Today I'm going to take you on a visit with me to Piet Oudolf's nursery and garden. For me it's the third time I've been there, once in October in 2006 and twice in June, once last year and again this year. I went to Piet's during my holiday in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. I stayed with a dear friend of mine who lives only half an hour's drive from Piet's place. When I went to Piet's last month I was thinking of Shirl who would have loved to come with me as she is a big admirer of Piet's work. It was actually through a post of mine about PietOudolf that Shirl and I met on the net. And, as regular visitors of Bliss know, Shirl and I met up recently for real in Edinburgh so Piet has a lot to answer for. :-D.
Shirl, this post is especially for you although other visitors here are very welcome to tag along. So without further ado, let's get cracking.
The weather is lovely so let's walk up the drive way to the house, nursery and garden.
Lovely plants, don't you think? We have to go to the nursery first and try to find Piet's wife Anja to buy the tickets for the garden.
Anja Oudolf is usually found somewhere near the market stall they have in the nursery. Mrs Oudolf is the one that runs the nursery.
See the little market stall in front of the farm house? Chances are that we will find her there. Now what would you like to do first? Look round in the nursery and buy some plants or visit the garden? In the nursery they do not only sell plants but there are a lot of things there that I think you would like to see. Shall I show you round the nursery first and then we will go see the garden? Okidoki!
Oodles of plants for sale in the nursery,
the nursery with in the background the new house they are building. Have you noticed those grey leafy pillars? Fun, aren't they?
In the nursery you also find the trial beds, where they try out new plants. The plants are in long rows and you are able to see how tall and how wide those plants will actually become. Most of these plants are sold in the nursery so it's very handy that you can see the plant in full maturity.
The former stable. Have you noticed what they use as a doorstop?
Ah, there she is, the one in the colourful trousers. She's always wearing outrageous trousers, so far I've seen her in Kermit green trousers, bright red leather pants and these. Mrs Oudolf is easy to spot, I'll give her that. :-D
Tell you what, why don't I go buy the tickets for the garden while you get the car so that you can bung in all the plants you bought. Finished? Let's go see the garden then, this way.
This is the formal entrance to the garden and when you come out of that tunnel you see this.
Erm, yes, I don't know quite what to make of it either. It's, well, unusual, let's leave it at that. ;-) But we are not going through that tunnel as Mrs Oudolf told me to take the side entrance so come on, let's go.
This is the first thing you see when you enter through the side entrance, lots of grasses in front of the old farm house. Right, let's walk a bit further along and then turn round.
This is the garden right in front of the house, quite close to the formal entry I showed you earlier.
As you can see, this part of the garden is rather devoid of plants, there are some but shape is far more important here than plants are.
So much for the first part of the garden which is rather austere, let's go on to the next part, shall we, behind those yew hedges.
Tadaa, very different wouldn't you say? Let's have a good look round.
Have you noticed how the yew hedges and shapes contrast with the plants and are sometimes used as exclamation marks?
If you look at the plants from a distance you see that from the use of many prairie plants and grasses that have been planted in waves and that wave about in the breeze, you get this decidedly wave-y effect. But if you look carefully you can also see the stiff hedges do the wave-y thing. See?
Piet Oudolf is not afraid to use a lot of pink in his garden and blue, purple, white and soft yellow too.
But to spice things up a bit and to prevent the garden from looking too sugary sweet he sometimes hits you in the eye with something bright red.
Tell me, looking at this garden do you get the feeling that you will never amount to anything as a gardener as you could never hope to achieve this kind of perfection? Well my dear, despair no more cause lookee here:
There, if that doesn't cheer you up I don't know what will and btw, remember once and for all that there are NO perfect gardens. It's time to go, let's have one good look at this lovely garden before we leave. It is stunning, isn't it, warts and all. :-D
Well Shirl, I hope you've enjoyed your virtual visit to Piet Oudolf's garden and nursery and I hope that we will be able to go there together for real one day. And you gentle reader, I hope that you've enjoyed tagging along too. Do come again soon for another episode of Bliss!
copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen