I have for years been lusting after the effects Piet Oudolf achieves. (For those ‘less in the know’: Oudolf is a Dutch garden designer and plantsman, the power behind what is loosely called the New Perennial Movement, and undoubtedly the most famous garden innovator in the world today.) I picked up a magazine with an article about one of his gardens and was struck – not for the first time – by how many of the effects he strives for are similar to what I do at Sequoia Gardens. It is essentially ‘natural looking’ with some formal structural elements, it respects the seasons and the plant in its seasons, and it tends to be too twiggy to make for good photography!
The two pics I use on my facebook pages illustrate what I mean. And also make me realise where I fall short. It is the old 20% of the effect takes 80% of the effort formula. It is Mercedes-Benz versus the best from China. I have achieved a great deal. To achieve to the next level will take more time, money and even energy than I think I can muster. And that leads to the next instalment of my tale… Here meanwhile (a tree-scale rather than a perennial-scale!) is a view taken on this damp winter’s morning, with some of our Liquidambar formosana still colouring beautifully when others have long passed their prime.