Piet Oudolf’s gardens are breathtaking to observe and hard to define. They are calm yet full of surprises, apparently effortless but complex to achieve, and intimate while reaching out to the wider natural world. His unique combinations of long-lived perennials and woody plants are rich in texture, sophisticated in colour, and have an emotional resonance that humans find compelling.
Oudolf’s skill in combining plants is legendary and in his recent work he takes it to a new level, favouring highly integrated schemes in which plants intermingle and blend without overcrowding one another. An intimate knowledge of plants is essential to the success of this approach and here, Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury share their considerable understanding of plant ecology and performance – how plants behave in different situations, what goes on underground, which species make good neighbours. From them we learn how to select the right plants, how to group them, and how to combine them with other elements to make beautiful gardens that require minimal use of resources.
With the help of Oudolf’s original planting plans, this book is the first to show gardeners and professionals explicitly how his gardens and landscapes are made. A detailed directory that records vital information about each plant such as its life expectancy, the persistence of its seedheads, its tendency to spread, and propensity to self seed will prove an invaluable resource.
A Piet Oudolf garden feels right on many different levels and is so much more than the sum of its parts. This book will be essential reading for all who are interested in making plant-rich gardens that are in tune with their surroundings, support biodiversity, and nourish the human spirit.