floraAdore
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Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Since being bitten by the bonsai bug , I've been reading everything I can find on every subject regarding bonsai- from basic tree biology ( very helpful to me, someone who previously only grew house plants) growing techniques, collecting from wild, producing great ramification /nebari etc

I've read P.Chan's "Bonsái Secrets". I was lucky & found 2 older books at goodwill hardcover "Bonsái: Miniature Potted Trees" by Kyuzo Murata ( a mere dollar !) & for .50cents "Bonsái for Indoors" by Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, published in 1984. Great articles & drawings by J.Naka, C.Deriderian, f. Okamura & many others whose names are well known.

I'd LOVE any suggestions on subscriptions to any monthly or bi-monthly periodicals especially!!!

Has anyone read "Collecting from the Wild" by Nick Lenz? I was considering ordering it.
I've heard of "101 Esstential Tips" by H.Tomlinson but, I'm unsure if it just (mostly) reiterates what I've already read. Also interested in "Ficus, The Exotic Bonsái" Meislik

If anyone has ANY books they'd part w/ I'd be happy to negotiate fair price & pay for the shipping naturally. ANY ALL suggestions on blogs, articles, artists, magazines & books you found helpful!!! My 3 local bookstores NONE had a single title on bonsai!

tomc
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

floraAdore wrote:Since being bitten by the bonsai bug , I've been reading everything I can find on every subject regarding bonsai- from basic tree biology ( very helpful to me, someone who previously only grew house plants) growing techniques, collecting from wild, producing great ramification /nebari etc

If anyone has ANY books they'd part w/ I'd be happy to negotiate fair price & pay for the shipping naturally. ANY ALL suggestions on blogs, articles, artists, magazines & books you found helpful!!! My 3 local bookstores NONE had a single title on bonsai!

Keep on at the church bazzar and used book store. The former is a great resource for pots of dead big-box store malsai (at uber deep discount!). And most used book store owners have a soft spot for readers of lost causes. Become one (lost cause) to your local used book store.

This is particularly true if your going to hoard technical manuals like any of Mike Dirr's books.

There are three (I think) of those Brooklyn Botanic manuals. Blessedly for us they were reprinted for like sixty years and dusty copies are stuck in the corners of book crypts everywhere.
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floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Keep on, keeping on!! My neck gets funny after reading so many tilted w/ my head tilted!! I'd love to find the other 2 in that series!! I've found 3 nice pots at 2nd hand stores, 1 w/ a roll of wire & mudmen for a buck! ;)

My grandmother is an avid church-fair goer (no one makes better fudge than those ladies!) she'll be happy I want to go.

Guess that book by Lenz is out of print! I found a copy for $30 but, saw others asking $125!!!

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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

If you travel about now, at the Washington DC arboratum on NY-Ave is their annual sale auction and show.

Old farts like me deed their trees to the bonsai collection. Often with the false belief they will keep their collection. (IMO they can't too many donated trees)

That auction is something to die for (or of). I'm sure some years its thinner than others. But on fat years its a budget buster of trees with many actual years in harness (not salesman years)...
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

There was a war betwixt Russia, and Japan. Back in Roosevelt I's admin. Some western industrialists helped broker a treaty between them. We got as a pay out hundreds of (Mume I think) prunus. They were planted and bloom still. The Smithsonian collection in the arboratum out on NY Ave has its sale when those "cherry" trees and azalea bloom.

Its worth the trip.

Books come and go. Too many people steal mine :( I miss them more than tree babies, which I can grow more of.

Your Brooklynn Botanic pamphlets have photos of (and by) Zeko Nakamura. He wrote one only book that was translated into english. Zeko stands knees and ankles above his peers because his trees are the littlest. The pack of Lucky Strikes as a proportion makes his photos easy to identify.

Zeko's only book also has his state-of-the-art tree photos. I suspect the translator left something to be desired as it was never reprinted, and its price remains diminutive.

He suckers me into trying mame trees about once every ten years or so. I promptly fall on my asterisk, and recall why I gave it up the last time... ;)
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floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Interesting! I'm really hoping to find the other 2 in the series.
Bummer your books get permanently borrowed !! Makes one not want to lend!!

