East meets West: Chojubai on Riding Spur

Michael Hagedorn

This is a Japanese Flowering Quince Chojubai presented on a Western riding spur. ‘Presented?’ ‘Held’? ‘Lofted’? ‘Attached’? One might argue the proper term, but the riding spur was found on a hike in the Arizona mountains about 20 years ago, after falling off someone’s boot decades before. I’ve dragged it around everywhere I’ve lived, figuring it had an unknown future as part of something else. And that was revealed last week. When casting about in the garage for something to attach the chojubai to, my eyes settled on this ancient piece of ironsmithy…and the phrase ‘East meets West’ popped up, and I laughed, and there you have it. The latest bonsai orchid to grace our shade cloth structure was on its way to being born.

We had a great time making this, and throughout it all I wondered how old that riding spur actually was. It’s pretty dry there in…

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