The Angel Tree: The Enchanting Quest for the World's Oldest Olive Tree

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A serendipitous, fender-bending encounter between the author, a distinguished landscape architect, and a wealthy Frenchman in Provence leads to the strangest, funniest horticultural odyssey in recent memory. The rich, eccentric Frenchman has just finished renovating, with great care and attention, a beautiful house in Provence. But the elegant courtyard looks very empty. “Find me the oldest olive tree in existence,” he challenges the author, “and bring it back to take pride of ...

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2004 Hardcover First American Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 1559707119. Book and DJ are New, First American Edition, first printing, Collectors Quality, Laurie ... 16, ; 8.50 X 5.82 X 1.17 inches; 320 pages. Read more Show Less

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New York 2004 Hardcover First American edition New in new jacket N. 317 pages. With plates & illustrations. Quests are nothing new for travel writers. Some have toiled over a ... villa restoration in Tuscany. Some have pursued exotic culinary adventures. Alex Dingwall-Main, a landscape architect by day, introduces plant-purchasing as a grand pursuit in his new book The Angel Tree: The Enchanting Quest for the World's Oldest Olive Tree. Despite the title, the Dingwall-Main doesn't necessarily need to find the oldest tree-but at a minimum he must procure one that is ancient enough (say 1, 000-1, 500 years-olives can live extraordinarily long lives) and pretty enough to satisfy his wealthy client, Monsieur Lautour. Dingwall-Main finds several promising subjects, including the Angel Tree of the title; frustratingly, though, the locals sometimes can't be moved to part with the most revered trees for a mere monetary reward. In addition to recounting his shopping expeditions, the author brings in snippets of European Read more Show Less

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Overview

A serendipitous, fender-bending encounter between the author, a distinguished landscape architect, and a wealthy Frenchman in Provence leads to the strangest, funniest horticultural odyssey in recent memory. The rich, eccentric Frenchman has just finished renovating, with great care and attention, a beautiful house in Provence. But the elegant courtyard looks very empty. “Find me the oldest olive tree in existence,” he challenges the author, “and bring it back to take pride of place in my garden.”

The author’s travels take him to the olive groves of France, the farms of Greece and Spain, and many backyards of Italy. Along the way, he encounters a 3,000-year-old tree, a farmer who won’t sell his tree unless he can sell the farm that surrounds it, mafiosi skullduggery in the plant world, unscrupulous dealers, divided families, local weddings, farcical disasters, and a village that believes a drop of rain that has touched the leaves of the Angel Tree will cure any illness or sadness.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559707114
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/31/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Dingwall-Main was born in Scotland. He has run a garden design practice for over twenty-five years, and is a broadcaster and writer for the BBC, the Sunday Times, and magazines such as House and Garden. He lives in Provence.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 The Assignment 13

Chapter 2 Olive Trees and Sons 45

Chapter 3 France 50

Chapter 4 Spain 81

Chapter 5 Italy 151

Chapter 6 Greece 203

Chapter 7 The Angel Tree 258

Chapter 8 Capers and Legends 288

Epilogue 304

The Olive: Facts 307

Bibliography 315

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