8.01.2011

Piet Oudolf and the Dutch Wave

Our garden right now.
Looking at other gardens while sitting in our garden!
via allenbecker.gardeningguru
Millennium Park, Lurie Garden, Piet Oudolf, via Chicago Tribune
Our garden right now.
It's been all about gardening lately. I've been absent from this spot because I've been  weeding and watering (just a little), and planting and staking and fretting and learning. Mostly learning. For the past few years we have been buying plants from Andrew Fiori of Campo di Fiori, (website here) at the farmer's market  on Saturday mornings. It was only last week that he mentioned he was a student of Piet Oudolf. We went straight home and started googling. We uncovered a trail that we have been unknowingly following since our days living in downtown Chicago. Oudolf is the father of the "new perennials" movement, or  "Dutch wave", as it is also called. Look at what he has done in gardens all over the world here, on his website and  here in his own garden. Some of his high profile works are the High Line garden in New York City, built in the bed of the old elevated train (video here), (the High Line website did a great slideshow of his work over here), and Millennium Park's Lurie Garden in Chicago. In the nineties Oudolf started to combine formal garden style with meadow garden style; to include many more informal, grassy perennials which would bloom late and add more structure to the garden, especially in winter. I think he must have been the inspiration for the median strip planter gardens we so admired on all the major downtown Chicago streets. They brought a refreshing element of wildness into the city. Tall grasses and unique plants made me feel I was in the country. I now understand the roots of this design. When we moved to Maine our goal was to recreate this grassy, meadowy feel in our back garden. He's written several books,which you can find online. The Telegraph in the UK did this article on the top ten plants of the "Dutch wave". I also found View From Federal Twist, a great gardening blog whose banner features an Oudolf favorite...a funny Dr. Seuss-ish Rudbeckia. I dare to also include a shot or two from our garden!

10 comments:

Kathryn said...

Oh, you are SOOOO lucky to have that beautiful garden! I'm fantasizing right now about a wine country garden. We're holding out for a 1 acre property so I can also grow some veggies among other things. My favorite? Miscanthus sinensus - It's ALL over my tiny SF garden. How about making a Pinterest board about your garden inspiration?

Lari Washburn said...

Oh, I'll have to look into that! A wine country garden sounds divine.

Sophie Truong said...

love the highiline and cant wait to show it to the kids next week! your garden looks great! jungle!

zeynep said...

it looks so beautiful.. "güle güle kullan" Lari.. :)
( which means in turkish that to use your garden with smiling and in good days )

Lari Washburn said...

Thank you so much friends!

Micci said...

Lari,your art is beautiful, your blog always inspiring and interesting! I will be back again and again!
Micci Cohan
www.miccicohan.net

Lari Washburn said...

thank you Micci!

Ansku said...

Oh, wow! I would love to have a spot like that in my garden to sit down and relax with a cup of coffee!

We bought our house five years ago and the garden was a big mess back then. The former owners had planted it full of all kinds of stuff, there was hardly any grass at all, and it had not been touched for a couple of summers while the house had not been lived in. Everything had spreaded all over to the point we didn't know where it was supposed to have been in the beginning. So a couple of years ago we got really tired of it and ran it all down to start a new one. So far we have only planted new grass and a couple of bushes. I have not decided yet what I want in my garden - my husband and I have very long days at work and there is only little time to look after a garden. It should be something that almost takes care of itself, but I don't want it all to be just stones and grass, either. Maybe I'll get an inspiration checking out these links! :)

Jaime Rugh said...

Your garden looks wonderful and I really appreciate this post as I was just about to buy a book called American meadow garden and this one popped up as well- funny timing - but after reading yr post - it looks up my alley:)

Lari Washburn said...

Ansku, I can relate to what you say. If you could see the before pictures of this garden you would feel confidence. It has taken us 6 years so far, and it is always a work in progress, but so worth it! Good lick with your garden. And Jaime, I love how synchronicity works!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...