Saturday, January 19, 2008

Complete book of Bonsai

Complete book of Bonsai
by Harry Tomlinson
ISBN 1558591184 HC pp.224
Published 1990
Abbeville Press

Harry Tomlinson is one of Europe’s leading bonsai artists and instructors. He has practiced and studied the principles for over thirty years and is a recognized authority on the subject.

With so many books out there, the vast majority being repetitive, it was indeed refreshing to find one with a unique blend of information and ideas. Not unlike other good books, I found the description on the origins, development of bonsai and it’s underlying principles clearly explained. It contains an in depth section on how to create a bonsai from seedling, cutting or nursery stock. Clear step-by step instructions take you from the initial raw material through to the finished bonsai. All the tools and techniques are clearly illustrated and explained. Their use is described in full detail. I found the section on containers extremely informative. Although brief, the attention to details in this short section is commensurate with the rest of the book. As most artist, the choice of the right pot is often difficult, this is especially true when one has developed a world class bonsai, where the pot becomes an integral part of the composition/illusion. This book contains a good explanation on suitability and use of each, unlike other manuals that seem to give the reader a mere cursory or general overview on containers

The heart of this book is a photographic catalog of bonsai trees and shrubs, providing the cultivation and styling details of over 100 different species. The end of the book encompasses a compendium of over 300 trees and shrubs that can be developed as bonsai including individual growing requirements and needs. This hardcover full colour book make it a worthwhile investment.

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