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Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way

Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way

Hardback

By (author) Jake Hobson

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  • Publisher: Timber Press
  • Format: Hardback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 234mm x 272mm x 20mm | 862g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Portland, OR
  • ISBN 10: 0881928356
  • ISBN 13: 9780881928358
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 228 color photos, 46 line drawings, 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 50,400

Product description

Over the years, Japanese gardeners have fine-tuned a distinctive set of pruning techniques that coax out the essential characters of their garden trees, or niwaki. In this highly practical book, Western gardeners are encouraged to draw upon the techniques and sculpt their own garden trees to unique effect. After discussing the principles that underpin the techniques, the author offers in-depth guidelines for shaping pines, azaleas, conifers, broadleaved evergreens, bamboos, and deciduous trees. Complete with abundant photographs, personal anecdotes and a wealth of advice, this unprecedented resource will inspire gardeners everywhere to transform their own trees into niwaki.

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Author information

Jake Hobson draws upon years of experience with Japanese gardens and landscaping. He first traveled to Japan after completing a degree in sculpture at London's Slade School of Fine Arts. Intrigued by the tree pruning techniques he encountered there, Jake spent two years working at a traditional nursery in the countryside outside of Osaka, Japan. He then returned to the U.K. with a desire to apply the skills he learned to non-Japanese plants, settling into a five-year position in architectural plants at West Sussex. A keen observer of the artistry of gardens Jake experiments with how to apply niwaki skills to non-Japanese plants, coupling a love of sculpture and nature, and is particularly interested in how we relate to certain landscapes and elements of nature, and how through the combination of horticulture, sculpture and nature this can be expressed in the garden. In 2004 Jake set up a business - Niwaki, Japanese Garden Tools - with his wife Keiko. A member of the Royal Horticultural Society, the European Boxwood and Topiary Society, and the Japanese Garden Society, he has written for the specialist journal Topiarus and delivers lectures on Japanese pruning techniques throughout the U.K. He resides in Chichester, England.

Review quote

More than a pruning manual, Hobson's guide encompasses the cultural implications of niwaki, an artistic custom integral to the gardening legacy of Japan. -- Alice Joyce Booklist 20070401 Of as much interest as the practical cutting points are the bits of history and lore woven into the chapters that stress the spiritual underpinnings of this ancient art. -- Marianne Binetti Seattle Post-Intelligencer 20070518 Any gardener would be fascinated, not only by the pruning and training techniques, but the background information about Japanese culture which the author weaves throughout the book. -- Karen Helfert Washington Gardener 20070701 Has wonderful illustrations and very specific directions that should prove useful to anyone who has garden subjects that need pruning. -- Linda Brazill Capital Times (Madison) 20070728 More marriages have gotten in trouble over the 'correct' way to prune shrubs than probably any other gardening task. We can't save your relationship, but we [can] suggest Niwaki - Pruning, Training, and Shaping Trees in the Japanese Way. -- Jill Sell Cleveland Plain Dealer 20070728 Easily the best book in English on this pristine type of pruning. ... Anyone who appreciates plants and Japanese culture will find more than they could have imagined in this unique book. -- Clear Englebert West Hawaii Today 20071202 Detailed drawings of the pruning methods, as well as numerous photos of Japanese examples, make this an eminently practical guide. SciTech Book News 20071201 Definitely has what it takes to impress serious garden nerds, [but] there's also plenty here for the rest of us. ... Niwaki is [Hobson's] first book; let's hope it's not his last. -- Josephine Bridges Asian Reporter 20091117

Flap copy

Trees pervade Japan's physical landscape and are vital to the country's history and culture. Over thousands of years, the sculpting of Japanese garden trees, or niwaki, has become a finely honed art with a distinctive set of pruning techniques meant to coax out the trees' essential characteristics. The methods yield dramatic and beguiling effects; mounds of pruned shrubs resemble interlocking hills, flowering apricot trees are trained out over archways, and elgonated branches of Pinus parviflora cast otherworldly silhouettes. Jake Hobson, who learned the techniques in an Osaka nursery, encourages Western gardeners to apply the Japanese methods to their own trees. Impressive results are achieved when gardeners accentuate the natural spread of branches, transform overgrown shurbs into bold, architectural outlines, make their trees look mature, craggy, windblown or even lightning-struck, and much more. Uniquely beautiful and highly versatile, niwaki excel as additions to borders, doorway sentinels, and stand-alone focal points. The techniques are surprisingly easy to learn, and gardeners at all levels are urged to experiment. With illustrated step-by-step instructions, this book is a comprehensive guide to sculpting pines, azaleas, conifers, broadleaved evergreens, bamboos and deciduous trees the Japanese way. Moreover, because Japan's garden trees are deeply rooted in the country's cultural landscape, the author supplements the practical tips with insight into niwaki's historical and spiritual underpinnings, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Japan's nurseries. Complete with abundant photographs, personal anecdotes and a wealth of advice, this unprecedented resource will inspire gardeners everywhere to transform their own trees into niwaki.