27 November 2012

To Design For Death

These are beautifully atmospheric photos of gardens designed by Piet Oudolf.

Yes, I am showing an interest in a garden designer when my normal reaction to them is a pursing of the lips and an audible 'tut'.

It's the sense of wild romance his gardens appear to have that is holding the cynicism at bay.

I initially became aware of his work in a weekend colour supplement article about planting for winter interest. It said if you want to design for death look to Oudolf. There is plenty of that in Garden65 at the moment. There is a lot of soggy wet blackness, and although it wasn't designed in deliberately I do enjoy the sculptural shapes and honest bareness. Somehow it makes me feel 'Nature' is nearer than when the same plants are in full green maturity.

Oudolf style is to use perennials and grasses to give a naturalistic relaxed feel.

So I've taken inspiration from this and begun to replant that huge bare patch at the back of the garden. The heleniums have been put by the fence, with the shasta daisies in front of them. Some rudbeckias and an echinacea (I think that is what it is - I'll report back when I find out properly) will be relocated there. Then I need some grasses. Goodness knows if it will work, but I'm quite enthused with the idea of trying to translate my feelings about certain plants into a planned scheme ... 'designing' I think it's called. Gulp.