Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Recently on Beacon Hill a Corvette jumped the curb and hit some pedestrians. I'm not exactly sure where this happened but I knew from news reports that it was near one of my favorite Bonsai gardens. I did a search for 'Bonsai Crash' and came up with something entirely unexpected. A website that specializes in making tiny car crashes to run into your tiny bonsai tree trunks.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
There is a neighborhood on the east central area of Beacon Hill that I've only recently discovered. Roughly between S Columbian and S Orcas streets, I don't seem to go through this neighborhood very often but I'm rewarded whenever I do. One recent find is the the house pictured above which is a classic example of the many treasures scattered through this area.
I'm going to go on a more extensive walk through this area soon and report back my findings.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I've recently been turned on to Leah Giberson's wonderful artwork. Click here to go directly to her Etsy shop.
Although she is not from Seattle, her modern bonsai paintings are amazing and her prints are very reasonably priced. Buy some bonsai art now and show your bonsai pride.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Have you ever seen a circus performer spinning plates on the end of long sticks and wondered how they did it? Is it some kind of a trick? Are the plates glued on somehow? In our hearts we know that this has actually come from a good sense of balance and years and years of practice, but it is always amazing to see.
I though of these spinning plates recently when I ran across this AMAZING bonsai garden on the east side of mid Beacon Hill. The shrubbery seems to defy gravity as it is suspended in hovering circles floating above the branches. Rings of foliage waft above the ground magically as if there is some unseen creature underground blowing leafy smoke rings for our amusement.
This yard is a real show stopper and I'm not taking it lightly when I'm officially naming it Behi Bonsai's YARD OF THE YEAR!! This yard is a labor of love, a testament to patience, artistic ability and frankly one of the coolest yards I've ever seen on or off the hill.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I was thinking today about Mid Century Modernism and it's value of simple shapes and lines. Bonsai shapes are a natural compliment to this aesthetic and I think that is why I'm so drawn to this combination. So I took a few photos this morning on my walk of mid century homes with nice bonsai, but this is a common sight on Beacon Hill.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Okay, I have to admit that I was a little turned around when I took these photos, but this yard is somewhere on the west side of North Beacon Hill.
It is a multitude of bulbous bonsai cascading out of this yard. For some reason it reminds me of that Candyland game I played as a kid. Part of me wants the owner to paint all of these in different bright fruity colors and stripes so that they will really look like giant gum-drops. Yummy!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I like to call this bonsai effect 'The Wave', it is essentially when someone converts their entire yard into a sea of bonsai. Not only is it something to marvel as is the above pictured bonsai mass located on the west central side of Beacon Hill, but think about how hard it must be to maintain. How do you get to that center part? I would like to do a time lapse video of this yard that lasted for years, I bet that it would look like a shifting sea.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Please keep in mind as you read this that I am always actively looking for funky Bonsai and I'm walking around Beacon Hill constantly. That is why this one took me completely by surprise. I must have walked by this very house on the corner of 18th and Horton dozens of times and I never even noticed this crazy mountain village sculpture right out in someone's front yard. The thing must be about 6 feet tall and covered with little plastic houses/temples/people/cars/fake snow etc. How could I have missed this amazing gem? If you are walking on North Beacon Hill this one is one that you would not want to miss.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Although I hate to suggest anything that is not technically on Beacon Hill. Viet Wa Super Foods grocery store on MLK has some badazz plastic 'lucky' bonsai on sale. Worth checking out if your in the hood. That's still close enough to Beacon Hill that it's cool, right?
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The trick to finding new bonsai like this one on mid Beacon Hill is to take different routes every time you have to drive somewhere. It's a little less convenient but it's been helping me discover new areas of the hood.
I liked this yard not only for it's shapely bonsai, but for it's excellent use of a sloped lot with lots and lots of amazing rock work.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I just got around to reading the April 2009 issue of Artnews that prominently displayed a nice bonsai on the cover and an article on 'the new landscape'. The article was not that interesting but it did have a little blurb about Seattle's new sculpture park.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Truth be told...it's actually hard coming up with Bonsai of the Week. Not because there isn't anything to choose from...actually it's because there is so much to choose from that it's hard to narrow it down. It's hard to find a single block on Beacon Hill that does not have some kind of crazy shaped bush.
