Planting heroes

Tuesday 24th April, 2012

Last week I saw my all time planting hero Piet Oudolf speaking in Leeds. He’s a Dutch garden designer and a leading figure in the ‘New Perennial’ planting movement. I’m a bit of a fan. I knew it was slightly embarrassing but I took one of his books with me and a black pen. If I can stalk Jarvis Cocker so successfully then Piet should be a doddle.

He didn’t disappoint. I’m very familiar with many of the images of his schemes, but he also showed photographs of his planting plans and explained his progression over the years, from block planting schemes, to drifts, to more complex layering of plantings designed using  layers of tracing paper to represent the drifts containing a combination of plants, with layers of trace over dotted to show the perennials criss crossing over the drifts, as he did for the Highline in New York.

Here are some photographs I’ve taken of his planting designs in Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent, and Potters Fields in London. I particularly like the Rivers of Grass (Molinia) in Trentham (you might even notice that Piet has favourited this photo!) and this is a piece I wrote for the Landscape Institute North West website about the Noel Kingsbury workshop we had there.

Lots of inspiration here for my own planting.Working more with drifts of combinations of grasses as well as block plantings. Lovely.

Also speaking was James Hitchmough, Professor of Horticultural Ecology at Sheffield University. James is a fantastic speaker and amongst many other projects spoke about the incredible wildflower meadows he has created with Nigel Dunnet for the The London Olympic Park 2012 Gardens. I shall write a separate journal entry about this… if you’re interested subscribe to my journal on the right.

A wonderful event organised by the Landscape Institute Yorkshire and Humber Branch.


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