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Oudolph inspiration

Evening All! I have this idea of creating a circular swathe of planting around my wildlife pond. I love Piet Oudolph’s prairie style planting and wondered if anyone here has done this style on a smaller scale? I’d love to see some photos of your projects if you don’t mind sharing? I’m growing a lot of it by seed so will take a few years to fully establish but that’s ok....


  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 7,900
    I used to love Piet Oudolf's borders but admit that I've now moved on so to speak, and I've reverted to more cottage garden style planting, replacing many of the grasses with roses.. so this isn't what you want to hear, but I still appreciate the style somewhat, in gardens of others.  I've seen a garden or two specifically done by Mr Oudolf.
    If I may recommend some plants that I enjoyed when I did prairie planting, and some I've seen in Oudolf replications..

    Miscanthus 'Kleine Fontaine', this is shorter and starts to flower earlier than most others. It's a most beautiful grass, but unfortunately vendors sell other miscanthus under this name.  Important to get the right one.
    I've grown lots of Miscanthus, 'Malepartus' is darker, and I loved 'Punktchen', rich purple flower spikes with yellow zoning on the leaves.. 

    Pennisetum 'Cassian's Choice', this alopecuroides is just the most beautiful, and flowers earlier than others of this type.  I also have 'Herbtszauber' and 'Weserberglund' but they're not as good.

    Pennisetum 'Fairy Tails' is another I like very much...

    Euphorbia styngiana, if you can grow it, is one I've seen in his gardens.. I grow both Mellifera and x pasteurii instead.  

    Molinia caerulea 'Karl Foerster' is just fantastic in a moist soil.  Dislikes dry conditions.

    He always uses Persicaria amplexicaulis varieties in front of his grasses.  One I liked was 'J.S. Caliente' which starts off a pinkish shade but darkens as the season progresses, and turns a fiery mix of red/orange..  

    best of luck, it's a fun thing to do... and to explore all the different plants for this style of gardening..

    East Anglia, England
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,113
    We tried it, now removed and gone back to a sort of English Romantic mixture. Trouble with grasses is that if you make a bed suitable for them, then the weed grasses also grow and are really hard to control. Even at Trentham Gardens they have had to dig out whole beds to clean them up.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,706
    I don't know where you live, but Trentham gardens in Stoke on Trent has gardens designed by Piet Oudolf. Worth a wander to have a look . You can take a dog in if you have one.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I have his book but that is as far as I got!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Rachel de Thane planted up a grass garden on GW one year but I truly think it looked really messy. She only had grasses in it though. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,791
    Our main border is a bit inspired by his Prairie-style planting, but only quite loosely.  We don't have enough space to do the really repetitive planting that he specialises in.  Ours is a bit more cottagey than that.  If you are near the North, he did a great garden at Scampston in Yorkshire, if down South, try the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Somerset.

  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    Wow thanks for all your replies! Lots of things to mull over. It’s made me reconsider to some extent as like you Keenongreen, there is space to really go to town (border looks great!). So I’m thinking I might just choose one grass to repeat with a selection of perennials running through. I would quite like a silver birch, or 3, among them too.... so much choice lol!! Thanks so much for the plant information too, it’s all very helpful!
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