Shohin book review by Bonsai Art Magazine

Today you get a review of my latest book. An excellent review from Bonsai Art Magazine. Printed after the new release of the book in the German language.

Shohin, Through the Seasons is now available in English, French and German language.

After this review, you can scroll down and watch the daily Christmas Calendar, where I go through one of my books from the bookshelf. Today it is a favourite book of mine, a special Mame bonsai book from Japan.

Review Shohin, Through the Seasons

PRINTED IN BONSAI ART MAGAZINE, German language. (Also available in the original English version and French here)

“The small Shohin bonsai continues to enjoy increasing popularity in Germany and Europe. Danish Morten Albek has a new book on the subject. Albek, who is widely known as a Shohin expert, published the book in English at the beginning of 2020. Now this work is available in German translation.

Many readers will still be familiar with Morten Albek’s first book, “Shohin Bonsai – Majesty in Miniature” which was published in 2007.  Since then the knowledge about the special care design and presentation of Shohin has developed enormously, and accordingly, the author has now published a second book, that deals with the topic in more detail and based on current knowledge.

The many beautiful photos show the trees and techniques and present also a lot of the wonderful atmosphere and moments captured in the garden, also when the author is working on his trees.

The joy and relaxation Morten Albek find in his favourite occupation shows clearly at the beautiful pictures.

The title of the book leads already to the subject of the book, the seasons. Each chapter starts with a checklist with a clear overview of what actions to take care of, relating to the season. Like the placement of the trees to protect them from winds and more. The season approach is meaningful and practical, both related to the daily care and the presentation of the trees.

Albek explains the basic Japanese rules in an understandable way how the Shohin presentation works. Something some others do a find little mysterious and difficult to understand. He always advocates not being slavishly following rules, although one should understand and internalize them. 

The Dane shows how he with a refreshing looseness, creates a feeling of local landscapes with accompanying elements, and even with very personal seasonal moods in his Shohin presentations

With his book, Albek wants to share the knowledge and suggestions that can contribute to European Shohin lovers using less bonsai imported from Japan in the future, using more native trees themselves for Shohin displays at exhibitions. 

How much joy it brings to do your own Shohin bonsai Albek shows through his beautiful photos in a downright contagious way. He also advocates shaping trees full of character with special nuances instead of often uniform styled trees following the mainstream.

In addition to the basic techniques, such as pruning and repotting, he explains advanced techniques that are especially important for refining the small-sized trees, such as pinching, removing the bud scales and defoliation of deciduous trees, root ablations, as well as the candle cut and the thinning of the needles in pines.

This aesthetic and educational book will appeal to newbies to give the field of the smallest bonsai an excellent boost and also some more experienced Shohin lovers provide useful information, tips and suggestions.”

German edition available here.

„Shohin – Frühling. Sommer. Herbst. Winter.“, Morten Albek, Edition BONSAI ART 2020, 232 Seiten, Format 21,5 cm x 21,5 cm, Hardcover, Preis 37,95 EUR. Art.-Nr. 3301


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