Planting: A New Perspective
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Planting: A New Perspective

by Noel Kingsbury, Piet Oudolf
     
 

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Planting, by famed landscape architects Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury, is a groundbreaking moment in horticulture. It is the first book to share Oudolf’s original planting plans and plant groupings and the only book to explicitly show how his gardens and landscapes are made.

An intimate knowledge of plants is essential to the success of this

Overview

Planting, by famed landscape architects Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury, is a groundbreaking moment in horticulture. It is the first book to share Oudolf’s original planting plans and plant groupings and the only book to explicitly show how his gardens and landscapes are made.

An intimate knowledge of plants is essential to the success of this approach and Planting makes Oudolf’s considerable understanding of plant ecology and performance accessible, explaining how plants behave in different situations, what goes on underground, and which species make good neighbors. Extensive plant charts and planting plans will help you choose plants for their structure, color, and texture as well as the way they perform in the landscape. A detailed directory, with details each plant’s life expectancy, the persistence of its seedheads, its tendency to spread, and propensity to self-seed, is an invaluable resource.

Planting is an essential resource for designers and gardeners looking to create plant-rich, beautiful gardens that support biodiversity and nourish the human spirit.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Dominique Browning
…indispensable for those who admire naturalistic drifts of perennials…Planting is an impassioned plea for packing beds tightly, interlacing species lightly, choosing plants that survive multiple stresses, letting seed heads stand through winter. The book offers plans for professional and amateur alike.
Adam Woodruff, Designers on Design (APLD) - Valerie Easton
"Oudolf is eager to teach the rest of us how to recreate the effect in our home gardens…of particular interest are the book's detailed planting plans, which show how Oudolf, who designed a reclaimed landscape atop the abandoned railroad tracks of Manhattan's elevated High Line, deliberately creates a "layered look" that looks unstudied and provides year-round interest."

Elle Decor - Mary Keen
"The release of this book marks a watershed moment. We are offered substantially greater insight into Piet Oudolf’s design process. Using original planting plans, e.g., Trentham Estate, Potter’s Fields Park, High Line, the authors explain in detail how Oudolf creates his gardens and landscapes… It is destined to be required reading for aspiring landscape designers, landscape architects and those interested in naturalistic planting design."

The Guardian - Mitchell Owens
"In Planting: A New Perspective (Timber Press), written with fellow landscape architect Noel Kingsbury, Oudolf details for the first time the specific ingredients that go into his horticultural alchemy, and even includes original plans and plant charts."

Grounded Design - Dominique Browning
"It treads a well-pitched line in providing gritty information to the professional and the amateur alike… It is fascinating to see this pinnacle of public naturalistic planting explained and contextualized."

Landscape Architecture Magazine - Malinda Hatch
"In Planting: A New Perspective, Oudolf and Kingsbury detail what it takes to design, plant, and maintain the new nature-like landscapes. This is a how-to book that will leave you with the information, courage, and enthusiasm to approach your own landscape in a new way… The authors leave no doubt about the importance of natural beauty to human life, and they show how to reproduce aspects of it successfully"

The English Garden
"In Planting: A New Perspective, Oudolf and Kingsbury detail what it takes to design, plant, and maintain the new nature-like landscapes. This is a how-to book that will leave you with the information, courage, and enthusiasm to approach your own landscape in a new way… The authors leave no doubt about the importance of natural beauty to human life, and they show how to reproduce aspects of it successfully"

Pacific NW Magazine - Rory DuSoir
“This is a thoughtful, insightful guide that deserves serious consideration.”

The Telegraph - Katie Elzer-Peters
“No one does ecology-based plant harmonies better than these two, and it's just so sweepingly, stunningly beautiful.”

Daily AD
“A fascinating and technical exposition of how Piet has changed the way plants are used.”

The New York Times Book Review
“Packed with detailed and enticingly adaptable plans, the 280-page volume is a one-stop seminar of the Oudolfian system of gardening, which is as much about advance planning as it is about total chance.”

Landscape Architecture Magazine
"Indispensable… an impassioned plea for packing beds tightly, interlacing species lightly, choosing plants that survive multiple stresses, [and] letting seed heads stand through winter."

Gardens Illustrated
“The book includes an extensive plant directory, which covers detailed information about each plant mentioned in the book; from the plant measurements, flowering season and spreading ability to the foliage architecture (plus lots more). It is a great guide for anyone wishing to try out the style Piet Oudolf uses in his magnificent gardens.”

The Wilmington Star-News
“A fascinating insight into Piet Oudolf’s approach to design.”

From the Publisher
“Top garden designers Oudolf and Kingsbury consider twenty-first-century gardening trends and challenges in this essential, informative, and inspiring guide.”

Chicago Tribune
"A wonderful primer for the home garden."
Booklist
“You could get lost in the landscapes featured in this book. Oudolf and Kingsbury explain how to combine long-lived perennials and woody landscape plants to create gardens that mimic nature and provide interest year-round. Study it and you'll be one step closer to designing your own tumbling, flopping, blooming-meadow-inspired border of flowers, shrubs and grasses.”

Gardenista
"Oudolf is eager to teach the rest of us how to recreate the effect in our home gardens…of particular interest are the book's detailed planting plans, which show how Oudolf, who designed a reclaimed landscape atop the abandoned railroad tracks of Manhattan's elevated High Line, deliberately creates a "layered look" that looks unstudied and provides year-round interest."

