Jake Hobson draws upon years of experience with Japanese gardens and landscaping. He first traveled to Japan after completing a degree in sculpture at London's Slade School of Fine Arts. Intrigued by the tree pruning techniques he encountered there, Jake spent two years working at a traditional nursery in the countryside outside of Osaka, Japan. He then returned to the U.K. with a desire to apply the skills he learned to non-Japanese plants, settling into a five-year position in architectural plants at West Sussex. A keen observer of the artistry of gardens Jake experiments with how to apply niwaki skills to non-Japanese plants, coupling a love of sculpture and nature, and is particularly interested in how we relate to certain landscapes and elements of nature, and how through the combination of horticulture, sculpture and nature this can be expressed in the garden. In 2004 Jake set up a business - Niwaki, Japanese Garden Tools - with his wife Keiko. A member of the Royal Horticultural Society, the European Boxwood and Topiary Society, and the Japanese Garden Society, he has written for the specialist journal Topiarus and delivers lectures on Japanese pruning techniques throughout the U.K. He resides in Chichester, England.
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 Booklist 20070401 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. -- Marianne Binetti Seattle Post-Intelligencer 20070518 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. -- Karen Helfert Washington Gardener 20070701 Has wonderful illustrations and very specific directions that should prove useful to anyone who has garden subjects that need pruning. -- Linda Brazill Capital Times (Madison) 20070728 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. -- Jill Sell Cleveland Plain Dealer 20070728 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. -- Clear Englebert West Hawaii Today 20071202 Detailed drawings of the pruning methods, as well as numerous photos of Japanese examples, make this an eminently practical guide. SciTech Book News 20071201 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. -- Josephine Bridges Asian Reporter 20091117