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From Bonsai to Banyan April 29, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Nature.

The Selby Gardens has trees ranging from tabletop Bonsai . . .

Barely tall enough to provide shade to Swift’s diminutive Lilliputians . . .

Leaving Gulliver (of gigantic proportions & portions) to fend for himself . . .

Perhaps Gulliver used a towering Banyan as his sun-shade and parasol?  

He might well have.  

Rumor has it that Alexander the Great housed his army of 7,000 men under a single Banyan tree.

Wow!  That’s hard to believe.

But begins to be plausible when we consider that the Great Banyan, a 250-year-old Banyan Tree in Kolkata, India, currently covers 4 acres.

Who knows what the Selby Banyan will accomplish in its lifetime . . . it’s only been growing since the 1930’s.

Related posts:  Aah . . . That’s Better! * Orchids, Bromeliads, and Epiphytes


1. Mands - April 29, 2012

Hi Nancy, I never understood the appeal of Bonsai Trees, until I discovered my first Jacaranda sapling, with no where to plant it… *Smile* I have three now (having given two away) and they are intriguing and a pleasure to watch grow. I have never seen a Banyan Tree ~ how amazing they are. Thanks for sharing, I’ve learnt something new today, Thanks 😉

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

Wow! That’s cool, Mands ~ growing Bonsai Trees is a unique hobby ~ and you’re spreading the JOY.

We’ve seen amazing Banyans here ~ on Thomas Edison’s estate in Fort Myers, at Ringling Museum, at the Selby Gardens, and elsewhere. I expect it was a “must have” in the gardens of the “rich and famous” in the 30’s when Florida was being deveoped.

2. Barefoot Baroness - April 29, 2012

Wow, I have such an afinity for trees and their bare branches. These are simply stunning. How very precious, old growth.

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

Banyans send out new shoots to expand their territory ~ allowing them to keep growing and growing and growing . . .

Barefoot Baroness - April 29, 2012

Amazing! I adore the way the roots are above ground and exposed. I like the way the wood is so grandly displayed. Is the wood grained?
I wish I could grow these.

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

Hmm . . . good question. I don’t know about the grain. I’ve never seen a cross section of a Banyon Tree.

Before planting, make sure you have a B~I~G yard!

3. sweetdaysundertheoaks - April 29, 2012

Those banyan trees are awesome! I love tabletop bonsai, I want to stick them in my pocket 🙂

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

Maybe you can pick up a Bonsai in the Garden Shop at the Selby . . . a tabletop bonsai for the lanai. 😉

sweetdaysundertheoaks - April 29, 2012

Yep! I think that’s a must.

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

The closest I’ve ever come to growing a Bonsai is a gorgeous Jade plant. Not quite the same, but beautiful in its small stature.

4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - April 29, 2012

Those are too cool. I love the garden and the trees. Some of the cypress trees here really spread out, but they’re just not as accessible.

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

It’s a marvelous collection of specimens, tall and small. Cypress trees are cool too . . . trees rock!

5. Andra Watkins - April 29, 2012

Those banyan trees are something. They always take my breath a little.

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

Thomas Edison is the first to plant one in the US ~ in Fort Myers, FL. Once the lightbulb went off, other socialites (with LARGE YARDS) followed his lead.

6. Three Well Beings - April 29, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Banyan, Nancy. Extraordinary! I need to do a little homework and see if they even exist on the west coast, at one of the botanical gardens, perhaps. They may not! I always admire bonsai and do see it as a peaceful art. Selby Gardens is a good place to soak up some sunshine and beauty. Very nice! Debra

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

I’m not certain about the range today . . . but they aren’t native to the US. Thomas Edison planted the first in Fort Myers.

7. sufilight - April 29, 2012

I love Bonsai trees and would have small ones in my apt in New York. They are pricey though but worth the investment as they are so pretty. The photos were beautiful, makes me want to go out and get Bonsai Trees for our house. 🙂

nrhatch - April 29, 2012

They are perfect for apartment living! And easily paired with Pet Rocks that don’t need to be walked or fed. 😉

Where do you live now, Marie? Are you still in the states?

8. Zen and Genki - April 30, 2012

Love this post! (I do have an affinity for Banyan trees :))
Nice shots!

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Thanks, Anne. Trees are our friends . . . we should be a friend to the trees.

9. bluebee - April 30, 2012

One extreme to another size-wise 🙂 Bonsai are so beautiful and delicate. I’ve seen the magnificent banyan trees on Lord Howe island – only thing is the golden orb weaver spiders love making their webs in those dangling roots…oooer

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

I love that name . . .the Golden Orb Weaver spider. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t enjoy getting tangled up in their webs affixed to dangling roots. 😯

10. atreegrowsinbklyn - April 30, 2012

Take it from ATreeGrowsinBklyn, bonsi and banyans are the best. Thanks so much for sharing both. 🙂

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Thanks, atreegrowsinbklyn! Nothing like hearing it from the source . . . trees rock!

11. thirdhandart - April 30, 2012

Beautiful captures Nancy! 🙂 The light in the Bonsai tree photos is wonderful. The Banyan tree is amazingly huge… wow! I’ve seen Banyan trees before. But, now I wonder if what I was looking at was just one tree that spread out, or multiple Banyan trees planted closely together? Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it with us.

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Thanks, Theresa. The mid-day light frustrated my efforts in several areas of the gardens ~ I expect that early morning and late afternoon would be better for “serious” photographers. But I liked the bright spotlight effect on the Bonsai.

It’s difficult to discern with Banyons, eh? As I understand it, this is a single Banyan tree . . . expanding it’s girth in an ever increasing circumference.

12. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 30, 2012

I’ve been looking for a good shade tree.

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

We’ve had some beautiful shade trees over the years ~ massive oaks and spreading elms. Here, we have palm trees. 😀

13. spilledinkguy - April 30, 2012

That’s like… you know… big.

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

It is . . . B~I~G! But, unlike Superman, it cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound. 😆

14. Victoria-writes - April 30, 2012

Those trees are amazing. Looks a really calming place!

nrhatch - April 30, 2012

Thanks, Vix. They’ve added Wi~Fi throughout the grounds so “writers” can settle onto a bench, laptop in tow, and write . . . in peace.

15. jeanne - May 1, 2012

both trees are fascinating…

nrhatch - May 2, 2012

Appreciating the diversity of nature helps us to appreciate the diversity of people.

16. eof737 - May 2, 2012

The banyan trees are amazing. 🙂

nrhatch - May 2, 2012

They need room to roam . . . but are wonderful in large gardens like the Ringling, Selby, and Edison’s winter estate.

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