Guest Blog Post Sam, Bonsai Experiment


Sam Cherry Trees 2015-4

Hi my name is Sam and I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife.  I am also Paula’s brother. My story?

Both our parents grew up on farms and definitely had green thumbs.  My sister and I are city dwellers but we both like to watch plants grow.

Eating yummy cherries about a year ago I noticed the large pile of seeds I had accumulated and decided I would start my own grove of cherry trees.  Out of about 100 seeds I tried to get to take root, only 3 took root and only these two survived.   Just to get 3 seeds to root took about 3 months.  I used a process known as “stratification”.  First they lived in the freezer for about a month and then moved to the refrigerator for about two months.

Almost had given up on them until one day I noticed three of them were starting to crack their outer coverings….then a couple of days later I saw the roots starting to form….then I planted them in some soil and watched them carefully for about a week….  One did not make it, but these two did.

I am waiting for them to get about a foot tall and will use them for my first attempt at bonsai.  They are already a year old and slow growing.  I only use the most expensive and high tech containers.  The one on the right is a won ton soup container from our favorite Chinese take out place.

Sam Lemon Trees 2015-4

These are lemon trees also from seeds from fruit bought at the grocery store.  These were easier to start then the cherry trees.  All I had to do was to remove the outer covering from the seeds and put them in between some wet paper towels in a plastic baggie.  After about a week of leaving them in my kitchen storage closet (cool and dark) they started to take root….almost all of them….very easy.

I have heard that these will produce lemons when they to grow big enough.  I’m going to see if I can get these to produce fruit for me.

If you look real close you can see a ghost in the picture on the left!


Sam Apple Tree 2015-4

This is my apple tree that I started about two years ago.  It was doing really well until I accidentally bought some soil that had some little flying insects in it which infected all my plants.  The way to get rid of them was to let the soil in the plants dry out to stop the cycle of the laying eggs.  Well, this plant was near death after that but it is starting to recover.

This is one of my fancier containers, notice the fancy design around the rim.

Since it is already miniaturized I am going to try bonsai with it too.  I like the bend in the “trunk” near the bottom.  This little guy already has character.



Bonsai Living With Me!



This bonsai jade plant came to live with me about a week ago.

The owner was not sure how to take care of it as it was a gift. The poor tree came to me with hard impacted soil in many many dead leaves.


After just a week it already looks much better cleaning away the dead leaves and trimming off some overgrowth.


I didn’t think the poor little companion bush was going to make it but it looks like he is going to pull through. There are signs that there was once two bushes and now only one is left.   It also appears there was some kind of moss on a portion of the hill and I’m hoping that it will come back too.

Bonsai Display From Hina Matsuri Festival


Bonsai, living art displayed at the Hina Matsuri Festival.   Do you feel the cold wind sweeping across this tree?  Pulling it to one side day after day as it attempts to reach to the sky.



These plants growing in harmony with driftwood and rocks.


The display on the right is a grove of trees.  The roots are exposed in the neagiri style.  Perhaps they were caught in a flood or tsunami which washed the soil away and left the roots uncovered and only protected by nature.


Ikebana displays from Hina Matsuri Festival


The traditional Japanese home will have a small alcove where seasonal art is displayed.

Ikebana, the art of observing nature is an example of treasured seasonal art.  The ikebana arrangement may be used in harmony with other works of art or alone.



Amazingly these different angles reveal totally different aspects of the same story.


The simple flower arrangement celebrates the beauty of subtraction.  Empty spaces reveal their secrets.


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Does the mood of the arrangement begin with the container?  The color, the shape, the texture.  Or is it the relationship between the container, and each flower, leaf, branch and other elements of the arrangement that express the story of the artist?

The art of ikebana requires the artist to use all five senses.  Finding beauty and balance in the simple and bringing every day life into appreciation.


Arvada Colorado’s Cherry Trees, Sakura Blossoms, a Gift From Japan


In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo made a gift of friendship, 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC.

Commemorating that 1912 gift the Consul General of Japan made a gift of three cherry trees to Simpson United Methodist Church at the 100 year anniversary and celebration.  These trees are thriving and they are now welcoming spring and blooming this week!

Members of this diversified church include first, second, third, fourth and fifth generation Japanese-Americans.  We are fortunate that we will be able to practice hanami (flower viewing).  Perhaps we should arrange a Sakura Hanami Festival and enjoy viewing our very own blossoms with a traditional picnic.

The Denver Cherry Blossom Festival this year is Saturday June 27, 2015 – Sunday June 28, 2015.  The Sakura will be done blooming but Denver will enjoy a festival of entertainment, vendors and great food.


Bara Bara Practice Taiko Routine

Back to Taiko!

It was great to see the group and play the drum today.

This is the new song by Taiko With Toni!  The instructor Marc Steuben is playing it at a slightly slower pace as the group learns it.

Yikes!  It is hard enough playing with the drum right in front of you and now they are learning to play it on its side and traveling.

The next festival is the Cherry Blossom Festival.  This group is motivated and works hard learning new material but they are always having fun!