|Pensthorpe Millenium Garden 2007|
One must acknowledge, that there certainly is no intention to just roll over, and let the so called 'Dutch Wave', completely invade our garden. As it is a formal border, we intend to continue elements of formal, more composed planting, such as the lavender hedges and usage of shrubs. This is certainly not part of the Oudolf package, and am sure he would find this all rather objectionable! In truth, we are looking for some kind of combination of the New Perennial/Oudolf and the more traditionally British, Gertrude Jekyll, techniques. Even if I so wished, credit for this brainwave cannot be bestowed on the author of this blog. That bright spark, Tom Stuart Smith has already mastered this technique, and he has done so very successfully indeed.
|Penstorpe Millenium Garden 2007|
- Tough plants
- Light, airy, 'move with the wind' type, fluffy textures
- Rich bold colour block planting
In terms of colour, here again, we are denting the New Perennials line of thinking. Surprisingly, according to Oudolf, it is shape that matters, not colour. Yet the impact of his colour scheme, is next to none. For us, colour is dictated by pastels; blocks of light pinks, blues, purples and whites. Recently though, bouts of courage have resulted in the addition of bright magenta/red violet type colours, which has lifted the entire colour scheme enormously. I have yet to strike up the courage to plant a Phlox Paniculata Dusterlohe, described in 'Planting the Natural Garden' as having an "..alarmingly brilliant lilac-pink color, that makes the phlox extremely ugly and incomparably beautiful at the same time..". One can understand my hesitation...
Where we are lacking, is point 3, the fluffy, airy quality, which continues to elude us. Probably the most difficult to achieve, even for the masters. Grasses are not appropriate for our more formal setting, so thus far plants such as thalictrums, flat capped umbelifers and fennels (bronze and green) have been used. However, the effect can always be improved. After a long search, Perryhill Nurseries in East Sussex, had what I was looking for; Filipendula Purpurea Elegans and Filipendula Rubra Venusta. Wonderfully fern like leaves, creamy plumes of pink flowers, standing tall and proudly upright.
|Filpendula Purpurea Elegans (Photo courtesy of Perryhill Nurseries)|
And who knows, when that times comes, I may be blogging about planting a certain Phlox....