If you have trouble keeping plants alive, these are the bonsai for you.
For all their immense beauty, bonsai trees require a lot of care and attention. If you don’t have a green thumb though, there’s now an easy way to enjoy the traditional art, thanks to Kami-Bonsai (“Paper-Bonsai”), a new series of flat-packs that come to life once you’ve assembled them.
The four types of bonsai available include the Matsu (pine), one of Japan’s most beloved trees, and a symbol of longevity that’s often associated with the winter months.
While you won’t have to prune the bonsai nor wire its branches to guide it into an aesthetically pleasing shape, you will be able to give it a unique look by placing the “leaves” in your desired positions.
To bring a bit of autumn colour to your desk top, the Momiji (maple) contains red, orange and purple foliage.
▼ The fallen leaves beneath the tree heighten the autumn atmosphere.
Nothing says spring like the distinctive pink blossoms of the Sakura (cherry blossom) tree.
Combined with a few bright, fresh green leaves and some fallen petals, this is a pretty way to celebrate the cherry blossom viewing season.
And for the hot and humid months of summer, there’s the Kinzu tree. The kinzu citrus fruit may be tiny on real bonsai specimens, but they’re still edible, making them popular with miniature tree lovers.
▼ You’ll want to refrain from eating the paper version, though.
With its deep evergreen leaves, the paper tree brings an air of coolness to your home or workspace in the hot summer months.
The company behind the products says it prefers to bring the elegance of bonsai to lovers of Japanese culture with a sense of playful creativity, rather than aiming to provide completely realistic replicas. While they might not look real, the paper craft trees are beautiful in their own right, and are much easier to take out of the country than a living bonsai. Available online for 1,620 yen (US$14.70) each, delivery is currently available within Japan only. Depending on demand, however, these may be coming to souvenir stores and airport shops in the near future.