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Businessman with passion for bonsai

By Caterina Bernadini (Shanghai Daily)

10:21, April 18, 2012

Whatever someone's profession, his or her hobby and passion may be very different and say much more about a personality than what one does for a living.

Take the case of 37-year-old Gianpietro Bellotti, an Italian businessman who came to Shanghai eight years ago to tap the China market for his company's business producing textile knitting equipment.

Today, and ever since he was a teenager, his avowed passion is bonsai, the painstaking art of growing and shaping miniature trees in shallow containers to produce a plant that is aesthetically pleasing.

He calls them his "creatures."

Bellotti has around 100 bonsai in China, where they are tended by growers, and he has more than 20 in the garden of his home in Shanghai.

He also has another 90 back home in Italy in Chiari, a small northern country town near Milan.

Bellotti arrived in Shanghai eight years ago on business - his original destination was Brazil on the other side of the world, but things don't always work according to plan.

Instead, he was sent to Shanghai to open up the China market for his company.

For Bellotti and his wife Chiara it was to be a brief adventure - "just a few months in Shanghai," he says - but it became everyday life. The project got bigger and bigger and today Bellotti is the CEO.

He and his wife have twin daughters who can speak Chinese better than their parents.

How did he develop a passion for delicate bonsai?

The answer goes back to his childhood in Chiari where a window in his house overlooked a cornfield. He could also see women tending their flowers and there almost seemed to be a competition to grow the most beautiful flowers.

When he was 10 years old, he wanted to take part in this "contest" and to win. So he started to experiment with geraniums, which he loved.

"My balcony had to be more beautiful than the others, so I put all my efforts into tending the flowers," Bellotti says.

Because of his interest in plants, he read about bonsai and became fascinated. When he was 15-years-old, he planted his first bonsai. In autumn he collected seeds and planted them. In spring, a bonsai was born. And then it had to be cultivated, shaped and pruned over years.

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NRRsnLtxhmTIU at 2012-05-15188.143.232.*
Do not give them a bonsai. Bonsai must be careuflly maintained and if your customers are busy people, who will maintain it for them? Bonsai are not really plants, they need sun and should be brought indoors about once a week. Since the roots of a bonsai are usually exposed or near the surface, they need to always be kept moist. When giving a gift, especially a plant as a bonsai, it must also keep in mind the maintenance of the plant. A money tree is a great options. Money trees only need water once a week and does not require direct sunlight. This means it can go anywhere in the office. Get a money tree of Nice, which is braided, usually five trees entertwined ensemble.Cependant, if you want to give a traditional gifts, the food is always a good option. Buy them a nice box of chocolates, biscuits or other delicacies with oranges or tangerines (oranges and tangerines are considered good luck) for their office staff would be much appreciated. Oh, you can also have some tea too. Or better yet, give them a gift basket of fruit or other treats agre9able.Bonne luck and Happy New Year.

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