A few weeks ago I told the story of how The Little Book of Bonsai came to be. Today I’d like to share details about who it’s for and what’s inside.
I wrote the book for people who are new to bonsai. It’s illustrated with images of trees from my collection and the collections of friends.
Grey-bark elm by Eric Schrader *
Six chapters introduce basic bonsai topics.
- Bonsai Style
- Caring for Your Bonsai
- Tools and Techniques
- Containers and Display
- Appreciating Different Species
- Next Steps
The first chapter starts with questions like where bonsai come from and what makes a bonsai look like a bonsai. On a practical note, it walks readers through the process of selecting the front of a tree.
Chapter two focuses on tree health: how to identify an appropriate environment for your trees, how to water, how to fertilize, and how to deal with common pests.
Watering a shimpaku juniper *
Readers learn about tools and techniques in chapter three. A brief introduction to pruning and wiring provides a starting point for shaping trees. An overview of the styling process shows the transformation a tree can go through from pre-bonsai to styled tree.
Chapter four focuses on Containers and Display and features a step-by-step sequence of the repotting process with tips for matching trees with containers.
Appreciating Different Species (chapter 5) provides criteria to look for when shopping for bonsai and describes characteristics unique to groups of trees like broadleaf evergreens and deciduous species.
Princess Persimmon by Bill Castellon *
The final chapter describes Next Steps enthusiasts can take to learn more. It identifies educational resources for further study and lists public bonsai gardens and events around the country and in Japan.
True to its name, The Little Book of Bonsai is small (6″ x 8″, 112 pages). Inside, eighty color photographs show readers a variety of species commonly grown as bonsai and the styles in which they are trained.
The book will be available next Tuesday. To learn more or to pre-order a copy, visit The Little Book of Bonsai.
* Photography by David Fenton
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