The word bonsai simply means plant in a tray in Japanese. But anyone who has seen bonsai specimens of any quality will know that they're much more than that. Sometimes called living sculptures or silent poems, these miniaturized trees are both a horticultural discipline and a refined artistic pursuit. The best bonsai evoke the strength, beauty, and character of large mature trees; a piece of wilderness in a small package. Many of the oldest and most venerated bonsai were collected from the wild. Known as yamadori, these trees are pre-sculpted by nature herself, and display forms not always replicatable by human hands. The oldest known bonsai is estimated to be nearly 1,200 years old. Talk about your garden outliving you.