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!

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