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

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

by Alex Dingwall-Main


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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 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: 9781611457568
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 10/09/2012
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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.

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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