Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Bonsai Gallery, Singapore
My Singapore bonsai saga continues. I already talked about one of Singapore’s bonsai nurseries earlier (http://lomov.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/cheng-tai-nursery-singapore.html). Here is another one called “Bonsai Gallery”. It is run by a father-and-son team, jovial and friendly people, passionate about bonsai. It started for them as a hobby and then turned into a business. At present Bonsai Gallery is located at Garden Hub, but it is going to move to a new place within a year. The type of material sold at their nursery is shown below.
A little note about the tree marked with asterisk. It is a 2.5 m tall Podocarpus imported from Japan and priced at SG$88,000. I felt that the prices for bonsai in Singapore were considerably higher than in Australia. I also found that a significant proportion of the plants at Bonsai Gallery was imported from China. And one of such plants was very interesting indeed. It was labelled as "Ponamalla" (see its Chinese name below) and I couldn’t find anything about it until one of the blog readers pointed out that its correct name is Ponamella fragilia . At the nursery, I was told that it is endemic to Hainan Island. It is a tropical evergreen with growth habits and morphology suitable for bonsai. Its dead wood is hard and naturally black, which is striking (see images below). But wait, there is more, this plant can survive indoors for at least six months without any ill effects.
Another curiosity imported from China were these trees with rocks imbedded in their trunks. They looked bizarre (see images below). The rightmost image shows a tree that pushed its rock out. All these trees are dug out from the wild.
One final observation. The two nurseries I visited in Singapore had quite a poor selection of bonsai pots. A bonsai pot collector I met there, told me, that there is just no place in Singapore where you can go and buy a new pot of your specifications. On the other hand, it is possible to buy a vintage Chinese pot from a dealer or a collector, which usually is not possible in Australia.