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  • Shona McCarthy

Springvale Bonsaiarium


In Springvale, most of the available culture is Vietnamese or Chinese. The bulk of the main shopping district is devoted to these twin cuisines. But if you want to experience more than food, I recommend travelling down to 215 Springvale Road. Here you can find the Springvale Bonsaiarium. More than just bonsais, they sell aquarium supplies and they are also a café. There was even a high quality sound system available for sale when I went through. If you are there at the right time, you can see the owner at work on his trees. He is Vietnamese, but in Vietnam, bonsai is a longstanding hobby, and the Vietnamese have their own bonsai style.

(The owner of the Bonsaiarium at work. He is very knowledgeable and professional. Taken by me, 2019.)

When I went, the owner was displaying some of his bonsai in racks on the street outside. However, when I visited the back of the store, what I found was a mystical fairyland.

(Photos taken by me, 2019.) The bonsai themselves are meticulous in terms of quality. You really feel as though you are seeing beautiful miniature trees. I can suggest going in warmer seasons so you can see the trees when their flowers a blooming. You can buy bonsai and bonsai supplies in this place. The owner actually runs a bonsai club and community, with his clubmates regularly appearing at the store.

(Photos taken by me, 2019.)

The hours are convenient, 9am to 5pm everyday except for Tuesdays. So you can go with your friends or by yourself and just relax.

(Photos taken by me, 2019.)

I decided to make a game of my visit, attempting to identify which bonsai was my favourite and to photograph all the ones I liked best. The back area isn't large. But since the trees are so small, you can see many amazing things in such a tiny space.

(Photos taken by me, 2019.)

(My favourite bonsai in Springvale Bonsaiarium, 2019.) The above photos are of my favourite. I loved the way the moss was so perfect and uniform. Looking at it, it was like my eyes were climbing a lilliputian embankment. I could imagine myself as a tiny person, resting against the trunk or climbing into the boughs of the tree and looking up through the branches. Looking at it, I even felt vaguely as though I were being transported into the ancient forests of Japan. I thought, if this isn't the way a bonsai should make you feel, I don't know what is. Come and take a look for yourself. See if you can identify your own favourite. Or rest your head on that bark and join my spirit under that tiny tree.


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