Monday, August 1, 2016

Creating Little Desert Trees as Ornamentals for Indoors & Patios

The Sonoran Living Desert Museum in Tucson has always inspired me when it comes to Landscape Design
Image - Mine 

Ironwood Gift Shop - Sonoran Desert Museum, Tucson Arizona

Image Mine
Ever see something which looks to have incredible potential and think, 'If only I thought of starting such a business concept years ago.' But no one can go back. Still, if a human could live forever, can you imagine the limitless possibilities of opportunities you could pursue ? Of course the world would have to be a much radically different place than it is at present. But think of the potential for perfecting a craft like this Bonsai root over rock Ficus art. And you'd never need to be in a hurry. In such a world patience would be common place. It's only that our short bubble of a life span most of us to be impatient and rushed to acquire things, things, things that throws a wrench in the works. Obsession with consumerism and making such the foundation of a nation's economy is literally killing this planet. This photo above I took was in June 2016 outside the Ironwood Gift Shop and Restaurant at the Sonoran Desert Museum which is just west of Tucson Arizona. What a perfect desert native patio tree. Or possibly a pool side and landscape tree. It's clean and it's sharp looking which tremendous amounts of natural character. Interesting textural form and character. What the developers of this design have done here is merely to replicate Natural Design. 

Image - Mine - Sonoran Desert Museum - Tucson, Arizona

Below here is a fun tutorial on creating a Ficus root over rock bonsai container patio plant, hence Rock Fig as can be commonly found in nature's desert areas like Baja California and Sonora Mexico. I won't post more than one video, but you can go to YouTube and type in "Rock over Root Ficus Bonsai" and bring up multiple videos of people who have enjoyed this hobby for years and have found the need for sharing this fun pursuit. These are people who actually out there who do not have a time wasting need for things like Pokemon Go.

Image - Mine - Sonoran Desert Museum - Tucson, Arizona
Rock figs (tescalama): Ficus palmeri and Ficus petiolaris
"Rock figs are a legacy of the tropical origins of the Sonoran Desert. They are a kind of strangler fig. Tropical strangler fig seedlings start life as epiphytes high on the branches of host trees. The fig roots encircle the host's trunk and eventually reach the ground. The roots then enlarge and squeeze the host tree's trunk while the upper branches overshadow it and starve it for light. The host dies and rots, leaving a hollow giant fig tree."  
"There are no trees in the Sonoran Desert large enough to host a stranger fig seedling. Desert rock figs took to establishing on cliff faces and "strangling" rocks. They may live as dwarfed saxicoles their entire lives. But if their roots eventually reach the moist soil of a canyon bottom, they will grow into large trees."
Some great references on Rock Figs
The large contorted and twisted Ficus above is Ficus palmeri in situ about 100 meter from Sea of Cortez south of Punta Frailles.  The tree measures over 25 meters (80 foot). Likely blown over by hurricane many year ago. It's kept trimmed by goats to expose the trunk. The possibilities for replicating designs found in Nature are limitless. These forms are found everywhere in Nature and in every kind of plant. Consider where the Japanese art form for Bonsai came from. Most of us who have ventured outdoors on a hike in any mountain ranges have seen wild forms of Bonsai from trees which under ideal growing conditions are towering giants. But in such a stunted form in rock formations where root space is restricted, they can live for centuries. Like the write up in the webpage of the Sonoran Desert Museum stated, they can live for centuries on rock outcroppings, but if their roots ever hit water, they'll turn into large trees. This makes them the perfect container patio tree if you design them properly.  

Image - Hennie Cloete

Ficus petiolaris - Canyon Santiago and Verde Rivers

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting and for your comments!

I will try to respond to each comment within a few days, though sometimes I take longer if I'm too busy which appears to be increasing.