RHS The Little Book of Bonsai - Malcolm Hughes and Kath Hughes

Bonsai seems a particularly stupid hobby for me to pick up now, something that requires long-term commitment to get returns from. However, my daughter and I were admiring the bonsai in a garden centre, both rather liked it, and it seemed like something we could do together. I little while later, I ordered a tiny tree, and later still some books on how to maintain it!

My daughter is naturally pretty green-fingered, but I think bonsai will be an interesting challenge, due to their specific nature. The fact that they're simply full-size trees being maintained to be small requires their own techniques, and the shallow trays they grow mean that they can require meticulous watering. So, a basic how-to book seemed in order.

That's this book. Coming in at 140 pages with a simple art style and backed by the RHS, it looks like a solid intro. While not aimed at children, this little hardback still looked accessible. I took a read through before handing it over, and that remains my impression.

The historical introduction seemed a little heavy-handed, I do hope it doesn't put her off, but after that it seemed pretty solid, with an introduction to the core techniques and a summary of the major bonsai-able species. I ordered another The Little Book of Bonsai for myself (same title, different author), so maybe in a few days we'll have a comparison point, but until then, yes, I guess this is a little book of bonsai.

Posted 2023-06-18.