Displaying Bonsai in your Home
Throughout the year there will be times when your bonsai trees look at their absolute best - they may have fresh new leaves, flowers, a good crop of fruit, fantastic autumn colours, striking winter structure or maybe have recently been refined. These are ideal times to enjoy one tree away from the rest of the collection.
Display it in a cool, uncluttered part of the house for no more than one or two days, to avoid stressing the bonsai. Select an area against a plain background where the structure of the tree can be fully appreciated. The site should also be away from sources of heat, such as radiators.
In Japan bonsai become an important part of life and an area of the house is set aside for viewing the bonsai tree in isolation, often an alcove. This display consists of three elements, the bonsai tree (man), a scroll (heaven) and an accessory (earth), and this symbolic triangle is known as a Tokonoma. The scroll is positioned centrally and should be subtle and understated, complementing the tree. Most often the ornament accessory is an accent planting or viewing stone (suiseki).
When viewed as a whole the arrangement should create a feeling of complete unity, rather than three separate items grouped together.
Although it is difficult to create an authentic Tokonoma area, by understanding and employing the main principles of harmony, balance and simplicity a bonsai display can be greatly enhanced.