It was my pleasure recently to review two videos titled “Secrets of Bonsai 2006″ I & II by a bonsai master from France and translated into english. These two videos deal with the aspects of bonsai that everyone should learn.
My impression of the videos are that they are top notch videos in the way they are presented to the viewer. The background music, and the “picture in picture” technology used in various scenes, makes for a very enjoyable forty-five minute instructional video. That’s forty-five minutes for each video by the way.
The first video starts out with a tour of a bonsai nursery where many trees in various stages of training, and various species, are used by the author to begin his first lesson, which is plant selection. Some of the trees used as examples are quite nice I might add.
Most of the large trees are bonsai done by various artists who he mentions, along with the pots and their makers also. From there he gets down to plant selection for material such as chinese elms, trident maples, and serissa.
After that it’s off to a discussion on tools and how and where to properly use some of the most basic ones.
A few minutes on watering and watering devices such as watering cans, is very useful.
From there the author talks about wire, the two different kinds used by bonsai enthusiasts, and how each of them differs in their application.
As we continue on, the author gives his take on the various soils being used for bonsai today and what he considers good for your trees.
One other topic included in the first video is a discussion on pots, both ceramic and plastic, and how he feels about using plastic pots for training purposes.
Volume II video goes a little more in depth in his discussions and really gets down with it when discussing such topics as repotting for instance. He actually pulls the tree out of the soil to inspect the root system and to show the viewer what he thinks about them.
During the repotting he also takes time to do some pruning of the branch system.
While he’s at it, he gives one of his secrets on repotting, and that is that the younger the tree the more coarse the soil; the older the finer the soil.
In summary, these videos would be indispensable for the many questions that enthusiasts usually have concerning care and maintenance of Bonsai.