I try to look for the funky factor, strange shapes, plastic sculptures, crazy arrangements...but often times I run across yards like this one located south of the VA hospital on south Columbian way. It's just really well done in a loving way and it looks great. Once again making me glad that I live on Beacon Hill.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Sometimes you see someone's yard on Beacon Hill and you can't help but wonder why? I'm sure there is a good story behind these bushes, but what is it? Why would someone take it to such an extreme? Clearly they must have some love for their trees if they carve their fence around them to protect them. But what is up with the extreme shapes? Maybe this persons artistic aesthetic is just so much more advanced than mine that I can't understand it? I think that this is probably the most far out Bonsai on Beacon Hill, am I wrong? Located off of 39th on the south end of Beacon Hill.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
This house is located in mid Beacon Hill somewhere east of Beacon Ave. Truthfully I was a little lost when I ran across it so I can't say exactly where. I was so excited about the AWESOME statues in the front of the house that I totally forgot to take photos of their well groomed shrubbery so you are just going to have to trust me that it was cool.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Here at Behi Bonsai we are celebrating the fact that there seems to be a bear running around Beacon Hill by opening an online store. Now you can order T Shirts that show your neighborhood pride and it can help you identify large furry land mammals at the same time! All proceeds will be donated to local charity so order a bunch today. CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR STORE!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Why just stop when you have a nice well shaped bush? This person decided to add a second story to their shrubbery and deserve Bonsai of the Week for going that extra mile. Located somewhere over by the Viewpoint Park, it makes me think that Dr. Suess might have trimmed his bushes to look something like this.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
This is my favorite yard this week, it's along 15th Ave S in central Beacon Hill. Not only are there a lot of crazy Bonsai, but it's topped with plastic animals and even a palm tree! Beacon Hill at it's best!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I've been admiring people that form their shrubbery as walls that separate them from the street. If you think about it, who is going to put graffiti on a bush? Plus it can change over time, if you don't like your neighbor you could grow it bigger or maybe carve hearts into it for valentines day? It's still a labor of love but probably more eco-friendly than chopping down some trees to make a fence.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
It's not too much of a surprise that Seattle was just named Fast Companies #1 city of the year. The article goes on and on about how clever and creative we are and the broad depth of our industry and that we are the kind of city that is going to lead America out of this recession. blah blah blah...you know the drill.
But perhaps the coolest thing about the whole story is that the main photo that they used (photo by Alessandra Petlin) prominently displays a iconic Bonsai almost as a cultural symbol of our region. Does this mean the rest of Seattle is finally catching up to Beacon Hill? I don't actually know where that bush is, but let's face it, there is a good chance that it is on Beacon Hill! Does anyone recognize it?!?!
Oh...and I guess you should read the rest of the story about how cool we are.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Earth Art movement was born in the US in the late 1960's. Championed by such artists as Robert Smithson the movement could 'be understood as a protest against the perceived artificiality, plastic aesthetics and ruthless commercialization of art at the end of the 1960's". This has always been one of my favorite art movements because it took art out of the museum and into the natural world where it was meant to be part of the landscape and maybe more than any other art movement (yes, even Dadaism) I think it challenged us to look at art in new ways.
I doubt that this is what this person was thinking of when they made their entire yard into a bulbous contorted mass of bonsai-ism but I can't help but thinking of the words of Robert Smithson when he said "A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world."
The gardener that lives in this house (and many others on Beacon Hill) has created sort of a public folk art sculpture that reminds me of how lucky we are to live in this area of Seattle.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I spotted this one just off Beacon Ave on the south end of Beacon Hill. This is one of my most entertaining things when people actually take the time to shape their bushes into recognizable imagery. Truly this is a labor of love that goes unappreciated like this butterfly.
