The best time to take your gardening skill to a newer level is during winter. Leonard Zunin, a fellow bonsai enthusiast, happily claimed that just like any interest or hobby, this could touch your emotion and eventually become your lifetime passion. Just as taking a solid rest on your relaxing recliner sofa, a hobby such as being a bonsai enthusiast can be just as relaxing.
Leonard knows well how to deliver his sense of humor, which captures ones attention every time he speaks about anything under the sun. From his conventional Eastern perception, he thought that everything about nature is equally created. Thus, they need to be respected equally. On the other hand, western belief explains that human should be responsible for nature.
Knowing this fact, Leonard initiated every Napa Valley Bonsai Club gatherings through an introductory discussion. By that, he educated other members about the aspects and history of bonsai art. He also introduced Tokonoma, a popular display which is symbolized by a pretty bonsai plant usually situated in Japanese entryway. Tokonoma is known to bring beauty and honor to the family and home.
If you weren’t aware, bonsai plants are the mini version of fully grown shrubs and trees. Simply pronounced as ‘bone-sigh’, this Japanese word means ‘plant in a pot.’ By that, every grower learned how to harness their artistry side through studying and applying the different bonsai techniques.
Originally, British introduced bonsai plants to the Western people during early 1800’s. However, it is the United States who’d become really interested in these plants as soon as the servicemen transported tiny trees when World War II ended. After he had retired as a psychiatrist, Leonard started introducing bonsai.
By 1967, the Navy recruited him as the new Lieutenant Commander — Chief of Psychiatry in Camp Pendleton. This gave him the chance to work with different Vietnam traumatized veterans and create a specific program for war widows known as ‘Operation Second Life.’ Because of this, Walter Cronkite invited him for a television interview and for a write-up in Time magazine. He also becomes a consultant for several groups such as Peace Corps and Federal Emergency Management Agency, State Department and Center for Prisoner of War Studies. In addition to that, he also authored three books as well as 50 articles. He retired as the assistant to the director of Department of Mental Health in California last 1997.
He got married to Hillary in 1983. After two years, he went back to the United States and settled in Napa permanently. They managed to maintain a small backyard with over 30 bonsai specimens along with rock suiseki displays, wood sculptures and a couple of Buddhas. Everything here portrays harmony and peace.