Dream Plants for the Natural Garden

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Frances Lincoln, Jul 26, 2011 - Gardening - 144 pages
2 Reviews
In this book, pioneering garden designers Henk Gerritsen and Piet Oudolf describe their special choice of ideal plants perennials, bulbs, grasses, ferns and small shrubs. An ideal plant is one that is both beautiful and robust, performing reliably with very little input from the gardener. Complete growing information is provided for each plant along with advice on how to use it to best effect.

Gerritsen and Oudolf have a genuinely innovative approach to gardening. Rather than striving for big, bold masses of colourful blooms that are vigorously pruned back as soon as they have finished flowering, the authors choose plants chiefly for their form - leaves, flower heads and stems included - which means they retain their natural beauty through all the seasons.

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Dream plants for the natural garden

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Gerritsen and Oudolf loosely define a "natural garden" as one that contains plants that need minimal maintenance, attract wildlife, and have a "natural appearance." More than 1000 such plants are ... Read full review

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What a misleading editorial review.
Briefly, Oudolf and Gerritsen create 'naturalistic' gardens that seek to reimagine nature -- taking their inspiration from how plant communities exist in the
wild.
But while they are planting designers with a deep ecological foundation -- they are in no way seeking to recreate wilderness.
Oudolf in particular, has amassed an extraordinary inventory of perennial plants and grasses that meet his exacting standards and that he uses in his projects. The remarkable results can be seen in public spaces like the High LIne in NYC -- that successfully bring the feeling of wild spaces into an urban context.
Contrary to the stark editorial advice, many of these same plants and grasses can be grown in gardens here in North America. Many of them are in fact, either the species or cultivars of prairie natives and thus already adapted.
There are a few to avoid like lythrums which flourish benignly in Europe but are invasive here. But by and large, this book is an excellent compendium of dream plants for the natural garden.
 

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About the author (2011)

Distinguished garden designer Henk Gerritsen was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands. He trained as an artist and made his living as a painter before turning to garden design. He now writes regularly for gardening magazines in Holland, Germany and the US, and has had several books published. His best-known garden design project in the UK is the reconstruction of the Waltham Place gardens in Berkshire. He also started the Priona Gardens in Schuinesloot in the Netherlands with his friend Anton Schlepers. Henk's gardening philosophy is to respect the full cycle of life in a garden, allowing wild and cultivated plants to grow side by side in natural-looking environments; rather than battling disease and decay, 'troublesome' weeds and 'pests', he prefers to compromise, considering them an essential part of the beauty of the garden. He never uses chemical fertilizers or pesticides.Distinguished garden designer Henk Gerritsen was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands. He trained as an artist and made his living as a painter before turning to garden design. He now writes regularly for gardening magazines in Holland, Germany and the US, and has had several books published. His best-known garden design project in the UK is the reconstruction of the Waltham Place gardens in Berkshire. He also started the Priona Gardens in Schuinesloot in the Netherlands with his friend Anton Schlepers. Henk's gardening philosophy is to respect the full cycle of life in a garden, allowing wild and cultivated plants to grow side by side in natural-looking environments; rather than battling disease and decay, 'troublesome' weeds and 'pests', he prefers to compromise, considering them an essential part of the beauty of the garden. He never uses chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

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