Some of these unique bonsai may be called strange, odd or even traditionally unacceptable. Others may not be considered “real” bonsai at all.
Phil Krieg had this to say about his unique bonsai displayed at a Bonsai Societies of Florida convention:
"It’s a Brazilian Raintree and obviously in the Wind Swept style. I call it 'Charlie' after our hurricane here in 2014.
"I have been thinking about the beauty of Bonsai, the emotions it can generate and how to communicate it to those who admire but don’t understand it ... every tree should tell a story of their life ... when it came time to display it ... I thought I would have some fun and be as obvious as possible to show a windy day and a windswept tree collapsed by a storm. "
Nick Lenz calls himself a "crazy old hermit." He may be somewhat of a hermit, but he's certainly not crazy! Nick is often recognized (and sometimes criticized) for his eccentric styling and use of bizarre items with his bonsai (such as small statues, goblins and more.) However, there is no questioning his artistic ability.
See Nick's gallery on the art of Bonsai site, which includes some of his more traditionally styled trees.
"Calligraphy" got lots of attention (and controversy) at the European Noelanders Trophy 2014. In case you're wondering how this unique bonsai lives in this 'container,' it doesn't.
Grown in a more traditional container, Tony Tickle placed it in this arrangement for exhibit only.
How many times have you had a bonsai that just didn't fit in any of your bonsai pots? This pine bonsai creation is from respected artist and author Colin Lewis.
You may ask "Where did that idea come from?" In tropical and sub-tropical zones of the world, Ficus species are common in the landscape, and their roots are prolific. Some trees are spread by birds from viable seed. Others are invasive because they've been ignored.
The roots growing on this stone wall are in Miami, Florida.
It is not unusual to find roots on old walls, fences and even houses ... especially in old neighborhoods of tropical climates. Surely, a scene such as this was the inspiration for this root-over-wall bonsai presentation.
Jukka "Fatalii" Kilpinen, from Finland, is an expert in the chili pepper world. Fatalii has gone a step further than edibles, he created chili pepper bonsai. He calls them "Bonchi."
Notice that these unique bonsai peppers have very nice nebari!
This is an older looking Bonchi with yellow peppers. These fabulous multi-color peppers make showy bonsai. Bonchi flowers are just as colorful as the peppers.
Very rarely seen in traditional Japanese bonsai, figures are frequently
used in other countries, including the Vietnamese art of 'hon non bo.'
Artist Lam Ngoc Vinh was featured on the 'Art of Bonsai.' A fine bonsai artist in the traditional sense ... Lam Ngoc Vinh also has a creative leaning toward using figurines in a most unique way.
This bizarre 'bonsai on a broomstick bicycle' photo was taken by Miyazato Rintaro, Japan.
This unique penjing is from China.
Although it looks very natural, two plants have been grafted together to form this 'raft-bridge.' The artist saw something few people would have imagined.
Jonas Dupuich, in one of his blogs, said: “Omoshiroi is a Japanese word that means 'funny' or 'interesting.' It can be used to express respect - or mockery." The plants and some of the pots on this page are all 'omoshiroi!'