Real World Gardener Inspired Gardens-Scampston in Design Elements

January 23rd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


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.

Scampston UK Photo: M. Cannon

Not terribly wild by Australian standards.

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.

I'm talking with Garden Designer Louise McDaid

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.

In the Perennial Meadow Piet Oudolf uses his technique of naturalised planting which gives a long season of interest. The form of each plant, leaf, flower head and stem is equally important, as well as the colour and shape.

Scampston, swathes of Molinia grass. photo M. Cannon

The perennial beds have plants that are not higher than a metre – they’re planted in groups that might cover an area around anything from 1m x 1m to 2m x 2m roughly. So that an area of flower might sit beside an area of grass with seed heads, beside an area of foliage plant – the textural combinations are really important, with height differentiations between the areas – it’s mass planting without space in between.

The colour palette is lots of purples, blues, burgundies with green foliage as well as silvery hints, bronzed seed pods – there are low seats in the centre of the garden to view have been specially chosen from this area in the centre of the garden.

Some of the plants were:

Nepeta Walkers Low,

Eryngium tripartitum,

Achillea “summer Wine, and A. “Walter Funke.’


Baptisia australis,




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