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Kusamono pairing with trees.


I've been wondering if there are any rules for choosing which Kusamono to go with which tree in a formal/show display. Does shape of leaf , color, size come into play?  Is a flowering accent paired with a flowering tree a good thing or a bad thing and why? Do you want them to be more of a contrast in color or blend in?  I ask because I was at Lone Pine Nursery last weekend and they had a ton of succulents in a rainbow of colors and shapes (yes, I bought several) and looking at them on my bench I was admiring how some went really well with some trees, some mirrored shapes of leaves, matched the early spring growth, ect. I haven't really seen much about kusamono rules other than "you don't want it to detract or outshine your tree".
Mary B.

I've been giving this more and more thought.  I'm told Bonsai, Kusamono & Suiseki by Willi Benz is a good book on the subject.  I wonder if anyone has suggestions for others.

It is my understanding that the pair should make sense.  You wouldn't pair a desert succulent with a Buttonwood from Florida, for instance.

Thanks for the book suggestion. I'll look for it.  I've been thinking more about kusamono since the president of one of the clubs I belong to wants the members to do more 3 point displays, if possible. He said if you're going to be spending so much time and effort on your show trees you should have the same quality kusamono to accent.
When you mentioned the desert succulent paired with the Buttonwood, wouldn't it depend on the size, color, and shape of the leaf of the succulent?  I bought a few a couple months ago that look like permanent blooming flowers, not a struggling succulent in a desert environment. On the Pacific coastline near Fort Bragg, CA there are succulents clinging to the side of cliffs with beautiful conifers up on the bluffs. It's a very lush, damp environment in places, not dry or sparse like a desert. So if I paired one of my succulents with a cypress or formal upright redwood, would it "make sense" to anyone but me? 
Mary B.


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