Happy Victoria Day!
About a year ago, my husband bought me a bonsai, a minuscule tree that had been growing in harmony on a grocery store shelf for years.
When he brought it home from Safeway, I placed the wee plant on my north-facing kitchen windowsill directly above my sink. This way, I would be sure to remember to water it every day like the instructions it came with recommended.
Soon after, it sprouted a few prickly twigs on the underside of its main branch, so I carefully pruned them. But other than that, my beautiful bonsai, a Japanese juniper, appeared to need little else.
Admittedly, I knew nothing about a bonsai (an ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot and artificially prevented from reaching its normal size).back then. So, I joined a dozen or so bonsai groups on Facebook and followed a few avid bonsai growers who proudly post pictures of their thriving tiny trees on Instagram.
I was enchanted, to say the least, and quickly learned that the practice of Bonsai (grown in a container) can be an extremely rewarding pastime for plant lovers all over the world.
But at the same time, it is also a lesson in patience and perseverance.
I heard from other growers that my beautiful bonsai would take a long time, years perhaps, to grow into a bigger, small-scale juniper. And so, I kept reading and imagining the day when I could wire mine to shape its trunk and branches just like the experts do. But for the time being, I was more than happy to see it did little else but stay alive.
Then suddenly, after a long dreary winter, my bonsai began developing bright green, needlelike foliage at the top of its bristly branches.
It was growing, and I was ecstatic!
I decided to move it to the south-facing window in the living room where the sunshine pours in from midday until about 6 p.m. Every morning, I doused it with water, checked its growth, and put it back on a small table alongside a group of sun-loving plants.
Then one morning, before I had even lifted my head off the pillow, I heard a crash as my dogs, Oliver and Guapo, barked uncontrollably at the newspaper deliverer person.
Later, I found my bonsai lying on its side in a pile of mud underneath a heavy potted jade. The poor thing had snapped at its base, leaving the smaller half intact
The broken bonsai. (Supplied)
I was devastated, to say the least, but quickly put the larger, bushier growth in a propagation container filled with water, in the hopes that one day I might be able to repot it.
Now, as dog owners, we’re used to varying degrees of mishaps that occur in our homes when we choose to share them with furry creatures. I know that.
But every now and then, when they innocently chew a treasured knick-knack, rip apart an expensive pair of shoes, or break a beloved bonsai, it can be heartbreaking.
Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened to. What kind of destruction have your pets created? Let me know here.