tree garden in California?

tanisMarch 31, 2001

What is the art of training hardwood trees into shapes such as circles, hearts, boxes,basket weaves, etc. There is a man that did a lot of this in the 1920's, I believe.

I have also seen a book on the subject, but can not remember the title. "The Victory Garden" featured a 'Tree Theme park'...I think in the Bay area, that was to open in March of 2001. This park featured many of this man's original trees, along with other tree structures. Does anyone know:

1. What this technique is called?

2. A book title about this?

3. The name of the tree park and where it is?

Thank you so much.


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The name of the park is Bonfante's Garden Theme Park.
It is located in Gilroy - garlic capitol of the world.

some people may call this type of pruning topiary, while others may call is arborsculpture and still more may call it bondage.

There is a website for this garden, which I have checked out in the past, but I can't locate the address.
I used to buy large trees from his nursery - Hecker Pass Nursery, but now it is a horticultural theme park.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 10:44AM
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jane_socal(Sunset 23/z10)

Here's the link. If you click on "media" and then on "photographs," you can see some pictures of the trees (which aren't only topiary, BTW; seems he also does strange things to treetrunks and other parts).

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here: Bonfante Gardens Theme Park -- Home of the Circus Trees!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2001 at 3:12AM
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gordonhawk(7/ NYC)

yes.. I saw an article in a magazine called WET.. it featured his work.. I think alot wssold to Dysney... glad to see it was thing that got saved after his death... It was a dynasour park for a bit i think...
APPROACH GRAFTING is I think the tearm for his work... binding two bits of growing material together .. after scrapeing theoutside bark off both parts..
I tried to make a liveing fence from a row of crabapples in a line... the limbs were espaliered in a line... and when the limbs overlapped they were treated in this approack grafting technique.. but I sole the bit of land before it eally took hold. and the fence was disantled by the new owner... along wih abunch of fruit trees I'd had grafted to my specifications.. lovedhis stuff... thought he's quite a foward thinker... thanks for the link... Gordon

    Bookmark   July 7, 2001 at 10:27AM
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Unfortunately Bonfante Garden had few visitors and has closed there door (probably to reopen in Spring) I had not visited myself but I was told that it was "fascinating". Hopefully, they have not closed there doors for good.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2001 at 12:40PM
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