A collection of smallest trees – Nguyen Van Phung has the largest collection of miniature bonsai in the world!
Collecting over 5,600 penjing pots, he is known to have the largest collection of smallest trees in the whole world.
Located in the central Khanh Hoa Province, Phung has a 4,000 square meter garden in the beach town of Nha Trang. Housing a thousand varieties of bonsai pots from typical sizes down to 5-10 cm ones.
According to Phung, he has been growing mini pots and other plants for 30 years. “After learning and caring for many big trees, I became fascinated with the beauty of smaller ones and their shapes”.
Phung picks various bonsai species however, his most preferred is the “sam huong” (rubber plant) for its small leaves, flexible branches and adaptability to weather.
He uses “branch extraction” and “leaf reduction” methods using the rubber sapling to create tiny bonsai.
Though similar methods are applicable to other plants, each tree has distinct characteristics and growers must keep an eye for its progress.
As per Phung, creating a tiny bonsai can take 2-5 years to complete. This count includes the part where the artist needs to start from scratch again when the branch dies.
Its external shape can also be challenging. It entails a meticulous process and a regular monitoring to make sure it’s not inviting pests or expanding so much.
Phung’s bonsai, depending on the age and appearance, can range between 500,000 VND ($21.65) to over 10 million VND.
These prices depend on the collector’s perception since each individual has different tastes.
Accordingly, Phung has invested around 2 billion VND in his bonsai garden but its products can get around 6 billion VND in reference to the current market value.
The World Record Union certified Phung as the owner of the world’s largest collection of miniature bonsai with over 5,600 pots – overthrowing the man in India who owns 3,300 pots.
Phung is planning to take his pots to the provincial museum so everyone can admire his creations.