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Tricks With Trees: Land Art for the Garden Hardcover – 27 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pavilion Books (27 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862057346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862057340
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 580,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ivan Hicks is an arboriculturist and garden designer who is best-known for his work on Gardener's World and the award-winning projects the Enchanted Forest and Garden in Mind. Sir Roy Strong called the latter garden, "One of the most important gardens to be created in England". Diarmuid Gavin calls Ivan "my hero". He honed his skills designing classical and novel gardens for Edward James, the patron of Salvador Dali. He lives in Dorset, UK. Richard Rosenfeld is an ex-Garden Writer of the Year and author of 12 gardening books. He writes for The Sunday Times, The Times, The Independent and The Guardian. He lives in East Sussex, UK.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Branch on 4 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the best gardening book I've ever read. It's incredibly rare when even pros like me are shown a radically new kind of gardening. I had no idea you can train trees in such extraordinary, inventive ways. The photographs are mind-boggling. My students' favourite shows a four-legged tree. It's actually four trees planted at the corners of a square. The trunks join together in the middle, about 9ft above ground, producing one mid-air ramrod trunk which shoots up to the sky. Have a look. There are pictures of trees being trained to make a Viking boat, a giant "cheese grater", wigwams and space rockets. The authors (a clued-up, witty, outspoken pair) know their stuff - Ivan Hicks has been doing tree tricks for years - and the writing is great fun.

The majority of gardening books (and I ought to know because I have to review enough) are so lame and so dull, PC and boring. This is a great opinionated read. It's packed with references to the Kama Sutra, Samuel Beckett, artists (Dali and Magritte), what the authors call "those revolting upright topiary teddy bears perched on their bums like parrots", Mike Tyson, and even Benny Hill. They've got plenty to say, and tongue in cheek let rip.

There's a remarkably good best-tree chapter, a how-the-professionals-do-it planting guide, and the kind of hilarious tips nobody ever gives on how to embarrass a nurseryman into giving you a new replacement tree when the original one turns out to be dead. Gardeners are a lively, opinionated, argumentative bunch. You'd never guess it from 99 percent of those catatonic, repetitive, RHS-type gardening books. This one is great fun. And boy I learned. A lot.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Ashley on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I agree. This is an amazing book. It actually speaks to you like you're an INTELLIGENT human being.

I loved the ideas and the writing, and I'm already growing a poplar like Edvard Munch's Scream with "shock waves of primal fear exploding out of the mouth". It's great fun - to try AND look at - a young tree with a single stem and the top growth trained to make a face. The ideas on tree dressing are so obvious once you think about it - but like the authors say, this kind of gardening has been idiotically ignored. Why? I'm also trying their packed-together avenues of bumpy box balls "like an orgy of bottoms", the yew sculptures, and a living shed made out of bent over saplings. I never knew you could have so much fun training trees into all kinds of shapes. Have just checked the RHS magazine and their reviewer said the book's a "triumph". It is. He's right. Who needs all those overpriced blundering encyclopaedias? They read like they've been written a committee of tax inspectors.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. S. Ward on 17 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book changed the way I think about my garden; it has given me permission to be imaginative and creative. Thank you Ivan.
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