The Art of Creative Pruning
Nothing brings a touch of artistry to the garden like ornamental pruning, and a series of deliberate cuts can create landscapes and evoke faraway places. All that’s needed to recreate the effect in the garden are a sharp pair of pruners, some imagination, and the instruction found in The Art of Creative Pruning. Drawing on both eastern and western styles, author Jake Hobson moves beyond the traditional lollipops and animals and teaches a wholly new approach to ornamental pruning that appeals to modern sensibilities.
Picture boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake. These are just a few of the unusual ideas featured in the beautifully photographed pages. All the practical considerations are here as well, including pruning to improve a view, remedial pruning to fix problems, and pruning fruit trees to increase yield.
A well-pruned plant can conjure up far-off places, elicit surprise or shock, and even make you laugh. This is no ordinary book about pruning but one that explores its creative side, unveiling sculptural landscapes that feature boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake.
Wielding the pruners is fun. While clipping may not come naturally to all, Jake Hobson’s unique blend of east-meets-west topiary is compelling, his enthusiasm infectious, and his instructions clear as he exhorts us to “Clip hard, be brave and learn from your mistakes.” His encouraging advice is supported by a wealth of information about which plants to use, how to achieve the desired shape, and when to prune.
A far cry from classic topiary, the artfully clipped plants showcased here are lively and fresh. With a strong emphasis on free-form, naturalistic pruning they blend seamlessly into their surroundings: trees are pruned to reflect the wider landscape; a boxwood ball is used as a repeating motif that adds to the overall coherence of a garden; and a billowing cloud-pruned hedge defines the character of an outdoor space.
Illustrated with spectacular photographs taken in some of the world’s most inventive gardens, these powerful sculptural landscapes will have everyone reaching for the pruning shears.