Local greenhouse teaches the ancient art of bonsai trees

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Working with bonsai trees is an ancient art form. The goal is to create tiny trees grown in containers that look just like their much larger counterparts in the wild.

If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of our busy world, The Flower Market is a great place to take a deep breath and enjoy the natural world. It’s full of beautiful things from koi fish to all kinds of plants and flowers.

Melissa Renaud is one of the new owners of The Flower Market.

“It is a beautiful place and working with plants is a beautiful job,” Renaud said. “I just love it.”

She and two of her friends bought it earlier this year. One of the biggest parts of this business has always been little bonsai trees.

“How many do you have? A lot, and more and more are growing every day.”

And you don’t have to just admire them. If you’d like to learn to work with the trees there are classes here for all ages and skill levels. “We have a lot of classes intro to indoor we have intro to outdoor. You can learn where you can plant your own forest we have pine and juniper classes our expert teaches a lot of them that are really informative.”

Ghazi Zouaoui is an expert whose love of the trees started when he received one as a gift.

“It’s an art form how to shape your tree, choose your container, how to display your tree, prune it and wire it,” Zouaoui said.

Zouaoui says working with the trees is transformative.

“It’s therapeutic you can come home from working all day and tinker with your trees and it calms you down, it’s a connection to nature,” Zauaoui said.

And speaking of nature, Renaud says many of the tiny trees live outside.

“The outdoor trees unless they are being worked on, stay outside year-round. We give them cover and protection in the winter months,” Renaud said.

There are all sizes shapes and a wide range of prices in both the indoor and outdoor varieties. Zouaoui says many of the trees are hundreds of years old.

“The nicer trees with character that are sought after are very old they could be 200, 300 or 500 years old. But you can also have nice trees that look old but are actually only a few years old,” Zouaoui said.

He adds that caring for them often involves generations.

“Families can bond over trees, go to shows together, take care of their trees together. When you’re too old to work on your trees, you can pass it on to your kids.”

Ghazi says the work that’s being done right now will be enjoyed long after he leaves this earth the trees often outlive their caregivers.

“It’s a bit humbling because working on a tree like this one and if its well taken care of it will outlive me. I’ll be gone one day and this tree will be around long after that.”

Classes are offered year-round at The Flower Market. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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