I went to the library & got "The encyclopedia of Bonsái" K. Norman & "The Beginners Guide to American Bonsái" by JP Stowell w/ foreword by Murata 1st edition published in '78. <-- it's eloquently written! Technical & yet poetic in his explanations of space, balance, & style. The photos are nice even the black & white one's. I plan on photocopying the whole thing & put it in a 3-ring binder. I will surely read it more than once.
The Encylopedia is HUGE! Must be able to scan, shrink the print somehow so I can have that 1 forever too. May be worth buying; from the heft of it & the info I saw in my quick breeze through (the meter outside was a' ticking). I love being frugal, saving $. I assume I could color copy any pages of photos I want too.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

So I am looking for a book, but what I want is very specific. I am looking for something on the art of bonsai design, styles, design principles, etc. The kind of thing that would tell you that (in general) the height of a finished bonsai should be about 6 times the trunk diameter, branches should come off the outside curve, the first branch should be one third of the way up and stuff like that as well as the different styles like broom, formal upright, informal upright etc.

So what I'm interested in right now isn't so much how to grow and care for your tree, bonsai soil, watering etc and it isn't even technique of wiring and pruning, though I'm sure I will get to all that. Right now though I would like to focus on the art / design/ style.

Most of what I'm seeing tends to be way more about technique and less about art and design.

Any suggestions?

PS I didn't mean to sound simplistic by mentioning the rules of thumb. I also mean design principles like this -- I thought the following was a very nice article:

https://artofbonsai.org/feature_articles ... ciples.php

So the point is that I want to start with the art. Hopefully the technique can follow from that.

Here's another nice design article I found:

https://andyrutledge.com/book/content/la ... istry.html
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Part of what I am getting at is that i think before you do anything with cutting/ wiring etc, it seems like you would need to have at least a general picture of what you want it to look like finished. I'm sure that picture will change/ get refined as it goes along and you see how the tree responds to what you have done so far (part of what I love about the idea of bonsai is that you and the tree are in a co-creative process). But still you have to have a general picture to start with. So how do I learn to look at this large tree/shrub in a large pot and see what I might be aiming to help it create?
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floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Rainbow- 1 thing that has helped me is drawing images of my tree. Then I use tracing paper to add/subtract or move branches. I'll be at the Colloquium in June & want opinions on my willow leave ficus- I'd like to create something- print a lg photo & put clear plastic ( like used for projectors) over it. W/ an overhead marker or otherwise, I can see & save changes.

I posted on another forum looking for a book like you described. The 2 books by R.Steven are excellent & highly recommended. I ordered 1. Ill let you know when it arrives, how technical it is , subjects, in- depth articles etc.

floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Check out Stone Lantern. They sell wonderful books, book combos & book & DVD combos.
I recently purchased Nick Lenz's "Collecting from the Wild" for $35 only to find I could've got it WITH a DVD on collection for the same price! (Not counting shipping!) grrr!

& btw rainbow- thanks for link, really great written article. Let me know what you find out there: 2 heads are better than 1'!!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Thanks for the suggestion of Stone Lantern. I checked out their book section. Much of it was too specialized or too how-to hands on, but I found this which seems like exactly what I was looking for:

https://www.stonelantern.com/Bonsai_Aest ... b1aest.htm

Description


How to improve the aesthetic quality of your bonsai trees. Bonsai Aesthetics is the first bonsai book dedicated exclusively to the major principles of Japanese aesthetics as applied to bonsai trees. It is practical and simple, yet full of ideas which will inspire and challenge your bonsai skills and understanding.
The author, Francois Jeker is an accomplished bonsai tree artist and deadwood carving master.
Softcover 9" x 6 3/4"
144 pages full of beautiful color photos and illustrations

Haven't ordered it yet-- right now is not the best time to spend the $20, but I'm keeping it on my list.
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

I hadn't seen it but, upon reading ur post, I did- it's on my "want" list too!
Rainbow- I could go broke REAL quick! The books I want! The Japanese concave cutters I NEED, soil components, I don't own one stand yet AHHHHHH!!! & shipping!!
Neglected to mention before; myself looking for inspiration: I checked out a book on old Chinese landscape paintings. I love literati style though, it must be the right tree (& IMO the hardest style to "get" right) Even if its a different style some of the trunk/branch movements easily inspire. Though Id would never copy a tree from a picture (LAME): it WAS helpful, to me. . .
Also I'm a total Pinterest junkie: constantly storing images that please me.

