The History of Suiseki
Japanese History
Chinese History
Korean History
Common Classifications   
Japanese Classifications
Chinese Classifications
Korean Classifications
Japanese Terminology
Chinese Terminology
Korean Terminology
Collecting Suiseki
Where To Collect
Tools & Gear
Evaluating Suiseki
Ten Views of a Rock
The Science of Suiseki
Preparing Your Suiseki
Using Acid
Drying Stones
Stone Cutting
Developing A Patina
Caring for Suiseki
Displaying Your Suiseki
The Daiza
The Suiban
The Tokonoma
Other Displays
Overall Design

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The artistic and poetic combination of Suiseki and Bonsai creates a true work of art. The combination adds life to the suiseki and strength to the bonsai. And to both, a sense of timeless beauty is added.

Combinations of suiseki and bonsai
The best combinations are achieved with suiseki and bonsai that are found together in nature.

  • suiseki and bonsai should be in harmony
  • combination should enhance feeling and aesthetics of each other
  • always follow nature
  • reflect spirit of full-size counterparts
  • suggest natural forms with simplicity

    The two methods of combining are:
  • rock planting (ishi-tsuki)
  • tray landscape (boneki)

    The combination of tree and suiseki is especially beneficial for both the lovers of bonsai and for lovers of suiseki alike:
  • very young bonsai with suiseki can be enjoyed immediately
  • flaws in suiseki can be hidden by attaching bonsai
  • moss or soil can be used to stabilize uneven stone

    When used with Bonsai, the best suiseki features are:

  • many natural crevices
  • irregular contours, fissures
  • weathered channels
  • rough surfaces
  • stones which hold soil well
  • crevices used to attach guide roots, or hide anchor wires

    When used with suiseki, the best Bonsai are:

  • maple trees-- roots attach easily, mold to stone
  • mature trees
  • young seedling trees
  • dwarf varieties with many long, thin, flexible, even roots
  • slow growing trees
  • pine and spruce need little moisture, look attractive
  • dwarf box, buttonwood, Japanese yew, Chinese juniper, needle juniper, hemlock, cypress, fir

    About Bonsai
    Quality features of Bonsai:

  • suggests features of full-sized tree
  • small leaves, branches, etc.
  • tapered trunk, beautiful aged bark
  • thick dense foliage, in clusters
  • balanced branches in scale tree size
  • 5 traditional Bonsai shapes:
    1. formal upright
    2. informal upright
    3. slanting
    4. semi-cascade
    5. cascade
    Tray landscapes

    The success of your tray landscape depends heavily on the container:

  • think of it as a frame for a painting
  • preferred are earthenware or ceramic
  • sometimes used are cement, bronze, wood and copper

    Containers for rock planting and tray landscapes are:

  • usually 2 inches deep or less
  • depth closely related to width and length
  • the longer /wider, the greater depth.
  • oval or rectangular containers best
  • round, square and hexagon shapes also used

    Color considerations for containers:

    • container colors and object colors should not compete
    • avoid distracting bright-colored containers
    • Most collectors prefer :
      • neutral colors (beige and off-white)
      • subdued natural earth tones (dark brown, dark red, dark green, gray)
      • pastels work well with color of most suiseki and bonsai
    Rock Plantings
    Two styles of rock plantings which are dramatic and effective:
    • Root Over Rock Style:
      • roots are trained down over stone
      • roots trained into bed of soi
      • 2 or more water drainage holes, 1 inch diameter
    • Clinging To Rock Style:
      • bonsai grown entirely on the stone
      • roots wholly contained within peat pressed onto stone
      • bed of soil not required
      • stone typically placed in shallow suiban with sand, water or both

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