Designers on Design (APLD) Adam Woodruff
"The release of this book marks a watershed moment. We are offered substantially greater insight into Piet Oudolf’s design process. Using original planting plans, e.g., Trentham Estate, Potter’s Fields Park, High Line, the authors explain in detail how Oudolf creates his gardens and landscapes… It is destined to be required reading for aspiring landscape designers, landscape architects and those interested in naturalistic planting design."

Elle Décor
"In Planting: A New Perspective (Timber Press), written with fellow landscape architect Noel Kingsbury, Oudolf details for the first time the specific ingredients that go into his horticultural alchemy, and even includes original plans and plant charts."

The Guardian - Dan Pearson
"It treads a well-pitched line in providing gritty information to the professional and the amateur alike… It is fascinating to see this pinnacle of public naturalistic planting explained and contextualized."

Gardenista - Thomas Rainer
"Luscious photographs and meticulous explanations of techniques and methods make this an essential reference guide and constant source of inspiration."

Library Journal
European landscape architects Oudolf and Kingsbury (coauthors, Planting Design) believe 21st-century gardens are all about working with Mother Nature rather than against her. The authors are convinced that perennials are the key to a striking garden that also supports biodiversity, so not surprisingly, their latest book is all about perennials, from selecting the right ones for your soil and location to grouping and combining them in a garden. After opening with an overview of the symbiotic relationship between gardens and the ecosystem, the authors provide a detailed blueprint for how they mix and match plants to achieve maximum effects with a minimum impact on the environment. The book's gorgeous photographs of the gardens created by Oudolf—including New York City's High Line and the Lurie Garden in Chicago—effectively illustrate their design philosophy, while an included plant directory provides practical details on those varieties the authors have found most useful in their work. VERDICT This is a thoughtful, insightful guide that deserves serious consideration by garden design professionals as well as anyone involved in public landscaping projects. In addition, home gardeners willing to invest the time needed to absorb the authors' thought processes will be richly rewarded with beautiful, ecologically sound gardens.—John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604693706
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/03/2013
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
131,258
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt


The agenda for planting design in the twenty-first century
The former nursery at Piet and Anja Oudolf’s at Hummelo in the Netherlands. It is now a boldly experimental area where a range of robust perennials grow amidst a sown mix of wild pasture grasses along with various spontaneously arriving species. Only time will tell how it will work out.

Plants are increasingly being recognized as a vital part of our urban and domestic environments, not just a luxury or an unnecessary—if pleasant—bit of decoration. It has long been established, for example, that the mere view of plants through a window has a beneficial effect on the human psyche, and that plants can play an important role in cleaning and purifying the air of buildings and built-up environments.

Gardening, whether on the most intimate private level or the most extensive and public, involves an appreciation of and involvement with the natural world. For many people, plants may be their only point of contact with nature apart from feeling the effects of the weather. Private gardens offer the opportunity for personal choices to be made about what plants to grow and how to manage them, while designers of civic landscapes have always had the responsibility of serving the wider public interest. There is, however, a new and additional agenda for gardeners, both private and public: sustainability and the support of biodiversity. Sustainability demands that we minimize irreplaceable inputs in gardening and reduce harmful outputs, while the support of biodiversity brings a demand for wildlife-friendly planting and practices.

The use of long-lived perennials in conjunction with woody plants—the approach Piet Oudolf and I have always supported—genuinely offers improved sustainability and support for biodiversity. Reducing the amount of regularly mown lawn and the unnecessary trimming of woody plants for unclear motives is surely a step forward. Creating rich garden habitats offers natural beauty close at hand, provides resources and homes for wildlife, and improves the sustainability of management.

Deciding what plants to use and how to arrange them is covered by the field of planting design, which brings together a combination of technical knowledge and artistic vision. This book looks at some of the recent trends within planting design, and is aimed primarily at home gardeners, garden design and maintenance professionals, and landscape architects. There are, however, important lessons for others, such as architects, who do not use plants directly but often have to situate their work in close proximity to them, or ecologists, whose profession does not involve much design but who increasingly have a role to play in the creation and management of designed plantings.

While the role of plants—and therefore planting design—is well established in the domestic garden, and is indeed absolutely crucial to its aesthetic and functional success, it has not been so well established in landscape design. Or perhaps more accurately, plants have often played a minor role in urban landscape design. Historically, for centuries the only plants used in cities were avenue trees; the nineteenth century saw the growth of urban parks, the late twentieth a much wider use of plants in urban areas—a practice to a large extent pioneered in the Netherlands. Now, however, the use of plants is increasing, particularly that of perennials and ornamental grasses, requiring greater access to technical information about plant establishment and management, and to ideas about the visual aspects of their use. Before I discuss in more detail what this book is about, it is perhaps worth looking at these new trends.
 

Meet the Author

Noel Kingsbury is a well-known designer, commentator, and writer on plants, gardens, landscape, and the environment. His doctorate in horticultural ecology from the University of Sheffield focused on the selection and management of ornamental perennials and he is still engaged in active research in this field. He is interested in combining natives and non-natives in ecological planting schemes and is a passionate advocate for sustainable plant combinations that require minimal intervention from the gardener. He trials plants and gardens at his home on the border between England and Wales and travels widely.

Piet Oudolf is among the world’s most innovative garden designers and a leading exponent of naturalistic planting, a style that takes inspiration from nature but employs artistic skill in creating planting schemes. Oudolf's extensive work over 30 years of practice includes public and private gardens all over the world. He is best known for his work on the High Line and Battery Park in New York, the Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park, Potters Field in London, and his own private garden at Hummelo in the Netherlands.

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