Monday, May 28, 2012

That Certain Look

This weekend found me back at Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, Wisconsin.  It was exactly one year ago that I wrote a post on Roy Diblik's extensive gardens based on the philosophy of Piet Oudolf.

This year I was definitely after something other than a garden tour.  I was in search of a look, the look of a non-patterned garden design, a feeling of form and texture with surprises of color.

The gardens are very different than this same time last year when it was a true springtime garden.  I was so glad to see many plant varieties that were not in bloom last Memorial Day.

Geranium Magnificum in the foreground

The layering is extensive, plants packed closely but with enough room to flourish and the use of many types of grasses to always soften the effect.

There is a great deal of room to plant at Northwind but I am realizing that layering is not just for the smaller garden but for any garden that wishes to have continual seasonal interest.

A smaller draped conifer is wonderful along a pathway, wish I had room for one of these!

A large spreading conifer, striking yellow and mirrored in the pond below.

Color is repeated throughout using dissimilar plants.

The allium is Star of Persia.

Large twisted conifer with pink chives

Garden decor is incorporated so it peeks out of the garden.

The piano doesn't exactly peek out but it surely is a garden surprise!

Persicaria Polymorpha
I have this plant along my fence and it requires support because it does not have the full sun all around to give it structural strength.

Philomis was in full bloom and it made me think of the last time I tried to grow this plant.  I am now attempting it again with Philomis Russeliana the yellow variety.

Amsonia Northwind Select
(not on the market)

This is not an easy concept to understand and execute but I think I am finally getting it at least on a small scale.  It is not your normal garden design, three of this five of those and repeat across the landscape. 

Water is an important feature at Northwind.

I will be visiting Millennium Park in Chicago (July) which is one of Piet Oudolf's largest designs, can't wait to see this philosophy on a large scale!