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Bountiful Bonsai: Create Instant Indoor Container Gardens with Edible Fruits, Herbs and Flowers (Paperback)
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Bonsai—the Japanese art of training plants to form elegant sculptures—is an age-old craft that appeals to gardeners and non-gardeners alike. Bountiful Bonsai presents a radical, new approach that applies bonsai techniques to everyday container gardening, instantly turning houseplants and herbs into beautiful and unusual bonsai sculptures!
Bonsai expert Richard Bender not only expects his plants to look good but also expects to yield pleasant fragrances, fresh herbs and fruits for his table. He shows readers how to create "instant bonsai" by shaping a range of common houseplants, including:
- Fragrant hibiscus and jasmine
- Kitchen herbs such as rosemary and thyme
- Luscious fruits like cherries and oranges
- Medicinals such as tea tree and camphor laurel
This beautifully illustrated volume provides all the information you need to get started, from plant choice advice to care requirements and bonsai "carving" tips. Suitable for indoor gardening, or shaping exquisite bonsai fruit trees for outside gardens, Bender turns a finicky art into a hobby accessible to all. Bonsai have graced Japanese homes for centuries; now they can yield useful crops that will simultaneously satisfy your artistic sensibility and also provide some wonderful meals!
About the Author
Richard W. Bender was born in St. Louis, MO and grew up with an Ozark rural lifestyle. The combination of a rural life connected to nature and the cultural advantages of attending a large high school provided a unique perspective that is reflected in his writings for several newspapers and magazines including Horticulture, Field & Stream and The Herbal Companion. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife management and two years in neuroscience grad school, he moved to Colorado in 1985, where he has operated Bonsai By Bender for 20 years, supplying unique bonsai to clients like the Missouri Botanic Gardens, Franklin Park Conservatory (Columbus, OH,) Portland (OR) Classical Chinese Garden and the COMO Park Conservatory in St. Paul, MN. His first book, Herbal Bonsai was in print for 15 years.
"In his new book, Bountiful Bonsai: Create Instant Indoor Container Gardens with Edible Fruits, Herbs and Flowers, Bender sets out to teach us how to shape and enjoy bonsai houseplants…Bender's aim is to teach us how to quickly grow ordinary varieties with modern techniques and everyday garden tools. We may have to do some regular or even heavy pruning on some of these plants; bonsai edibles kept in a sunroom, for example, may grow faster and much taller than their tiny, wired counterparts confined to small containers. But the payoff in fruits and fragrance—plus the pleasure of living with a bit of nature in your home—is surely worth the effort." —HGTV Gardens blog
"The Look: it's a pretty book, well laid out with all of the photos in color with well written captions. The feel is smooth and cool, kinda like the flip side of the pillow. One could easily cuddle up with it and drift off to sleep. The Text: the author, Richard W. Bender, has an easily readable style, very conversational and informal. He doesn't use much in the way of jargon or overly technical terminology to make himself appear more learned. The Information: he knows his stuff." —AdamAskWhy.com (Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog)
"This book provides a decent foundation for selecting a plant and paying attention to its needs to make it succeed, and Bender shows you how to select a plant and prune it in a way that can, in an afternoon, give you the impression it's been trained for some time already." —BoZannical Gardens blog
"Bountiful Bonsai is an easy read, filled with simple instructions to help you begin growing edible bonsai. A great book to get you started on a fun and fruitful hobby." —Sensible Gardening & Living blog
"Bender's knowledge of trees that produce fruit, oils, fragrance or leaves for tea-making is impressive. If you're curious about producing alternative wines, you may appreciate Bender's use of wine-making ingredients ranging from lavender and thyme to jasmine and hibiscus flowers to blood orange and kumquat. Bountiful Bonsai provides inspiration for jams, jellies and chutneys made from home-grown limequat, guava and rosemary and it includes recipes too." —Bonsai Tonight blog
"In Bountiful Bonsai, Richard W. Bender expands the art of bonsai from ornamental trees to include plants usually found in orchards, herb gardens, or flower borders. Bender encourages gardeners to explore this new twist on traditional bonsai by suggesting alternative bonsai subjects and describing how they are best developed into beautiful and productive specimens." —The American Gardener magazine
"This new and quicker approach to bonsai turns 4 herb and other plants into beautiful, botanical sculptures." —American Herb Association