Synopses & Reviews
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.
"While Niwaki definitely has what it takes to impress serious garden nerds, there's also plenty here for the rest of us ... Niwaki is [Hobson's] first book; let's hope it's not his last."
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 first discussing the principles that underpin the techniques, the author offers in-depth guidelines for shaping pines, azaleas, conifers, broadleaved evergreens, bamboos and deciduous trees. Throughout the text, step-by-step illustrations accompany the instructions, while abundant photographs and anecdotes bring the ideas surrounding niwaki vividly to life.
Niwaki means garden trees in Japanese and refers to an age-old practice of coaxing out the hidden essence of trees and shrubs through pruning, training, and shaping. Asymmetrical bushes evoke interlocking hills, azaleas are trained over gateways, and elongated branches of Pinus parviflora cast beguiling silhouettes in Japan's gardens. Yet, niwaki isn't exclusive to Japan; attractive and versatile, they excel as additions to borders, doorway sentinels, and stand-alone focal points. Jake Hobson--who honed the techniques in an Osaka nursery before practicing them in West Sussex, England--brings the Japanese techniques to international gardeners for the first time. He shows that the methods are easy to learn and can be applied to a surprisingly diverse range of plants. With illustrated step-by-step instructions, this book is a comprehensive guide to sculpting pines, azaleas, conifers, broadleaved evergreens, bamboos, and deciduous trees. Moreover, because Japan's garden trees are deeply rooted in the country's spiritual and cultural landscape, the author supplements the practical tips with insight into niwaki's historical and spiritual uderpinnings, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Japan's nurseries. Complete with abundnant photographs, personal anecdotes, and a wealth of advice, this unprecedented resource will inspire gardeners everywhere to transform their garden trees into niwaki.
About the Author
Jake Hobson draws upon years of experience with Japanese gardens and landscaping. He spent a year at a nursery in Osaka, and in 2004 started his own business--Niwaki, Japanese Garden Tools. A keen observer of the artistry of gardens, Jake recieved his bachelor's degree in sculpture. He lives in the UK.