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Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way Hardcover – Illustrated, April 1, 2007
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Hobson illuminates the practice known as niwaki in a fascinating, long overdue guide to shaping trees in ways that reflect the aesthetics of Japanese gardens. Hobson's regard for elements of garden design inspired by nature, and at times, derived literally from iconic features in Japan, shapes his writing. Possessing a sculptor's eye, Hobson ably opens the eyes of readers to the nuanced tree and shrub forms achieved by clipping or heavy pruning. Offering sound advice--do not imitate, but rather incorporate, a Japanese approach--Hobson elucidates principles and techniques with step-by-step line drawings accompanied by clearly defined descriptions of naturalistic and formal shapes. Instructions cover approaches to dealing with side branching, how to alter the line of the trunk, and how to sculpt pine trees, azaleas, conifers, broad-leaved evergreens, and deciduous trees. 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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“More than a pruning manual, Hobson's guide encompasses the cultural implications of niwaki, an artistic custom integral to the gardening legacy of Japan.” —Booklist
“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.” —Washington Gardener
“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.” —Seattle Post-Intelligence
“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.” —Asian Reporter
“Detailed drawings of the pruning methods, as well as numerous photos of Japanese examples, make this an eminently practical guide.” —SciTech Book News
“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.” —West Hawaii Today
“Has wonderful illustrations and very specific directions that should prove useful to anyone who has garden subjects that need pruning.” —Capital Times
“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.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
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Top customer reviews
1). Although the illustrations are superb, the text needs to be flushed out more for practical use. For instance, in the section on training young pines into a Z shape, the illustrations are clear, but the height/age of the tree to start with is not mentioned. I have a young pine @14" high that resembles the line drawing, but it seems too short to start this process unless I am making a bonsai or miniaturized tree. What height/age range is appropriate for this technique? I would REALLY like to know.
2). Not the book's fault, but the seller sent me a beautiful looking copy that reeks of mildew. I am still setting it out in the sun trying to rid the book of the odor; it gives me a headache if I try to read it more than a few minutes, and I badly want to be studying this book!