China and Japan
The Chinese are widely credited with growing the first Bonsai.It is believed that Bonsai came to Japan from China where it took deeper root than in the country of its birth. Magnificent specimen of chinese elm, sagaretia, carmona, box, chinese juniper and yew bonsai exist in China.
Japan today is the home of Bonsai. The theory of Bonsai followed over the world is Japanese.The incomparable Japanese maples and five-needled pines, the black pine, the cryptomeria japonica, the ezo spruce and different species of juniper are favoured for bonsai.
Other countries in east and south-east Asia such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan have flourishing communities of bonsai enthusiasts.Valuable old specimen of Ficus and other tropical species such as Premna,Wrightia and Pemphis can be found in abundance.
Europe and America
In the US bonsai clubs and associations are to be found in every state.Tropical species such as ficus are grown in Florida, California and Miami.On the continent bonsai thrives in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. Temperate species used in the West are several conifers, including native species John Naka with Goshinlike the Scots and Mugo pines and the European larch and spruce. Among decidious species are splendid examples of beech, birch, hawthorn and oak bonsai.
In India it is believed that the ancient Ayurvedic physicians grew trees in pots as far back as the twelfth century to use their roots, stems and leaves in medicine.
We have a wide variety of climatic zones from the temperate climes of the Himalyas, to the dry plains with their sharp divergence in summer and winter temperatures, to the tropical coastal areas of high humidity and even temperatures-which means we can grow just about any species in some or the other part of our country!Bonsai in India is young but very exciting because suitable species are still being discoverd.

When we started bonsai a new bonsai book was a rare and thrilling find. Today many books are easily available to those starting bonsai or those who are more advanced, and new ones are constantly coming out.We have tried to pick a few that we consider the most useful.

For Beginners
" Bonsai Culture"— Leila Dhanda

This is the book we began with. It has a lot of information about Indian trees and how to grow them in Indian conditions. Available through the Indian Bonsai Association, New Delhi.

"The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes"— Yoshimura and Halford.

A classic. Every bonsai enthusiast has to have a copy. Difficult to find however.

Intermediate and Advanced
"The Art of Bonsai" — Peter Adams

Another classic. A perfect melding of design and technique.

"Bonsai Techniques I and II"— John Naka

Notes and drawings from the master.Great inspiration.

"Ficus: The Exotic Bonsai"— Jerry Meislik

A comprehensive guide to ficus species with advanced techniques included.

"Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History & Philosophy"— Deborah Koreshoff

Very comprehensive on all aspects of bonsai. A must have.

"Vision of My Soul"— Robert Steven

A beautifully presented book by a master artist.

"The Bonsai Art of Kimura"— Masahiko Kimura

Kimura's sculptural bonsai and detailed techniques illustrate the magic of the master.

"Classic Bonsai of Japan"

A glorious album of photographs showing the most important bonsai in Japan.

"Penjing: Worlds of Wonderment"— Qingquan Zhao

Hundreds of inspiring photos illustrating the Chinese art of miniature landscapes or Penjing.