Every year, in the spring, Epcot has a Flower and Garden festival that usually lasts from March to May.
Within Epcot there are different countries represented in themed pavilions and Japan happens to be one if them.
One of Japan’s contribution to the Festival is (if you’ve read this blog before you may know) bonsai.
The challenge in a bonsai display happening for this long is this: bonsai grow.
So, every week, volunteers go and trim the bonsai, pull weeds, and basically make sure they are doing well.
I am one of these people. I’ll be volunteering 3 times during the show.
With this post I will give some idea of how I go about the process and I’ll also give you some eye candy to look at.
When we go for our maintenance duty we enter through the back gate and we get to see what Disney calls “backstage”. I won’t put any pictures up of there because it will destroy the Magic for you. Seriously. I won’t even describe it.
Anyhow, I park behind the Japanese Pavilion and and go “onstage” and the first thing I do is walk around and look at the trees. I meet with the area managers and they ask if I need a ladder or the waders (yes, waders, there is the one cypress in the koi pond)
Interestingly, the only tree I might need the ladder for is my own. Disney has done a good job mitigating the possibility of injury in the placement of the stands this year. In years past I remember having to try to trim a tree where the stand was 7 feet tall and the tree was ten feet at the top. The ladder (a 3 legged ladder at that) was only six feet tall. And the ground is covered in 8-10 inch wide river rock.
None of that this year. Although I do have to stand on a railing to trim one tree.
It’s probably the most natural looking tree here; very well done by the artist. It, being a tree from Puerto Rico and, subsequently not liking our oddly cold spring, is not growing yet. I pulled some weeds. The moss is really good too
show classic cold damage. Surprisingly, frost can occur above freezing (32) and we Floridians sometimes walk a fine line in the winter when it comes to that.
This damage won’t hurt this ficus, it’ll just drop the old leaves soon like this
The moss is a little rough too.
The next two trees didn’t need anything done to them except they were on the stands backwards. When we first installed them the original location for them was almost behind a new food kiosk. When there was a line the trees were obscured from view.
Disney moved them. But I guess they put them backwards.
Here are the trees with the corrected front views
They’re both healthy but, with this odd spring, I think they’re just confused. Like me most of the time.
I got a good pic of this bougie that I missed in the last Epcot post (click here for it.)
The buttonwood will start to shed its leaves at this time and that’s what I trimmed on it. If it were my tree at home I would defoliate it totally. But this is on display and it needs some leaves.
Speaking of that, next we have my tree.
I got this cool pic
Which looks like its reverting to juvenile foliage; that happens when it’s over pruned or over fertilized.
And the blue arrow is showing a cone/flower thingy. Which, if I did my research correctly, means its the male part of the trees reproductive organs. Looks like a cute little pine cone, doesn’t it? Awwwww!
The next tree is this massive ficus microcarpa
My next maintenance is in a couple of weeks. Should be interesting to see is spring finally comes to the Mouse House or not. Hope you enjoyed the different camera angles I use this time instead of the usual centerfolds.