Episode 156: Bonsai with John Hanby

This week I’m speaking to Bonsai expert John Hanby. John has decades of experience studying and creating bonsai trees and has just released an incredibly comprehensive guide called the Practical Art of Bonsai. We talk about selecting a plant, how to train it, and artistic methods and we finish with John’s thoughts on how bonsai techniques relate to and inform wider gardening practices.

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Large bulb flies

What we cover

What is a bonsai tree?

What can you bonsai?

Indoor and outdoor trees 

Overall aims of bonsai 

Starting a tree from seed or a cutting

Wiring and directional pruning

Dead wood as an artistic addition to a tree

Watering bonsai trees

Specialist bonsai equipment

About John Hanby

John has been teaching bonsai for over thirty years and is owner of one of the biggest bonsai schools in Europe. He’s a long-serving member of the Yorkshire Bonsai Association committee and has previously been the secretary of the Federation of British Bonsai Societies, in addition to being a member of the Belgian Kawabe School. He gives talks and demonstrations in the UK and internationally, and has won multiple awards for his fabulous trees. He provides advice, articles and photographs for podcasts, books and magazines, and has produced a successful DVD.


Practical Art of Bonsai by John Hanby – The Crowood Press, 2022


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