We had a few nice days of spring before the winter weather returned today. The weather today has been in the lower 40s with wind and some flurries earlier. Yesterday, however, I was able to take a few pictures from out in the garden showing a few of the plants that are coming up. As you may notice, we need to get more wood chips and modify some things in the garden, but that will be a project for a warmer day! Enjoy!

(NOID Orchid)

This is the last post regarding our 2007 visit to the conservatory. We have been too busy lately to thoroughly examine the plants outside that have finally started growing, but the next post will include pictures from out in the garden. It finally feels like spring here in Minnesota with the temperature the last few days reaching the 60s and 70s! Additionally, we will resume our posts on indoor plants once we get some time to take some pictures and do some more research. Enjoy the pictures below!

Photo Credits: Jordan

On the same day last August that Annah and I had traveled to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, we also visited the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo.

"The Bonsai Gallery honors a Japanese art. Bonsai, pronounced bone-sigh, means “tree in a pot.” It is an art form with origins that go back more than 2000 years to the ancient Orient.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory houses the largest Bonsai collection in the upper Midwest. The collection represents donations and loans from companies, individuals and organizations."

It was delightful to see so many wonderful bonsai specimens on display and they even allowed us to photograph them. Below are photographs of each tree with their name and age listed.

Bonsai Exhibit at the Como Zoo Conservatory in August of 2007

Acer Palmatum "Japanese Maple" (26 years old)

Punica granatum "Pomegranate" (25 years old)

Thuja occidentalis "White Cedar" (47 years old)

Juniperus chinensis "Chinese Juniper" (25 years old)

(Ulmus parvifolia "Chinese Elm" [80 years])

Carpinus coreana "Korean Beech" (35 years old)

Ficus benjamina "Weeping Fig" (50+ years old)

Juniperus chinensis "San Jose Juniper" (50 years old)

Chamaecyparis obtusa "Hinoki Cypress" (55 years old)

Taxodium distichum "Baldcypress" (20 years old)

Ulmus parvifolia "Chinese Elm" (30 years old)

Ficus nitida "Fig" (30 years old)

Juniperus Chinensis "Juniper" (26 years old)

Juniperus virginiana "Eastern Red Cedar" (35 years old)

Ginkgo biloba "Ginkgo" (40 years old)

After seeing all of the wonderful bonsai on display, we visited the gift shop and found two beautiful Serissa foetida 'Pink Princess' for sale. I purchased a 5-year-old tree and Annah purchased a 4-year-old tree (see pictures below). They grew beautifully for about three to four months, but then Annah's Serissa got sick from some sort of pest or disease and perished rather quickly. In an effort to nurse it back to health, I brought it to the same room as my Serrisa (for what reason I'm not entirely sure) and my blooming beauty soon perished as well.

(My Serissa foetida)

(Annah's Serissa foetida)

In addition to this purchase, I had also purchased two Pachira aquatica ("Braided Money Tree") bonsai, and a Murraya paniculata ("Orange Jessamine") from the online store Bonsai Boy with all of them looking wonderful upon arrival. My Money Tree is a healthy and vibrant plant, but it seems as though spider mites have attacked Annah's Money Tree, so it has been quarantined and is going through the process of being nursed back to health. We will see if it survives. Added after the original post: The Murraya paniculata did not adjust well to the conditions I was giving it and died within about eight weeks and so we unfortunately never got to see the flowers bloom on it.

The only other "bonsais" that we own are two Ficus retusa ("Ginseng Ficus") from Walgreen's and another from Wal-Mart. (See our post on them to see pictures and some information.)

Growing true bonsai is rather difficult and requires a great deal of skill and knowledge about how to take care of them properly. Apparently Annah and I do not yet have that kind of skill or knowledge, but we can still admire the beauty and magnificence of the bonsais at the Conservatory and elsewhere.

1 http://www.comozooconservatory.org/cons/index.shtml

Photo Credits: Jordan and Annah

Here is the second part of the post on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I identified the plants I had not seen before. Enjoy!

(Sedum 'Neon')

(Impatiens auricoma 'Jungle Gold')

(Magnolia acuminata or Cucumber Tree)

(Rhus aromatica or Fragrant Sumac)

The next post will be about our visit to the Como Zoo Conservatory from last August with pictures of some more wonderful plants and some fantastic bonsai trees.

Photo Credits: All me