July is a great month to go out and enjoy the outdoors! Take a few minutes on this hot summer day to be inspired by the work of Piet Oudolf, a visionary landscape artist. Oudolf embraced sustainable and ecological planting long before it became a mainstream concern, and in the process created his own strong and beautiful aesthetic.
Oudolf chooses plants for their ability to have interest in the landscape throughout the year. He also researches the climate and chooses plants that will both thrive easily and contribute to their surroundings. On any given day on The High Line (a public project he worked on here in New York City) you will see birds and butterflies that benefit from his plant choices.
Even though his landscapes are like a collection of brilliant paintstrokes from a distance, he chooses many sculptural plants that stand out when you look close. In the fall and winter these plants stand tall and provide structure when the garden is at its quietest.
The pictures above are just a tiny sample from what is contained in Piet Oudolf's website. Make sure to look over not just his photography section, but also the 'Gardens' section that shows his public and private works.
If you are looking for more Piet Oudolf landscape inspiration pictures, then continue on to:
The gardening blog Gardening Gone Wild has a great 3-part interview, and many more wonderful pictures, with Piet Oudolf.
The Calgary Garden Coach blog's entry on Piet Oudolf mentions specific plant combinations that create the specific form and color combinations in his landscapes.
And for those of you that want to dig deeper into Piet Oudolf's design philosophy offline, you should take a serious look at the books he has pubilshed over the years (here is a list of his books at Amazon).
Matt writes a weekly column on plants, flowers and gardening. Feel free to e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Images credits onoudolf.com website, used with permission.