I already had a miniature bonsai garden in mind when I originally took the photograph (below) of the Tikal Mayan Ruins in Belize. My miniature Mayan Ruins garden landscape isn't an attempt to make an exact copy the original scene, it's simply inspired by the beauty and culture displayed in the photograph I took some 20 years previously.
I actually used standard aquarium ruins decor for the pyramid and the large carved faces set in the stone mountain. To that I added a few carved stone Mayan souvenirs I acquired on my original trip, all those years ago.
The three main trees are kingsville boxwoods which I have trained as bonsai (but again my bonsai club refused to allow me to exhibit this penjang garden because "it has too much junk and not enough trees and it's in a non-traditional irregular tray pot not meant for penjang (bonsai gardens) and it defies traditional Japanese bonsai culture and rules".
Whatever their rules may be, I still am very proud of this little garden.
There used to be some really nice tiny firecracker fuchsia accent trees mixed in, but they do not like the same horticultural practices as the main 3 boxwood trees. Their scale work great with the kingsville boxwoods and it gave it more of that jungle feeling.
To make the arrangement, I cut plastic needlepoint grid to match the irregular shape of the tray pot and secured it in place with wire through the two drainage holes at the bottom. Then I passed two wires for each tree up and through the plastic grid wherever I want to place a tree - which coiled around the trunks to secure them in the arrangement. I also wired some of the tree branches to get better branch structure. I also passed up several long wires which I wrapped over the aquarium decor elements to secure them to the rock mountains. Finally I mossed everything over and placed the walkway stones in place and added the crane figurine. I left the wire on the trees for about 4 months by which time the the roots had grown in and secured the trees could.
It's very low maintenance needing trimming just 2x per year and weakly, weekly fertilizing schedule in spring and summer. The boxwoods are EXTREMELY SLOW GROWERS adding just Â½ inch per year to their profile.
Size 14x10x8" Planted with pre-bonsai 5 year old nursery trees all planted together in 2010. Tray: Japanese brown irregular shaped ceramic tray pot.
I welcome questions comments and suggestions.
I'll post some more mini gardens I've made real soon.
May you have many Zen gardening moments.