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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

I think you are plunging in to bonsai in a much more intense way than I am. Starting with just some trees and shrubs I collected from my garden, I am years from needing a display stand, if I ever have anything well enough developed that I would want to present it like that. I'm probably at least a couple years away from even needing a bonsai pot. And I'm not worrying about specialized bonsai tools until I know more about what I am doing. So I am easing myself in to the art of bonsai.

Just as I have difficulty throwing away seedlings just because I have too many of them, it is also hard for me to chop down a tree that has potential to be full sized and beautiful. I like bonsai, but I want to know what I am doing before I ruin too many trees...

I always have Marge Piercy's bonsai poem echoing in my head.

A Work of Artifice

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.


Marge Piercy


makes me sort of ambivalent about bonsai -- even though I do admire the patience and artistry and think well done bonsai are very beautiful.
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

The difference between a Pulik and a Poodle dog (if both were shaved bald) is very little.

But their grooming makes them distinct as night and day.

And like those two breed of dog, neither (trees or dogs) will profit by lack.

Bonsai are not grown out by withholding their needs. Rather the reverse is true. they tend to be spoiled and over fed and watered.

To stick with my dog breeding anology, what those two breeds can do is different. As are different tree types. Oh you won't find many cascade bald cypress, nor will you often find a poodle herding sheep by standing on the sheeps back.

And a Pulik almost never grows buskeo's... :)
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floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Rainbow- your approach makes sense to me!! I think many ppl buy & then hack/prune like crazy! MUCH thought must be put into desired look before chops & extreme prunes- it takes a LONG time to replace a branch you should've kept! That's what I did w/ my 1st tree anyway!! Hindsight is truly20/20!! That said, I'm nervous about my 1st trunk chop!!
Tools so far, are not actual "bonsai" tools- I just bought regular pliers & wire cutters that do the same thing (maybe not as well though, I notice bonsai tools often have longer handles)
Smart you didn't go straight into a bonsai pot! Another rookie mistake I made! When I bought it my 1st, they offered to pot it for me & I thought it smart b/c that meant i didnt have to buy potting medium
I'm just scratching the surface of display aesthetics. most growers would find my trees laughable at this point! I love that a display can be used to convey a feeling, scene or season. It can tell a story, w/ the right accessories. Now I'm quite enamored of suiseki as well (rocks that are worn by nature & time, resembling a mountain, waterfall, cave & images like animals or thatched hut)
Am I overwhelmed? YUP. But , I'm enjoying finding my way!!

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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

howdy all,
its been a while... floraAdore fancy meeting you hear :wink:
love this thread it really shows we all go trough the same transitions when learning the art of bonsai...i am still clueless on matching pots to trees it just doesnt click in my brain it drives me nuts.
here is a great website for some info flo https://bonsai4me.com/

RBG love the poem... to me looking at a wired tree makes me almost sorry for the binding and forcing to my will... so dominating :twisted:

tom, the trees do talk just listen on a windy day :P

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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Hello Everyone! hello ManOfthetrees!!! what a coincidence!!
On picking pots: frustrating!! on the last post on Peter Warrens bonsai blog: Saruyama, titled "a little polishing fun" he shows a tall, rather thin, elegant white pine. He shows it in 3-4 possible options & urges you to guess which was actually chosen.
If you have time check it out!! I choose incorrectly!! :oops:
I'd comment further but, don't want to spoil it for those who'd like to take a stab at it. Not that Peter Warren is the end-all-be-all but, his choice made sense. I'd like more examples like that! Showcasing a variety of pots instead of simply explaining why it was chosen you SEE the difference yourself.
Texture: trying to match the feel of the tree, match texture of bark or perhaps the opposite to make it stand out?
Color: the old stand-by: unglazed natural colors for conifers, glazed for decid., brighter colors working w/ flowering/fruiting.
& one must consider the lip (or lack of) & feet. . . sigh!!!
What pot did YOU pick? & why? I'd love feedback & see if anyone picks the one I did! I think it'd prove effectual !
SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! ATTN-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

sounds interesting. can you post a link to the blog for those of us who have never heard of it? thanks
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floraAdore
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Re: Book/Blog/Periodical suggestions

Rainbow- I'd love to hear what you think! :D
saruyama-bonsai.blogspot.com/?m=1




Edit:

https://saruyama-bonsai.blogspot.com/201 ... n.html?m=1

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