Author(s): Henk Gerritsen
Gerritsen and Oudolf describe their special choice of ideal plants - perennials, bulbs, grasses, ferns and small shrubs. The book provides complete growing information for each plant and advice on how to use them to best effect. Rather than striving to create big and bold masses of colourful blooms that are vigorously pruned back as soon as they have finished flowering, the Gerritsen and Oudolf choose plants chiefly for their form - leaves, flower heads and stems included - which retain their natural beauty through all the seasons. The structure of the book is based around the way that plants behave - their relative growing strengths and reliablity - factors that always inform the authors' designs.
... a thorough knowledge of the ways of plants, an upbeat but realistic tone, and a lively and forthright writing style should commend this book to anyone with a thoughtful gardener to please Independent ... the plants themselves are excellent and well known to the authors who pass on their thorough and amusing cultivation notes alongside glamorous colour photographs Times ... an invaluable directory of hardy plants for anyone considering new-style naturalistic planting Country Living
Piet Oudolf is a native of Holland and originally studied to be an architect. Instead of designing buildings he became the founder of New Wave planting, a movement which takes inspiration from nature but employs artistic skill in creating planting schemes. As a plantsman, his aim is to emphasize the form, texture, and natural harmony of plants, and as a skilled plant breeder, he creates new varieties for these and other design purposes. He has designed gardens in Holland and Germany, and a public park in Sweden. The garden he designed with Arne Maynard for the Chelsea 2000 Flower Show won the Best Garden Award. His own garden and nursery near Arnhem, Holland, has become world-famous. Distinguished garden designer Henk Gerritsen was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands. He trained as an artist and made his living as a painter before turning to garden design. He now writes regularly for gardening magazines in Holland, Germany and the US, and has had several books published. His best-known garden design project in the UK is the reconstruction of the Waltham Place gardens in Berkshire. He also started the Priona Gardens in Schuinesloot in the Netherlands with his friend Anton Schlepers. Henk's gardening philosophy is to respect the full cycle of life in a garden, allowing wild and cultivated plants to grow side by side in natural-looking environments; rather than battling disease and decay, 'troublesome' weeds and 'pests', he prefers to compromise, considering them an essential part of the beauty of the garden. He never uses chemical fertilizers or pesticides.