Read a specially selected extract from Bonsai: A Patient Art on the Yale Books blog" />

Bonsai A Patient Art Susumu Nakamura, Ivan Watters, Terry Ann R. Neff

Publication date:
05 Feb 2013
Yale University Press
166 pages: 248 x 248mm
76 color illus.

With fresh, elegant photography, this stunning volume presents more than sixty living bonsai masterpieces from the renowned collection of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Each patiently nurtured tree is presented at the peak of its seasonal beauty; each embodies the quiet energy and beauty of the art of bonsai.

In an engaging opening essay, the book introduces the practice and philosophy of bonsai, its spiritual resonance, and its horticultural sophistication. Then alongside each tree’s portrait, is a short, thoughtful discussion of the species and style of the tree as well as its individual history and character. Readers will cherish this superbly conceived and designed book while gaining a new appreciation for the living masterpieces that inspired it.


Read a specially selected extract from Bonsai: A Patient Art on the Yale Books blog

Susumu Nakamura is legendary among bonsai enthusiasts around the world and has served as director of education for the Nippon Bonsai Association and director of Bonsai Clubs International. He lives in Yokohama, Japan. Ivan Watters, curator at the Chicago Botanic Garden, is a bonsai master recognized internationally for his work and teaching. In 1996, he opened the Yasukanai Bonsai Garden, in Morton Grove, IL. He lives in Palatine, IL. Terry Ann R. Neff is widely known for developing books that deal with art and culture. She lives in Tucson, AZ.

“[In]formation is presented in an appropriate, authentic curated way, fulfilling the promise of bonsai as an art…[the book] will be unique among bonsai publications.”—Paul B. Redman, Director, Longwood Gardens 

"Whether you're a longtime aficionado or have just a passing knowledge or curiosity about bonsai, Bonsai: A Patient Art will provide an extraordinary look at this ancient practice. Published by the Chicago Botanic Garden, home to a world-class bonsai collection, in conjunction with Yale University Press, Bonsai does a beautiful job of not only explaining the basic principles and techniques but of illustrating them."—Chicago Tribune

"A very inspirational book. . . If you recognize somebody who has been doing bonsai for a long time and wish to encourage them this book would make an important gift."—Biological Sciences Book Reviews

“This book gives us 62 portraits of individual bonsai and they respond well to the treatment, allowing us to admire the balance, the detail and the carefully concealed artifice.”—Anna Pavord, The Independent