In this book, pioneering garden designers Henk Gerritsen and Piet Oudolf describe their ideal 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.
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.
Piet Oudolf, founder of the New Wave planting movement, is an internationally acclaimed landscape designer who has radically redefined what a garden can be by combining ecology, emotion and design. As a plantsman, his aim is to emphasize the form, texture and natural harmony of plants, and as a skilled plant breeder, he creates new varieties for these and other design purposes. His innovative planting aesthetics can be seen across the globe in the many iconic urban spaces he has designed, including New York’s High Line, Chicago’s Lurie Garden and London’s Serpentine Gallery. His own garden and nursery near Arnhem, Holland, has become world-famous. Piet is the subject of the 2019 feature documentary Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf and has been profiled by The New York Times, PBS News Hour and The Daily Telegraph. He is the co-author of numerous books, including Planting: A New Perspective, Landscapes in Landscapes and Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space.
Distinguished garden designer Henk Gerritsen (1948–2008) 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 was the author of several books, and his best-known garden design project in the UK was 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.