RD Home Handbooks
by Harry Tomlinson
When I have an itchy green thumb but it's too cold outside to garden, the next-best thing is reading gardening books! Harry Tomlinson's Bonsai handbook is just the sort of plant book I like: informative, easy to understand, sprinkled with a bit of humor to make the reading pleasant, and full of excellent photographs. It has a brief introduction to the art of growing bonsai, a beautiful gallery of species suitable to bonsai with specifics on their care, propagation and styling, and several sections at the back detailing how to create a bonsai (whether grown from seed or formed from an already-established plant), routine bonsai care and pest management. There are also details on tools and their use, soil mixtures, design basics, choosing pots that compliment your tree, etc. At the end there's a more complete dictionary of plants suitable for bonsai that makes it a total of 250 that this book tells you how to grow and care for. While I appreciated all the informative instructions, what I enjoyed most about Bonsai right now was looking at all the wonderful pictures and imagining what my little crassula and geranium could look like someday (I'm aiming for something like this and this). It's books like this one that make me get excited about doing stuff with plants.
Interestingly, I found that this book is actually an abridged version of Tomlinson's
The Complete Book of Bonsai which I'm now also eager to get my hands on. And it's nothing like the ridiculous brevity that was his Bonsai: 101 Essential Tips. I really wonder why the guy had to publish three books about bonsai, when two just contain info found in the complete one...
Rating: 4/5 ........ 216 pages, 1990