Mosses etc in a stone container. All the photos in this post are from Moss and Stone Gardens.
If it’s in a bonsai pot
You can plant almost anything in a bonsai pot. If it’s woody, you can call it a bonsai. If it’s not, you can call it a companion or accent plant; a planting that’s designed to enhance a bonsai display. Or it could be designed to stand on its own, in which case you can call it a kusamono (for more on this, you can check out Willi Benz’ Bonsai, Kusamono, Suiseki, or this earlier post). No matter what you call it, you might come to the conclusion that, if it’s in a bonsai pot and it’s alive, it’s either bonsai or it’s related to bonsai.
Moss and Stone Gardens
When I recently stumbled upon the Moss and Stone Gardens website, I immediately recognized a kindred spirit. Not only are moss and stones are often incorporated into bonsai, but moss and stone gardens seem to fit with bonsai in more general, aesthetic ways. This is especially true when they are arranged in bonsai pots, but even beyond that, well-done moss and stone landscape gardens seem to have a natural connection with our bonsai sensibilities.
I this a type of bonsai? It’s in a bonsai pot (a cheap unattractive bonsai pot at that) and it even sports a little juniper. Or would you call it a type of penjing? Or saikei? Or…?
This bonsai pot suits this lichen, fern and moss planting very well.
A cornucopia of mosses in undulating, free form pot that may or may not have been designed for bonsai.
Moss and lichens (and maybe something else) in a well-chosen bonsai pot.
A seductive piece of an outdoor moss and stone garden.
Source: Bonsai Bark