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Bonsai for Beginners

Bonsai for Beginners
Craig Coussins
New York: Sterling,
Publication Date: 

cloth, 128 p., $29.95

We admire its grace and beauty, the careful arrangement of its design, but for most of us, the art of bonsai might seem far beyond our limited talents. Bonsai for Beginners aims to change all that by explaining bonsai in a way that anyone with a sincere interest in bonsai can understand and learn from. All the fine points of creating and caring for a bonsai are covered here in detail, including choosing a bonsai, feeding, watering, proper temperature, lighting, placement in a house, wiring, potting, pests and diseases — everything that might be of use or interest to a bonsai owner.

What made this book stand out were the many actual bonsai case studies presented by the author, as he details a step-by-step process of creating a bonsai, each step beautifully photographed and documented, so that the reader gets the feeling of actually participating in the creation of one of these beautiful miniature trees. There is a wealth of information here: how to prune and pot an elm, how to use nursery trees for bonsai, how to restyle a large tree into a small bonsai, and on and on. For anyone interested in the subject of bonsai, I can think of no better introduction than this book.

— Jim Kemper