Thursday, July 10, 2008

Piet Oudolf Re-Visited

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.
Grasses galore!
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


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just loved this tour of PO's garden Yolanda. Thank you so much for inviting us along.

I read an article about him and his garden in Garden Design magazine some time ago. The pictures they showed didn't give a very good impression of his garden. Your pictures do it justice. And yes it is nice to see that even in a huge well cared for garden that all doesn't go as you would like for it to.

I have often wished I had room to have big hedges. I really like the way those huge yews undulate through the garden.

I even like the planting at the end of the formal tunnel. I would love to have enough room to grow my imagination.

Anonymous said...

Be still my heart. Will be back after work to savor this.

Lis vom Lindenhof said...

Klasse! Der Piet Oudolfgarten steht schon lange auf meiner Wuchliste, aber bis jetzt hat es leider noch nicht geklappt ihn mal zu besichtigen. Leider sind ein Großteil seiner Bepflanzungen nur in größeren Gärten umzusetzen, aber anschauen lohnt sich immer!
LG Lis

Niels Plougmann said...

what a wonderful tour of PO's garden! It certainly is a great garden and thannks for reming your readers that there are no perfect gardens - A garden is a proces - Sometimes it looks brilliant other times - well not so brilliant!

Garden Cats + Crafts said...

Leider wirken Bepflanzungen, wie hier in dem von Piet Oudolf nur in ganz großem Stil. Deswegen mag ich sie trotzdem sehr und bewundere sie immer. In meinem kleinen Gärtchen kann ich sowas leider nicht umsetzen. Aber schön, solche Gärten zu besuchen und zu genießen.
Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda a lovely tour indeed! Thank you for taking the time to down load and explain as we went along with you! I always love touring different gardens too!

Cheryl said...

Hi Yolanda....whether the garden is to my taste or not, your tours are always so witty and amusing.

There are areas I love, mainly where there are drifts of plants.....formality has never really been my thing but I can appreciate fully the work involved to maintain such a garden. For that they have my respect.

It was lovely to follow you around Yolanda......and I love those bright trousers.....I like people who stand out in a crowd.....

Anonymous said...

Dat is nou het leuke van (b)logjes, je komt nog eens ergens, zij het dan vanuit een makkelijke stoel.
Deze tuinen heb ik zelf nog nooit bezocht, dus was het heerlijk om even met je mee te lopen.
Die broek heeft wel iets, hoewel ik (destijds) Berendien Stam in Ochten zo lekker 'British' gekleed vond gaan, Gert ook, ben jij daar ooit geweest? Jammer dat dat allemaal opgeofferd is aan woningbouw, ik kwam er zo graag in die heerlijke tuinen. . . .

Ewa said...

Dear Yolanda.
That is wonderful tour. I love this garden. I saw your earlier pictures and also there was an article in a newspaper. This garden is amazing. Thank you for showing bit of imperfection - that makes it even more real.
As I remember PO's theory 'there is beauty in DECAY'. He picks plants for garden according to their entire lifecycle - not flowering only. Especially if the plant looks interesting dead - that would be his pick :))
Thank you for the tour.
Many pictures to post, huh?

Frances, said...

Hi YE, my thanks added for all the wonderful photos. I have his book Designing With Plants, but that is not as real as your tour of the way his garden actually looks. I do love those wave hedges. Wouldn't that be fun? You and I both have hedges to play with, maybe we could try a little wave of our own?

Anonymous said...

Zo, dit is een toertje tuin dat er mag zijn! Wat heb je het allemaal goed in beeld gebracht, ik heb nu echt een idee hoe het is opgebouwd.

Vooral de bloemenborders vind ik erg inspirerend. (formeel is niet zo mijn ding). Die heggen in die vorm passen er fantastisch bij.

Shirley said...

Oh Yolanda, I wish I had put my PC on first thing this morning. What a start to the day this would have been!!! Thank-you so much for sharing your visit to Piet's Garden with us all. I have sooooo enjoyed it :-D

Oh Yes... I would love to walk around it with you in person but for the moment I am thrilled just to see your tour! I love the way you have shown the garden in your photos. I also love they way you went to the nursery first too. That’s usually my last stop buying something that has caught my eye in the garden. Now, I am guessing you went with a shopping list! I hope you got all that was on your list - did you keep to or did you have any impulse buys? I wonder ;-D

Oh… Yes and I did spot the vertical pillars very early on. I have often though on doing that myself but they really need a bigger garden like this one. I can see I will need to bookmark this post now :-D

Have a great and sunny weekend :-D

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I really like the idea of trial beds at a nursery. I've never seen it done before but it makes perfect sense.

The tour you gave of the formal garden was wonderful. The grasses are just wonderful. I love the feathery wispy quality of grasses.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anonymous said...

You're right...sometimes when visiting gardens I do feel like I'll never be a real gardener and my garden will never amount to much of anything. So it is nice to see that even "perfect" gardens have their problems and imperfections. Thanks for the tour and thanks for showing the all sides of the story.

marga said...

