Piet Oudolf as Inspiration

I watched an absolutely wonderful film about Piet Oudolf earlier this week and want to share it with you!

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

The film takes a look at some of the gardens he has designed, such as the Lurie Garden in Chicago, the High Line in New York, or the Hauser and Wirth garden in the south of England. It also focuses on the changing of seasons in these and in his own garden, Hummelo.

A very big thank you to Angie at North Trail Living for sharing this film and for posting links to several other documentaries on famous gardeners too. Do take a look at her post!

My Man of Many Talents gave me two more of Piet Oudolf’s books for Christmas. I haven’t started reading this one yet, which is a German version, describing how his garden ‘Hummelo’ evolved.

But I completely devoured this one on Christmas and Boxing Day…

… reading it from cover to cover! It is actually a list of plants, with photos, descriptions and useful planting information…

This picture has been open on my desk for several weeks now and is providing inspiration for my next spring project.

It is from another German version of one of Oudolf’s books, written with Noël Kingsbury. I am afraid I don’t know the English title…


Have you visited any of Piet Oudolf’s gardens? Read any of bis books? If you know of him, what do you think about his planting style? Would love to hear anything you know about him or his gardens!

Thanks for reading!

23 thoughts on “Piet Oudolf as Inspiration

  1. I love the photo that will inspire your spring garden project, Cathy, and look forward to seeing what you plant. I can while away the hours browsing through gardening books too, and have several well-read books on my shelf. Piet Oudolf is a gardener I haven’t heard of, so I will be interested in watching the film. The concept of Five Seasons fascinates me – we have warm and hot here! 😉

  2. I have never heard of him or his gardens. The book has gone on to my list for presents on Amazon – (you never know your luck.)
    It might be a dangerous book for me to read at the moment as it is a perfect time for planting and temptation is high. Amelia

    • I had a pen and paper at hand while I was reading it and my list got rather long! But actually I already have a lot of the type of plants he uses as they simply do well here.

  3. Thanks so much Cathy – I will definitely watch this very soon. I was aware of the film but have never seen it. I have three of Piet Oudolfs books. As far as I know the only garden that I have visited which incorporates his designs is Trentham Gadens in Staffordshire where there the planting was exquisite. I could still kick myself as years ago we made our way in our camper van to Holland for a holiday. We had a most memorable day at the Bingerden Garden Festival but sadly I wasn’t aware of how near it was to Hummelo 😭

    • It is probably just as well you didn’t visit his gardens while on holiday, as your camper van would have been overflowing with plants from his nursery on your way home! LOL! I would love to see Trentham Gardens and another he designed in the UK is Pensthorpe in North Norfolk.

  4. As we live in Belgium, when we can travel freely again I would love to go and see some of his gardens in the Netherlands. The Dutch branch of our family shared photos of a lovely public park he landscaped there. I love that style of planting, though I think it probably works best in open, sunny sites – which is not what I’ve got here! More of a woodland vibe. I really look forward to seeing your Oudolf-inspired project, how exciting!

  5. I saw this film (pre-Covid) when it was making the rounds in small theaters and met the filmmaker, who took questions from the audience. Piet is like a rock star here (something he thinks is ridiculous)! His use of native plants and prairie style gardening is becoming even more popular, thankfully. I thought it was interesting that he now will only design a garden if the client agrees to a maintenance plan, so it would evolve within the framework of the design. As we know, gardens will quickly disintegrate without the gardeners hand.

    • Yes, I often wonder if the gardens are maintained in the style he would wish and if he has a hand in the future of them. I remember seeing an article about his own garden years and years ago and sitting up to take notice, but that was before I had my own garden. I think his style is definitely suited to our climate here, and I am lucky to have the space to experiment too. 😃

  6. The planting style, from what I can see, Cathy, truly appeals to me. I was not familiar with Piet Oudolf, but I’m going to make a point of acquainting myself. Thank you so much for sharing your interest and inspiration. I’m quite eager to know more!

    • I think you can get a good idea of his style in the film and especially on the Lurie Garden website which also highlights a lot of the plants used there. I can imagine it would work well in your climate too. 😃

  7. Looking forward to see your projects unfold Cathy. I’ve been fascinated by the High Line in NY but have not been in person. I saw this film also and find his work intriguing.

    • He has done quite a few projects in the UK too, but hardly any in Germany! I haven’t seen any in person yet, but there are a couple I want to visit in the UK next time I am there…. whenever that will be!

  8. ‘Dream Plants for the Natural Gardens’ has been my inspiration for the garden I now have! I’m a bit short on grasses, and some of the plants are not available in Australia, oh, and sometimes I’ve seen something and ‘had to have it’ even though it didn’t fit in with the plan. I love Piet’s ideas. Thank you for the link to the video. I will be sure to watch it.
    I’ll look forward to seeing the results of your project.

    • How lovely to hear you love his planting style too Jane! You will love the film. I know what you mean about plants you have to have. 😉 I have managed to reduce my impulse purchases by getting plants online instead of visiting the nursery (which is closed at the moment anyway!).

      • I watched the video yesterday and found it so inspirational. We walked the High Line in New York some years ago, but I didn’t know about Piet Oudolf then. It hadn’t been open very long and it would be nice to see it again, though I doubt that will happen now. The English garden at the end of the video was simply stunning!

  9. Cathy loved Piet Oudolf’s film: thank you very much for the link. Your man of many talents was right by giving you two Oudolf books for Christmas. The one in the “Hummelo” garden must be super interesting. “You devoured” this word makes me funny because I also sometimes devour books, “Planting The Natural Garden”, a marvel of a book and a marvel of an image: no wonder it inspires you, I love it and I love it. And you have another book by the author. I didn’t know Piet Oudolf, but I loved his style so much that I’m going to see if I can get a book from him in Spanish. Thanks Cathy for writing your wonderful blogs. Enjoy your gardening and landscaping books. Take good care of your man of many talents and you, keep yourself safe. Happy weekend. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita 😘😊🌼🌸

    • So glad you enjoyed it Margarita. 😃 It does me good to look at gardening books and start thinking of spring when the weather is so horrible… rain, sleet, wind. 😝 Have a lovely Sunday. 😃💕

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