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.
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, which distributes Japanese garden tools. A keen observer of the artistry of gardens, Hobson recieved his bachelor's degree in sculpture. He lives in the UK.
“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