Real World Gardener Inspirational Perennial Garden in Design Elements

September 19th, 2013

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website

Design Elements

with Landscape Designer Louise McDaid

According to the Telegraph in the UK, Piet Oudulf is the most influential garden designer of the past 25 years.
Not just one of them, but THE one!
The article goes on to say that Piet has redefined what’s meant by the term ‘Naturalism” in planting.
Naturalism’s the exact opposite of clipped hedges and neat structured rows of planting.
Prior to Piet’s designs, Naturalism also tended to mean looking a bit wild, in the way of a wild meadow that you might come across somewhere in the UK.
Not terribly wild by Australian standards.
Then there was a bit of envy by the writer, because, somehow, Piet Oudolf’s garden remained intact and according to his design years later.
No wonder the owner of Scampston Manor employed him to restore their garden which had been in the family for 900 years.
What an inspirational garden.

Listen to this…

Naturalistic planting can be appealing, and look quite tidy, if not hard to photograph.

Just  follow the type of plants that Piet Oudulf recommends, and also the ones that Louise suggested to substitute, because we can’t get them all here in Australia.
The key is using long-lived clump-forming perennials which didn’t spread around by aggressive rooting or seeding and so retain their form as distinct groups.

Plants like Achilleas, Alliums, grasses, Helenium, Molinia, Sanguisorba and Astilbe.
Because there are no trees to speak of except right at the edges of the garden, the conditions of sun and shade won't change over time and  the scheme might last almost in perpetuity with a bit of maintenance.
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