I have had to train my eye to look for these things and there have been a few that I have passed by regularly and never noticed until someone pointed them out to me. I've now become a little bonsai paranoid and am starting to see all sorts of things that probably don't exist, but it's fun. Like lying on your back on a summers day and looking up and the clouds and seeing what they have to offer. Topiary can be like Rorschach tests so please let me know if you see any on the hill and I would be happy to add them to the list!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Pointillism is not my favorite art movement. Championed by artists such as George Seurat, this neo-impressionistic movement took root in late 1800’s Paris and perhaps it’s most famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, has become an icon of post impressionistic art and it obviously deserves it’s place in the history books. The basic tenants of this movement is that the eye naturally blends different ‘points’ of light in order to recognize imagery.
This is not my favorite art movement because I find it a little stiff and boring. Or at least I used to find it stiff and boring until I ran across this Bonsai treasure yard. I can’t say exactly where I was because truthfully I was a little lost, somewhere in central Beacon Hill west of Beacon Ave.This is actually someone’s back yard at it looks more like a moon-scape as they have lovingly draped their yard in different shapes and shades of well trimmed bushes. Who needs a lawn when you could cover your whole yard with living sculpture reminiscent of Pointillism?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Truthfully, even after walking all day I really only saw a small slice of Beacon Hill so it's not really fair to say who had 'the best bonsai', but I none the less wanted to honor one particular bush that I ran across. This one is located on the north side of Graham st somewhere between Beacon and MLK.
I couldn't find the quote, but Michelangelo said something to the effect of 'I don't actually sculpt, I find the sculptures that are already hidden within the stone', I kept thinking about this when I ran across this bush. Someone had found the sculpture that was hidden within this shrub and lovingly and carefully brought it to life. It is a painstaking masterpiece that recalls Henry Moore on his best days. Good job whomever made this! It is a work of modern art that defies gravity.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I first fell in love with the topiary aesthetic when working briefly in
Japan 10 years ago. Clearly there was a simple traditional Asian
influence at play in the walled gardens, shrines and temples of Kyoto,
but it had grown past this into a more modern art form that could be
found in the hippest neighborhoods of Tokyo.
Fast forward 10 years later and I’m living on Beacon Hill. With it’s
large Asian population combined with the laid back west coast lifestyle
it has become a perfect breeding ground for a fashionable Bonsai that is less
feng shui and more funk-schway. Beacon Hill hosts a variety of well groomed bushes that are just as much at home in front of mid-century modernist architecture as the classic Beacon Hill Bungalow and every variety in between, this website is dedicated to the love of that aesthetic and of the tragic and amazing baggage that comes with it.
Having said all of that after walking the circumference of the hill, I
think that the area with the highest percentage of Bonsai is the few
blocks immediately west of Jefferson Park. I found myself unable to
walk down one side of the street and instead zig zagged back and forth
admiring all of the well trimmed hedges. So if you don’t feel like
walking 18 miles but you would still like to experience a little bonsai
whiplash from admiring a lot of well trimmed shrubbery than I would
recommend this part of the neighborhood.
CLARIFICATION: I'm talking about the blocks a few blocks west and south west of Jefferson park on the other side of 15th. Probably 13th Ave S is the best street.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
In other news, HGTV is running a show called 'A Man Named Pearl' (available on DVD) about Pearl Fryar that has an amazing topiary garden in Texas that is worth checking out. I hope to see it some day.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I've decided that this Wednesday, March 25 I'm going on a full walking safari tour of Beacon Hill in search of the most exotic bonsai. Armed only with my camera and a note pad I am planning on walking a giant circumference through the residential areas from Pac Med down to the furthest southern reaches of Beacon Hill and everything in between.
I may not survive this perilous journey, but if I do not return know that I died doing what I love, searching for the ultimate bonsai of the universe.
p.s. If there is anything specific that you think I should check out that day, please let me know at behi.bonsai (at) gmail.com
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I'm still working out new ways for people to share but here is one that comes to us from leveckemas
What could be better than Beacon Hill, bushes and bunnies all combined? Located somewhere along 17th?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I call this one the Lone Soldier. It is perfectly clipped and trimmed, yet it is the only bush in their yard. Seeing this sad and lonely plant makes me ask the bigger questions in life. Why does this bush exist? What is this bush doing here? Why is this bush so very alone?
Thanks to everyone for your interest in Behi Bonzai, I am still working out the kinks but I'm developing ways for more community participation. Thanks! photo by D. Kitty