Item description for Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs...
"Portable Drama," "Staging Incidents," "Zonal Denial" - all these and more concepts presented by iconoclastic and trend-setting garden visionary Thomas Hobbs in this challenging, cutting-edge book on innovative garden design. Using examples from exceptional gardens throughout North America and Europe, Hobbs shows how freeing up the mind from the bonds of conventional garden design concepts can result in gardens of singular allure. Hobbs attests that we can learn from Nature how best to blend color, texture, and species of plants to create beauty in the garden. Luxuriantly illustrated with over 190 striking four-color photographs, this thought-provoking book is a fount of ideas you can use to invigorate your garden's visual appeal.
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More About Thomas Hobbs
Thomas Hobbs, internationally known impresario of garden and floral design, is proprietor of Southlands Nursery in Vancouver, Canada. His private garden has been featured in many prominent gardening magazines. A frequent media commentator on gardening matters, Hobbs has spoken before gardening groups and professional associations throughout North America.
Thomas Hobbs currently resides in Vancouver Vancouver, BC.
Reviews - What do customers think about Shocking Beauty?
Shocking Waste of Time Dec 31, 2006
The photo quality in this book is poor and the reading isn't any better.
The author tells us " A total lack of inspiration is a sign of laziness." and then goes on to state "Lazy people should not garden because they end up demonstrating their nature publicly."
I think lazy people should not write books. I found nothing new or original in this book, this book is very average at best. There are better books to spend your time and money on.
"Shockingly Bad Photography" would be more like it Dec 13, 2006
A short disclaimer: I did not read through the text of this book, as the quality of the photography was so disturbing it rendered the writing irrelevent.
This book will be returned as soon as the post office opens tomorrow. I had purchased it as a gift and cannot, in good conscience, pass it on to the intended recipient.
The gardens pictured are exquisite and had the quality of the photos been equal to their composition, this book would be an inspiration to gardeners everywhere. Unfortunately, the photographs are grainy, soft (read 'blurry'), and lacking any depth-of-field whatsoever. Using these substandard images to represent years of dedication by talented gardeners is insulting both to the reader as well as the garden owners.
In a world full of lovely landscapes and brilliant photographers, this book does justice to neither.
This is a book you can judge by the cover Mar 8, 2005
Shocking Beauty" goes beyond gardening and straight to inspirational. The unusual pairing of plants and color combinations give you the courage to think out of the box. Thomas Hobbs has a vision that can be a little intimidating at first but that quickly passes when you realize you can re-create this beauty if you keep your mind open and away from the home improvement store's plant shop. Quality gardens like these require quality plants that are rarely found outside of the small nurseries and catalogs. Don't skimp if you want anything that resembles what you'll find between these pages. Both "Shocking Beauty" and Hobbs' "The Jewel Box Garden" are essential for any gardener.
Beautiful gardens, good ideas and a dose of snobbery Dec 4, 2004
Hobbes states on page 4 that "A total lack of inspiration is a sign of laziness" and "Lazy people should not garden because they end up demonstrating their nature publicly." A very harsh judgement indeed - and very sad for the experimental gardener. He continues to congratulate himself throughout the book, which is unnecessary because he designs beautiful gardens.
On the other hand, the photos are beautiful - albeit some with the obvious help of alterations made by a computer and not the gardener.
Hobbes does share lovely ideas that can easily be taken to your own garden and used no matter what your budget and size considerations. I particularly like the good descriptions of the plantings in the photos and the wide variety of settings. Solutions are simple in these gardens and they are beautiful at the same time. He challenges us to try new groupings of colors and shapes (I guess only in the framework of his idea of "vision").
If you love beautiful, expensive books of gardens that can give you good ideas, this book can be worth every penny. I am not sorry I bought it.
One of the most inspirational gardening books ever published Apr 2, 2002
This is an exquisite, sophisticated and very accessible book. Some of the plant pairings are very subtle, yet these are the combinations which are shockingly beautiful. This book successfully illustrates the relationships and/or contrasts between relatively available plants that create a beautiful tension. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have an artistic eye. I have had this book for a few years and I pull it out every few weeks, always seeing something new or in a new way. A superb book for new gardeners.