The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation (Hardcover)

The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation By Harry Tomlinson, Elvin McDonald (Foreword by) Cover Image

The Complete Book of Bonsai: A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation (Hardcover)


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Presenting a unique blend of information and ideas, The Complete Book of Bonsai is a comprehensive, practical guide to the traditions and artistic principles of growing and maintaining bonsai trees. Over 300 bonsai trees and shrubs are described, over 100 of them in an outstanding full-color photographic catalogue.


The origins and development of bonsai are traced, and the underlying principles of this fascinating art clearly explained. The classic styles are listed and illustrated, together with full descriptions of how they were derived from models in the world. Outstanding examples of plantings in all of the various styles are shown. The types of containers are detailed, and the importance of their use for different trees or styles explained. Advice is given on placing and exhibiting your completed bonsai.


There is comprehensive information on how to create a bonsai from a seedling, cutting, or garden center plant. Clear step-by-step sequences take you from the initial raw material through to the finished bonsai, showing the superb results that can be achieved. All the tools and techniques of bonsai are illustrated and explained, and their use described in detail. Maintenance and propagation sections tell you everything you need to know to keep your bonsai beautiful and healthy, or to create your own trees.


A photographic catalogue of bonsai trees and shrubs lies at the heart of the book, providing the cultivation and styling details of over 100 different species. Each entry is accompanied by an original full-color photograph of at least one outstanding specimen. This section is supplemented by a further compendium of trees and shrubs that can be grown as bonsai, giving a total of over 300 to choose from.

The Complete Book of Bonsai reveals every aspect of the art, with inspirational ideas and practical advice at every turn. Whether you are a beginner who would like to grow just one or two trees, or an experienced enthusiast who wishes to build up a whole collection, it is the essential reference work.

Harry Tomlinson is one of Europe's leading bonsai artists and instructors. He has been both studying and practicing the principles of bonsai for almost thirty years, and is an internationally recognized authority on the subject. He has exhibited bonsai and gained awards in Britain and Japan, and has judged the bonsai section at Britain's world-famous Chelsea Flower Show.

For the past thirteen years the author has been a professional bonsai artist with his own studio, and is a leading bonsai nurseryman. Greenwood Bonsai Studio, which he runs with his wife Christine, is the largest and most complete bonsai nursery in Britain.

Elvin McDonald served as Director of Special Projects at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York and is Secretary Emeritus of the American Horticultural Society. He is a recipient of the Hutchinson Medal for lifetime achievement from the Chicago Botanic Garden. The author of more than 50 gardening books, Elvin was garden editor of House BeautifulFamily CircleTraditional Home and Better Homes and Gardens.
Product Details ISBN: 9781558591189
ISBN-10: 1558591184
Publisher: Abbeville Press
Publication Date: March 1st, 1990
Pages: 224
Language: English
This is the most thorough, lavishly. . . illustrated book any bonsai enthusiast could wish for, written with clarity and inspiration by one of Europe's leading experienced authorities.
— Choice

The authors passion for his subject is communicated on every page.
— Elle Decor

The photographs alone are worth the purchase price.
— The Sacramento Bee