, Korea and Japan. Being a floriculturist himself he got inspired to cultivate Bonsai trees to be easily mobilized. He is also a good painter, which may be another source for getting inspired to develop plant sculptures. His was only a self-taught art. But there is always the difference of his cultivation of Bonsais from any house wives: he specializes cultivating the ficus or popularly known ‘figs’. He therefore cultivated the Nature and indigenous species and temperate species like pine, cypressus and cotoneaster which are found in hills. Abalea is an another fine variety from the hills. The advantage of Coimbatore is that its closeness with Ooty, where a plant lover can collect any type of species like tropical, Sub-tropical and temperate. His unique Collections included different types of trained ficus. Banyan, Chinese Banyan, weeping fig, Krishna’s butter cup, long island figs are the few of them. You have the marvel of visioning the pygmy, 30 year old tamarind tree, and five different species of bamboo. When you are standing in the midst of his dwarfed garden below your hip. They are 300-400 in number. Malfighia, Serassa, Carmona, advenium are the other few. He also cultivates rockdesigned Bonsais. Sometimes there are rocks plus species combinations: lime rock, lactrate, feldspear of granites etal… The methods of cultivation are various like upright, informal upright, slanting, semicascave and cascave. The trunks are serialized as 2,3,5,7 and 9. They are wired and correctly pruned. There is also a pro-plant combination: plant-bride & pot the mate. There are sizes from thumb levels to 2.5 feet. There are also colours like naval blue, sky and plants are kept in deep pots. The plants should be regularly manured, watered and exposed to sunlight. Repotting is an important procedure that the pots should be changed after a considerable duration. The maximum age for his garden plants are 90 years. He had also personally groomed his pony tailed hair for twenty years...long lasting…but the professor is no more now his works are a marvel and a pioneer in one for the bonsai plant lovers in Coimbatore Growing bonsai cannot just beautify your house sometimes will help enhance environment.

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