Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This past spring I had the pleasure of visiting the garden of a local garden celebrity of sorts. Dr Emmert and his wife Nancy have a marvelous garden located here in my little town. The garden is situated on 7 acres.  This past spring they hosted the National Azalea Growers Association.  As you can see though their garden is a whole lot more than azaleas.
My timing for a visit was a little late for the big show. 
Every time I go through the garden I see things that inspire me. It doesn't matter what time of year.
I also seem to learn something. This trip was no exception. I learned about the art form of Pinjing. Since I am usually the last to find out about such things I won't be surprised if you all say 'Oh yea that old art form'.  For those of us that love bonsai and have never heard of Penjing I thought you might like to see Dr Emmerts latest craze.
The art form itself is older than bonzai. The Chinese have done this for centuries. They add a little more
to the arrangements than you would for bonsai. 
Of course what you add to the planting is not to take away from the plants but to enhnace them. 
Each arrangement is planted on a slab of stone.
I am amazed that they grow on this substrate.
These are a few that were along a dark pathway in the garden. 
I thought Iwould share them with you so you might become as interested in them as I. Maybe these will give your winter gardening psyche something new to think about.
Happy Gardening thoughts.


  1. Happy Gardening thoughts indeed, Lisa :-D

    Thanks for sharing this, I have been interested in Bonsai in the past (although failed in my attempts to grow a minature forest) but I've never heard of this. Can't get your link to Pinjing to work just now so will come back later to read more :-)

  2. Lisa, this is one reader you have definitely enlightened--Pinjing is new to me! I may have seen some examples before, however, and didn't even know it. When I visited my daughter in Oregon a year and a half ago, I visited my first-ever Chinese garden. They look very similar at first glance to Japanese gardens, but I learned about some of the subtle differences. Stones play a key role in Chinese gardens, so I'm not surprised that these arrangements include a stone base. Although I'm still trying to figure out how the plants grow this way! Beautiful miniature gardens--I'd love to see more of the good doctor's garden, if you have photos.

  3. I do love that art form, Lisa, as I love bonsai. I've always appreciated penjing's freer style, as well as its full landscapes that transport you in ways a single plant cannot do.

  4. wow .. interesting. I have NEVER heard of Pinjing..or is it jenping? I will have to look it up.

  5. That's wonderful! I've never heard of Pinjing before. Thanks for enlightening us! I really love it, but wonder how difficult it might be to do.

  6. Hi Lisa,

    I did know about this ancient art Lisa, but confess, to not knowing the correct name.
    I think you would be very very good at this. Your artistic skills would allow you to create a thing of beauty for sure.

    I love moss gardens.....I have managed to create a moss garden on my barrel water feature. It has taken five years to get the moss to establish. I will post at some point.

    BTW the rabbits mainly come into the garden at night, when Nella is only dreaming about chasing them.
    If they dare come into the garden during the day, they do not leave........

  7. I too had never heard of Penjing. It is an amazing art form. Of course, I've gotta love the slab held by the frog most. :-)

  8. Nope you are not the last to hear of this technique!

  9. Pinjing is also unknown to me, but I've seen Bonsai plants several times. Though it is fascinating to see, how they cut/trim the plants that they look like big trees, I am not really a fan of it. However I like the Chinese and Japanese Art of gardening. I imagine that the garden you visited indeed was very interesting and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  10. What a fascinating post Lisa, I've never heard of these bonsai gardens on a slab. Thanks for sharing

  11. Oh no, I've never heard of Jenping. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. What a fascinating art form, and you could do it because of your cooler weather.~~Dee

  12. I have never heard or seen of this! How beautiful! I think I am in love for sure! I love the moss in there too...just beautiful, Lisa! Thanks so much for bringing it to light!!!

  13. I've seen something similar done in glass bowls recently but I've never heard the name of this art form. What beautiful little landscapes they have created.

  14. Lisa girl I have never heard of this method before but it looks wonderful ! I have to look it up now that you have this buzzing in my head : )
    This is a wonderful garden to visit and as you said , any time of the year you will bring away something new from it!
    Hey you won't believe this but we saw a robin today and he was making a ruckus .. poor guy is probably too lost to believe it himself ? LOL

  15. What a delightful garden. Love the new to me artform! gail

  16. Ha, I learned about pinjing from you!! And thanks for taking Carole and me to that garden. I still think of it! Love the little pinjing scenes, they are SO lovely. I always view bonsai as art, not gardening, but pinjing feels more planty/gardeny!

  17. Well I was amazed to see these Penjing displays...spectacular..just wonderful. It is amazing these plants can grow on such a little bit of soil. Are the plants wired in any way to the stone I wonder. Must do a google to find out more.

    A delightful visit to this garden, thanks to you. Did you leave a tip for the waiter frog??? Big Grin)))

  18. Lisa,
    So very interesting. I love the moss growing at the foundation of the slab! I'm so glad you posted this as it is a new art form to me.

  19. I've never been the first to find out about anything, but the last is old territory for me. If pinjing is easier than bonsai and involves more than trees (which it looks as if it does) I'm in. Now to find a flat stone of some sort....

    Christine B. in Alaska, stones buried under snow for the moment

  20. Lisa! I miss your blog posts!
    The first, second and last photos have given me the pleasure to re-thinking gardening again!

    This is so new to me but I love to explore more with you Lisa:)

  21. Dear Lisa,
    Pinjing is new to me!
    I love it...thank you. I am inspired...
    I have my bonsai. Love working with her. Now for a Pinjing!
    I even have a flat rock and some moss to get me started.
    Maybe I can get a book at the library.
    Thank you for the introduction....

  22. P.S. Did you know Matthaei now has a bonsai and penjing garden?! No reason! ;-)

  23. Loved this, have never heard of it.

  24. Lisa, these little universes unto themselves are gorgeous. I love this. I have to get my hands into the earth. You inspire me.

  25. I've never heard of pinjing before but it is most cool. I wonder how the plants survive so nicely? It is a lovely art form.

    Just wanted to say I am looking forward to meeting you at the fling.

  26. yes...indeed you have given me something to think about!

  27. Hi Lisa,
    I came here via Katiejane.
    Fascinating, I've never heard of this before either.I've really enjoyed looking around here at your place.Just beautiful.

    kate told me you know about birds, and assured me you'd know what one is I have on my blog currently. Would you mind checking it out?
    Thank you,,,,and I'll certainly be back to enjoy your blog some more!

  28. Thanks! Love these — esp. the fact that it combines shrubs and perennials. And it's perfect for those of us who love dwarf conifers.

  29. What a beautiful garden! You give me inspiration. That little slab garden is very interesting.


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