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Bonsai For Beginners: A Program and Booklist

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Bonsai For Beginners: A Program and Booklist

“Bonsai” is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container.”

It is the art of cultivating and growing beautiful small trees that actually mimic a large tree, and is a tradition that has been carried out for over a thousand years.

If you are looking to explore and try out this unique horticultural art form, the Library can help you get started.

On March 16 at 11am we present Bonsai For Beginners, where you will get an introduction to the fascinating world of Bonsai, and learn how to get started in this ancient living art.

Join Master Gardener Arnie Friedman in this illustrated talk, as he shares with us his personal journey of discovery into the world of bonsai. Surveying the 3000 year history of gardening in miniature, he will talk of early attempts at creating ancient-looking trees in miniature and how the skills can be developed using modern-day tools and resources. 

He will talk of key terms and concepts, show you how to get started, as well as cover the basics of the care, cultivation, and maintenance of bonsai trees. This will include plant and pot selection, pruning and shaping, stages of development, and required tools.

And here are some books available in the Livingston Library collection if you want to discover more about the joys of growing these miniaturized works of living art.

(Note: Descriptions are taken from the publishers)

choosing and growing bonsai

Choosing And Growing Bonsai by Peter Chan

Bonsai are both eye-catching and extremely popular-and this directory of more than 80 trees details their characteristics and explains how to look after them to get the best results. With stunning photography, and detailed instructions for choosing and growing a plant, it’s ideal for both beginners and enthusiasts alike. There’s advice on essential tools and getting started, on maintaining trees throughout the year, and on solving such frequently encountered problems as dropped or browning leaves, as well as techniques for nurturing and styling your plant.

freestyle bonsai

Freestyle Bonsai : How To Pot, Grow, Prune, And Shape by Jerome Kellerhals

Learn the tools and techniques of bonsai to get started potting, shaping, and caring for your own collection of tiny trees, all while learning it’s okay to bend the rules along the way.  Though bonsai is steeped in ancient traditions and techniques, it doesn’t have to be intimidating and difficult.  You can grow beautiful bonsai trees without judgement or the stress of perfection, as this book shows. 

happy bonsai

Happy Bonsai : Choose It, Shape It, Love It by Michael Tran

Outlines care profiles for 40 top trees and provides illustrated demonstrations of more than 20 bonsai techniques and styles.

introduction to bonsai

Introduction To Bonsai : The Complete Illustrated Guide For Beginners With Monthly Growing Schedules  by the editors of Bonsai Sekai Magazine 

Beautifully illustrated with details and views a camera simply can’t show, Introduction to Bonsai offers a unique and insightful look at these mini ecosystems. This complete guide contains all the information you need to create and maintain your own bonsai: Handy monthly bonsai maintenance schedules detail proper watering, pruning, wiring, transplanting and other upkeep activities throughout the year. Leaves, fruits, flowers, and processes are presented up-close to help make growing and upkeep as successful and simple as possible. Diagrams show where, how much, and in what direction pruning, wiring, watering and other maintenance should be performed. 

keshiki bonsai

Keshiki Bonsai : An Easy, Modern Approach To An Ancient Art by Kenji Kobayashi

Traditional bonsai can be complicated, time consuming, and expensive. Keshiki bonsai is different. Gone are the confusing rules. There’s no need to wait for years until your bonsai is “ready,” or to worry that you might kill some ancient, precious plant. Keshiki bonsai is about taking inspiration from a natural scene and creating a living piece of art using easily available plants and small containers. This dazzling book features 37 stylish projects with simple, step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow.

ultimate bonsai handbook

The Ultimate Bonsai Handbook : The Complete Guide For Beginners by Yukio Hirose

 The book’s “learn through observation” approach fosters an in-depth and mindful exploration of this enduring art. Coverage of over 70 different types of bonsai and their requirements makes it an invaluable guide to different pines, maples, flowering and fruit bearing trees and other varieties.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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