I recommend Harry Harrington´s books by all means, straightforward info for everyone to comprehend and be inspired. I loved them so much actually, that I translated Bonsai Inspirations 1 to Slovakian language and my translation will be published towards the end of august
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A new acquisition, worth every penny.
It's an amazing compilation of facts, folklore, myths and fantasy, beautifully illustrated by Sergio Cuan, and written in a very humorous manner by Michael.
Sold exclusively by Stone Lantern.
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one of the better books I recently purchased is "The ultimate bonsai handbook" by Yukio Hirose.
The thing I like very much, is the intent of the chapters and how he gives for each specimen an example, a timeframe, soil advice etc.
The only (minor) minus is he only uses Japanese names for the species.
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The one thing I don't get from Hirose is his traditional Japanese oriented mind when it comes to foreigners, close to prejudice I would dare to say.
When he says "japanese black pines are impossible to be grown in the southern hemisphere" and I prove him wrong, it's time to understand that bonsai evolved and many Japanese species can be grown and some really thrive outside of Japan.
Akadama+River sand as the only soil mix, for instance; today every serious bonsai grower skip sand altogether, and lava, scoria, pumice and peat+perlite are widely and successfully used.
Well after this rant, I want to say that I like his advice, I respect his knowledge, and it doesn't bother me that the names of the species, pots and so on are in Japanese.
It's a good way to train the language.
If I remember my geography correctly, the southern hemisphere is a pretty big place, about half the world. I would bet that every single climate combination in the northern hemisphere duplicates in the south, and vice versa, except for Antarctica. If it will grow in Japan, it will grow somewhere in the southern hemisphere, and there are lots of places in the northern hemisphere it won't grow.
Some Japanese are pretty insular. Not all - some.