Entries in piet odoulf (2)



One of the most effective ways of defining space in a garden is with hedges. For centuries, especially in European gardens, hedges have been a common design element. Here in the states hedging has suffered from an undemocratic image as being unfriendly and perhaps boring. In fact, when I was in school our design professor who was a student of the influential teacher Ian McHarg, had no interest in promoting the use of a hedge. He favored a strict imitation of natural systems. Although the program was highly enlightening it was also stifling to design as if everything should be a replication of an ecosystem. To this day I use allot of natives in my designs but I have grown to appreciate all styles of garden design and frequently will use hedging in different ways. Think of the hedge as a living wall which depending on the plant used may be anywhere from fortress like to diminutive. Some hedges are purely decorative, while others serve a practical function. Hedge plants used decoratively are often trimmed to precise sizes and shapes and include evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. 


Piet Odoulf's informal planting with a Taxus and Beech hedge in the background.


 Miscanthus 'Morning Light'

 Mien Ruys Taxus

 Yew and Boxwood 

 Hydrangea 'Limelight'



Correct and incorrect pruning.





influential designers: piet odoulf


The great Dutch plantsmen Piet Odoulfs landscapes are the garden equivalent of comfort food. A sort of contemporary interpretation of impressionism for the modern garden. Inspired and innovative, Odoulf's gardens rely primarily on the use of perennials and grasses. Structure is of primary importance with color taking a back seat. Contrast among the shapes of flower and seed heads, and how they change through the seasons, embody his style. Although the overall feel of his gardens is informal, a closer look reveals elements of formality and a recasting of classical geometry.


  In Autumn, Odoulfs home garden in the Netherlands, with the wave hedge in the backgroud.


  The wave hedge. 


 Chicago's Millenium Park



Many of the plants in Odoulf's gardens constantly change through the seasons.