Bonsai, an ancient tradition with its origins in China, is a fascinating 'living art' that captures the beauty and strength of trees and shrubs in miniature. Developed as a fine art form in Japan, it inspires and intrigues gardeners the world over. Starting with a fascinating introduction to bonsai, the book defines and describes this ancient craft, explaining the best trees and shrubs to use as well as the importance of bonsai size, proportion and aesthetics. The art of displaying bonsai is also examined in some detail, with useful advice on pots and containers, display stands, accessories and accent planting, as well as how to display bonsai indoors and outdoors. A beautifully illustrated section on the bonsai year looks at growing seasonal bonsai, from the glory of cerise azaleas in spring to the flaming colours of autumn acers, while a photographic gallery provides stunning images of over 40 mature bonsai specimens, with statistical information on their age and the method of training. The essential techniques of this precise art form are clearly described, and there is practical guidance on tools and equipment, propagation, and soil types, as well as on basic pruning, shaping and wiring. There is also advice on advanced bonsai techniques for creating beautiful flowering and fruiting bonsai, including azaleas and rhododendrons, chrysanthemum, fuchsia, prunus and wisteria. An invaluable bonsai directory provides horticultural information on a variety of popular species for both indoors and outside, while a chapter on caring for bonsai gives advice on watering, feeding and general maintenance regimes, as well as coping with pests and diseases. A unique inspirational and practical section on bonsai styles describes 15 of the most popular methods of cultivation, from formal and informal upright to slanting and windswept, and includes how-to instruction on how to achieve each example. Written by one of the foremost bonsai specialists, the book is beautifully illustrated with over 600 specially commissioned photographs featuring stunning portraits of excellent bonsai specimens and practical, informative step-by-step sequences. The essential practical guide to a classic art with techniques, step-by-step projects and over 800 photographs Contains useful guidelines for choosing the best trees and shrubs, as well as understanding bonsai proportions and aesthetics Gives expert step-by-step advice on all the basic techniques, such as defoliating and wiring, as well as how-to sequences for designing and styling 15 classic bonsai styles from formal and informal upright to slanting and windswept Provides helpful suggestions for displaying bonsai successfully, with expert guidance on containers, display stands and accessories Includes an invaluable visual directory of over 40 of the most suitable bonsai plants, as well as advice on seasonal care and maintenance A stunning and fully comprehensive reference that is ideal for the beginner as well as the more experienced bonsai artist 'A masterly account for beginner and expert alike written with enthusiasm and authority.' Roy Lancaster, OBE.
Ken Norman has been growing bonsai for over forty years. He and his wife Ann have an important collection of bonsai permanently displayed at Leonardslee Gardens, West Sussex, England. Ken is a past Chairman of both the Federation of British Bonsai Societies (FOBBS) and the Friends of the National Bonsai Collection (FNBC). He is also a founder member, past Chairman and current President of the Sussex Bonsai Group and has been involved in organizing national and international bonsai conventions. Ken and Ann have been awarded six Gold Medals at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show, including a Gold Medal at Chelsea 2004.