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Japanese Gardening


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About the Author

Charles Chesshire is a garden designer, nurseryman and writer. Among his publications are Clematis, Flowering Shrubs, and Climbing Plants. Charles has also written for The Sunday Times, RHS Garden Magazine and The English Garden.


This fascinating guide from garden designer Chesshire (Clematis: Inspiration, Selection and Practical Advice) lays out the spiritual and practical aspects of Japanese gardening. The early chapters examine the cultural context that has defined the country's minimalist and austere gardens, giving special emphasis to the influence of Zen. Chesshire explains how the classic elements of Zen--simplicity, sublimity, tranquility, freedom from attachment--translate into gardening, noting, "If you want to imbue your garden with the spirit of Zen, you should try to make your garden reflect a quiet, contemplative world and avoid the kind of deliberate gestures that come from a busy, overactive mind." The book highlights the five primary Japanese garden styles--pond, dry, tea, stroll, and courtyard--and explores natural accoutrements that combine to create the desired mood, such as rocks, water, pebbles, sand, and topiary, all supplemented by hundreds of lovely color photographs. The book concludes with a detailed plant directory, with notes on flowering habits and hardiness, and a step-by-step guide to garden maintenance. For the gardener desiring a spiritually fulfilling and calming pursuit as well as a robust garden, this stimulating volume will show the way.--PW Publishers Weekly "June 2020 "

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