Bonsai Blog

Displaying Your Bonsai… Or What To Do In July

Since its July, most of the time you now spend with your bonsai is spent watering. Now there is nothing wrong with playing in the water. It’s relaxing and feels good when the cool water splashes on your feet in the early evening.

There is, however, another way to enjoy the bonsai hobby during the hot, hot days of summer: by building things for your plants – like stands and benches!

Now, I’m not trying to turn you into a carpenter, but it’s actually quite an easy thing to do. Since the Japanese style of architecture is so simplistic, you can make some really attractive pieces with very little effort.

So, here are some ideas I’ve been toying with. Maybe they will inspire you to create some of your own which are even better suited to your unique situation. These drawings may be a little warped, but I think you get the idea. Like I said, hopefully, these will start your mind going on how you might be able to create something even better.

Table top display stand

When I have a bonsai on a table, I like to dry the table off after I water. I found that by putting a couple 1×1 pieces of wood together with a couple small screws, you can make an attractive display stand and make it easy for the table to dry off.

You can make this any length and width that you want and it looks very attractive. You can take pine and stain it teak or oak. It’s very attractive and depending upon how you treat it, it could be all-weather proof for 2 – 3 years.

Fence-Post Stand

What do you do when you have a hilly, fenced backyard? Either develop a standalone bench from a 4×4 post sticking vertically out of the ground, or use the fence. It may not be very oriental looking, but you can make a very nice stand out of a triangle shaped piece of wood, a short 1×1, a small rectangular board, 2 long screws and 4 short screws.

This stand will require you to turn your plant depending upon which direction it is facing, but that’s actually a good thing and, it’s really attractive to see all the bonsai on the fence posts.

Benches

If you take the design idea from the table top stand above, you can easily scale it up to create long benches. These benches are not only attractive, they are easy to build. The only issue is figuring out how you will mount them. Here are two options:

  1. You can use cinderblocks. Just stack them on each other and as long as they are sitting firmly on the ground, they will not move.
  2. You can bury a 4×4 post sticking up vertically out of the ground and use a pair of 2×4’s to make a “T”, then you can mount the top deck you made to those. If you place the 4×4 “T’s” close enough together, you could hold hundreds and hundreds of pounds this way. If you need more support in the “T”, you can make triangle pieces which go between the two 2×4’s and mount them to both the 2×4’s and the 4×4 post.


If you have animals, like cats, you know how they like to get up on stuff and knock everything off. The great thing about these designs is you can take wire and wire your plant to the stand and thus secure it down so it won’t move.

Well there you have it; A couple ideas to get your mind thinking about ways to display your outdoor bonsai. This way, you can do more than just water. If you have any ideas that you think are exceptionally helpful or attractive, please send them to me at fredmeyer@dallasbonsai.com. I’d love to see them (or read about them as the case may be.)

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