Liesl Ah Shene
THE art of bonsai growing is not just for older folk and nothing proves that more than eight-year-old Daniella Pattinson of Mount Croix.
Daniella, the youngest member of the Eastern Province Bonsai Society, will have one of her first bonsais, a Cape honeysuckle in a broom style, on display at the annual Bonsai Show at the Walmer Town Hall on November 23-24.
The Grade 2 Collegiate Junior pupil, and her mother, Angela, went to the show for the first time last year after by chance coming across the signs promoting it. Growing up with bonsais around the house, Angela was keen and brought her daughter along.
From first glance, Daniella fell in love with the “miniature” trees.
“They were so pretty, and I knew that I wanted to start growing my own.”
The mother and daughter duo have been going to the workshops almost every month when there is not a birthday party for young Daniella to attend. Now, a year after joining, the youngster is ready to showcase her talents.
“I was fine with her picking up this hobby and happy for her to egg me on. It is something for us to do together. It’s our alone time,” Angela said.
The two have together learnt about taking care of their bonsais; growing and pruning them, collecting cuttings and going on digs to find new plants.
“When we go on digs, we come home full of fleas,” Angela laughed.
Loving their new-found hobby, the Pattinson team has already got a few bonsais growing around their home.
“Every month we get a new tree or new tool,” Angela explained.
For her birthday, Daniella did not do the norm of bringing cake for her class, but rather gifted them with miniature spekboom cuttings that she had rooted and potted for them.
“Some of them asked me ‘what’s a bonsai?’. Others wanted to know where their cake was. I just told them this will last much longer than cake,” Daniella laughed. She wants to be involved in bonsais for a long time and has hopes of one day making “a beautiful fairy garden”.
For more info on the show, see our events diary on Page 8