My career recently took a detour, and for the moment I’m working at a Landscape Architecture firm. The work is pretty interesting and it jogged my memory to a lecture I attended this fall by Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf, and thought I’d share some of my notes and thoughts here.

In his lecture here in Chicago last fall, Piet did a brief overview of a couple of his local projects, and discussed his design process in general terms. The majority of the lecture was essentially a primer on the elements of plants he considers when he is designing, primarily the significance of each type of plant form. I’ve listed a few examples below, but I would definitely check out his books for further information.

Spires are a dominant form and reach toward the heavens.

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Umbels are the counter balance of spires (above), and keep the eye at a certain level

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Daisies remind us of the sun

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This fantastic slide show exhibits Oudolf’s birth-life-death design principles supporting the overarching theme of year-round interest in the garden. I am enamored with his one-ness with plants. His delightful concepts result in rich, interesting, beautiful, natural and unique gardens.
Recent large scale projects employing his principles include:
Along with Kathryn Gustafson, the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millenium Park (A fantastic gardener’s take here)

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Battery Park, NYC

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High Line Team, competition winner

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