Bird, Richard. The Illustrated Practical Encyclopedia of Pruning: Training & Topiary. Lorenz Books, Leicestershire, 2012.
While my recent work has been interested in the literature on shearing, hedges, and simple topiary, these practices fall into the craft of pruning. My interest, or criticism, has been taking the position that “pruning” - as I see and hear it spoken of and identified with by horticultural enthusiasts around me - is a specific “register” of interest that attaches itself to a larger belief system about the landscape, nature, plants, art, work, knowledge, and history. We may go as far as to say “Its a power form.”
I believe all our “pruning” practices find their origin in fruit production, the management of boundaries and property lines, and the production of wood and timber. The ornamental only emerges from these as aesthetics.
What has captured me about Bird’s book on pruning is its full inventory of all the different practices we can name in the training of plants. I thought it a good idea to list this inventory in my notes as it gives a good context to the field of training/pruning plants and very much diminishes the great importance ornamental horticulturists put on their pruning practice. Or, with an inventory, it frames the pruner/landscaper as a very limited field of practices.
From Matthew Dore, the "I" voice of Buffalo Horticulture and "The Buff Hort Project."