(Another) Unique Composition: Penelope by Nick Lenz

This tree must be one of the great American bonsai masterpieces…. although some may not call it bonsai.

This is ‘Penelope’ by Nick Lenz. Some decades ago, Nick got the idea to plant a young larch (Larix laricina) on a cheap concrete garden statue, and ended up producing something truly amazing.

She is named after the faithful wife of Odysseus who patiently waited many years for the return of her husband in Homer’s Odyssey. Here she is lounging under the semi-shade of early spring larch foliage.

Penelope was recently on display at a bonsai exhibition at the McMichael Gallery in Toronto.I posted a picture of her in a recent post, although I feel she is deserving of a little more attention.

I know that this is a composition loved (and hated) by many, and I am fortunate that I get to see her pretty often since she was deported to a private collection in Toronto some years ago. This post is for everyone who has not seen her since she was published in Nick Lenz’s book Bonsai from the Wild (get the book if you don’t have it). She certainly has grown since then. If you can’t see her in person, hopefully this video is the next best thing.

Don’t forget to change the viewing resolution to 720p.

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