Je hebt de tuin mooi in beeld gebracht Yolanda.......prachtige tuin zo te zien. Die bordes.........heel mooi, ik hou daar wel van.
Fijn weekend.

Karin said...

Well, I'm not Shirl but I really did enjoy the tour in Piet Oudulf's garden and nursery. I haven't seen much of his "work" in real life but I remember your earlier posts about it. I really like how he uses the plants; shapes are more important then individual plants. I try to think about shapes but it seems that I keep on falling in love with different flowers. :) Btw. this year we have an international garden fair in Göteborg. Piet Oudulf is contributing...hopefully I'm going there tomorrow and of course I'm bringing my camera.

Take care and enjoy the weekend!
Kram Karin

Anonymous said...

YE: Someday perhaps I will get there in person but this was a great tour! I spotted those leafy pillars...what are they? Lovely indeed. Off to the garden...

Libbys Blog said...

Lots been going on since my last visit. A lovely garden visit from my computer chair and also more redesigning, have you had as much rain as us?

Tracy said...

Very inspiring garden, Yolanda! Thank you for another beautiful, dreamy tour! :o) So nice to catch up on your posts. We're just back from England, and had FABULOUS time in London! Saw lots of great gardens, parks and pockets of Mother Nature in full summer glory! Now resting travel-weary feet and doing lots of laundry--LOL! Happy weekend ((HUGS))

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

The garden is of course wonderful, but I really like those bright trousers! Seriously.
~ Monica

healingmagichands said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this tour, especially the "waves" in the prairie. I always enjoy your blog, which is why I have awarded you the Arte y Pico award that is going around the blogosphere. The "rules" are over at my place if you'd care to participate.

LadyLuz said...

Hola Yolanda. I see from your previous post you're deep into creating something new....a lot of hard work and I'm sure it will be as beautiful as the rest.

A great tour at Piet's, thank you. I do envy them all those wavy grasses and although we have the space to create something like that, we don't have the climate. I especially like it that it's a nursery with expert information and advice, unlike here, which is hit and miss. Bless you for your help when I need reliable information.

purr, purr and miaoww to the felines. Pamela

Anonymous said...

thank you for all your comments. Maxi is doing fine, chasing squirrels, catching mice, butterflies and cicada. Stays away from skunks and foxes. With some tuna in the kitchen and a warm cosy place to sleep Maxi is indeed a lucky cat.
How interesting to see your great pictures from Piet Oudolf garden.

I have just ordered Piet Oudolf and Henk Gerritsen book "Planting the Natural Garden"
from Timber Press, USA.
"This upated edition of the book that started the "Dutch Wave,"
a movement that is now sweeping gardens from Europe to North America, shows how to plant a garden that can look wild but be tame at heart."
There are always some new ideas for creating better gardens.

- Cheers Gisela

Jane O' said...

I loved going through the tunnel. Such a nice view on the other end.
That was quite a tour. I got tired following you around. My knees aren't what they used to be, but I loved the walk just the same. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Amazing pictures and wonderful post!

Best wishes.


-Liane Schmidt.

Julia Erickson said...

Thank you for your breathtaking tour--I wish I could have been there with you.

Anonymous said...

Do you think they would notice if a little tiny tent showed up in a corner of that garden? Oh, and perhaps two black and white cats?

Hannele på Hisingen said...

I love tunnels, lovely photos.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Thanks for the tour. Now those wavy Yew hedges are the kind of topiary I could really go for.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Yolanda Elizabet! What a great tour... and I love Piet's gardens in its imperfect, everyday state here just as much as I love it in the full, just-clipped-yew and everything-it-seems-in-bloom magazine spread glory!

Oh, and I would like to know where Anja buys her pants. What fun!

Matron said...

There is a Piet Oudolf long border at the RHS Garden in Wisley, Surrey. I visited it a couple of weeks ago, it looks spectacular this time of year - I can see similar forms in your photos.

Anonymous said...

I love the wavy yew hedge the best, and I'd dearly love to see this garden in the fall, with all those prairie grasses in bloom. Thank you so much for the tour, YE.

garden girl said...

Lovely garden Yolanda. Thank you for the tour!

Anonymous said...

good to read your travelling experiences.

Barbara said...

Wonderful tour in PO's garden. I have enjoyed it so much now that I've been reading a book from him about grass combinations.

Anonymous said...

WOW I love those pictures specially the one with a bird, that is a beautiful garden :-)

greetings from Kansas!

Anonymous said...

excuse me.My name is Wu Chunshui. I am from China, and a graduate student in Beijing Forestry University. My dissertation is about Scientific Planting the Perennial Border in Beijing.On the website,I find piet oudolf`s works. I have some questions to ask him. But I can not find his Electronic Mailbox. If you know ,I wish you could send it to me. My Electronic Mailbox is
Thank you very much.

Randi said...

I absolutely love this post!
Piet Oudolf is one of my favorites and he has inspired med a lot.
Is it OK for me to link back to this post in my blog?