One year when I was away at university, my father sent me a birthday check with a note instructing me to use the money for something I really wanted, but couldn't quite afford to buy. I don't remember now what I used the money for, but what my dad said in his note has stuck with me. Any more, ask me what I want for Christmas or a birthday and I'll apply Dad's criteria.
So when my wife and daughter asked me what I would like for my latest birthday, I stopped to consider: what was something I would like to have and would definitely use, but for which I hadn't yet felt free to spend the money? After a bit of thought two recently-published bonsai books came to mind: Principles of Bonsai Design, by David DeGroot, and The World of Ficus Bonsai, by Jerry Meislik.
|David DeGroot's book, birthday gift from my daughter.|
|Jerry Meislik's book, birthday gift from my wife.|
Each volume builds and expands on an earlier work by the same author: DeGroot's book on his Basic Bonsai Design, Meislik's on Ficus: The Exotic Bonsai. Each of the earlier books is well worth reading, and the new volumes are worthy successors to their respective predecessors.
Both authors are well qualified to write about their subjects. David Degroot is both a visual artist and a musician, with a clear grasp of the universal principles that apply to all art and a knack for explaining them. He served for a number of years as curator of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, now the Pacific Bonsai Museum. Jerry Meislik is, in my judgment, more knowledgeable about keeping tropical bonsai in a temperate climate than any other practitioner on the continent. (I'm not exaggerating for effect when I say that.) A bonsai artist's credentials are his or her trees, and both David's and Jerry's bonsai credentials are impressive.
Both my gift books were late arriving, for one of the best possible reasons: demand for both books was high enough that both were temporarily sold out when my wife and daughter placed their orders! But they're here now, and I am already enjoying and learning from them. <big grin> I'm looking forward to improvements in my trees, too, as a result of studying them.
Give me a year or so and I may publish a review of each book on this blog. But that's for later. Right now it's time for a shout-out -
"Thank you, my ladies!"
:-) :-) :-)