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Think outside the bonsai

March 17, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

When you think of potted trees, don't think just of bonsai trees. Don't even limit yourself to trees or annual bedding plants when thinking of potted plants.

People shouldn't limit their imaginations when it comes to choosing ornamental container plants, said Michael James.

James, museum specialist at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., will speak about "Soil and Nutrient Amending in Ornamental Container Plants" at 3 p.m. Saturday at the HCC Alumni Association's 11th annual Flower & Garden Show.

James said it's an ambitious topic for a one-hour seminar. He even plans on doing at least one demonstration such as potting a 6-foot-tall tree.

In addition to talking about the variety of plants that can be potted for indoor or outdoor display, James will discuss ways to keep those plants healthy.

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The Clear Spring-area resident will bring different types of soil products and amendments, which are added to improve the soil and health of plants.

"(Amendments) are important outside too, but when you have just this little space for a plant to grow in, it needs ideal soil," James said.

Different amendments, such as additives that help hold moisture so a plant doesn't have to be watered as often, can help a potted plant fit a person's lifestyle, James said.

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