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Gardening Japanese Gardens

Bonsai | Penjing

The Collections of the Montréal Botanitcal Garden

by (author) Danielle Ouellet

Les Amis du Jardin botanique de Montréal
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Japanese Gardens, Ornamental Plants, Trees, General, Japanese
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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The beauty and evolution of an intriguing art form.

The Montréal Botanical Garden’s collections of bonsai and penjing are among the best in North America, including more than 350 trees, some dating from the 17th century. For the first time, these stylized horticultural creations have been brought together in a single volume, illuminating the evolution of the aesthetic tradition of this Asian art form.

Featuring beautifully rendered photographs of many of the miniature trees in the collection, Bonsai | Penjing: The Collections of the Montréal Botanical Garden offers an up-close view of these extraordinary specimens. Miniaturized reflections of their natural environment, these works of horticultural art translate the world views of bonsai and penjing masters from different philosophical traditions. In a few instances, they integrate contemporary North American vision of the ancient Asian traditions.

Author Danielle Ouellet interviewed many of the artists who created these works, in some instances travelling to Asia to meet with some of the contemporary masters of this art form. As a result, she brings to life an historical portrait of Bonsai and Penjing, their underlying aesthetic principles, and an understanding of how to view and interpret the captivating living culptures of these traditions.

About the author

A mathematician (MSc), science historian (PhD) and science communicator, Danielle Ouellet taught the history of science at Université Laval and press relations and science communication at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she created the Groupe de recherche sur la communication scientifique.

She has published or co-authored many popular science books, including Adrien Pouliot, un homme en avance sur son temps (Boréal, 1986), Fernand Seguin, le savant imaginaire (Libre Expression, 1994), Histoires de chimistes (Presses de l’Université Laval, 1996), La passion du Saint-Laurent (Les Éditions MultiMondes, 1997), Franco Rasetti. Il a dit non à la bombe (Guérin Éditeur, 2000), Une musicienne et son chirurgien. Mutations génétiques et cancer, l’histoire d’une vie (les éditions du passage, 2012; re-released by Maestria, 2018), 40 ans Les Amis du Jardin botanique de Montréal. La fine fleur du savoir (Les Amis du Jardin botanique de Montréal, 2015) and Chez nous, on t’aime déjà ! L’histoire de la Maison et de la fondation Jean Lapointe (Centre québécois de lutte aux dépendances, 2017). Her many articles on science, medicine, economics, and culture have appeared in Forces, Premium, and Québec Science, among other publications. She served as Editor in Chief of Découvrir, la revue de la recherche (Acfas) and Commerce Collection Prestige.

Danielle Ouellet was honoured by Université Laval and the City of Québec for her contribution to advancing the accessibility of science in the province of Quebec.

Danielle Ouellet's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A remarkable production."

<i>Bonsai Tonight</i>