About Adam Woodruff

Adam Woodruff has practiced garden design since 1995. He trained as a Botanist at Eastern Illinois University. Woodruff attributes his unique design aesthetic, naturalism with a twist, to early college exposures to a diverse range of plants and environments (collecting trips in local prairies, field excursions to bogs in Canada and treks through forests of the Northeast). He also maintained the campus greenhouse, where he fell in love with tropicals. In recent years, influences on his designs include travels abroad to Europe, Asia and the Yucatan peninsula as well as observation of the work of great plantsmen such as Piet Oudolf and Roy Diblik. Woodruff’s designs often combine grasses, prairie natives and perennials with lush tropical foliage and seasonal blooms. This harmonious blending of plant material that is not conventionally grouped together is the ‘twist’ that makes his style unique.

Author Archive | Adam Woodruff

GGW Plant Pick of The Month: Sporobolus heterolepis

Europe 253

Oudolf Garden- Hummelo, Netherlands (09/06/2009).

I just returned home from my first trip to Europe. I was drawn to Grass Days at Kwekerij Oudolf, the home and nursery of influential Dutch garden designer and plantsman, Piet Oudolf and his wife Anja. I won’t elaborate on the Oudolf’s SPECTACULAR private garden in this post. I’ll save that for a later date. Oudolf’s work inspired September’s GGW Plant Pick of The Month, Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). Continue Reading →

Comments { 7 }

GGW Plant Pick of The Month- Pennisetum

096

Pennisetum glaucum ‘Jade Princess’

In search of inspiration I ventured to the Missouri Botanical Garden last week. In the back corner of the Trial Gardens at the Kemper Center I stumbled across a stunning new ornamental millet, Pennisetum glaucum ‘Jade Princess’.  This upright, mounded variety with chartreuse leaves and dark maroon, pollen-less seedheads reaches 36-48″H x 18-24″W. It is a must have annual for 2010!

I’ve selected the genus Pennisetum (specifically, varieties I have grown or intend to grow) to highlight as August’s GGW Plant Pick of The Month. Continue Reading →

Comments { 12 }

GGW Plant Pick of The Month- Celosia argentea plumosa

Feather cockscomb (Celosia argentia plumosa) is an old garden favorite. I’ve used the annual (perennial in USDA Zones 10 to 12) in seasonal displays the past couple of years with great success. Plants provide high-impact color all summer long while requiring little to no maintenance. It’s no wonder cockscombs are a favorite of gardeners and designers!
Celosia

Seasonal border including Celosia argentea plumosa 'Fresh Look Red', Canna x 'Striata', Cleome 'Spirit Merlot', Verbena 'Homestead Purple', Rudbeckia hirta 'Indian Summer', Mandevilla amoena 'Alice Dupont', Datura innoxia , Codiaeum 'Petra', Verbena bonariensis, Zinnia elegans 'Zowie Yellow Flame'.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 4 }

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden

In Fran Sorin’s March 4, 2009 post ‘Favorite Seed and Plant Mail Order Sources: From our GGW Contributors’ Steve Silk and I both mentioned Cottage Garden in southwestern Illinois as a ‘favorite’ mail order resource for their vast range of unique plants. Fortunately, I live about 45 minutes from Cottage Garden. My visits there are always informative and inspirational. I feel a more detailed post is appropriate. Continue Reading →

Comments { 6 }

GGW Plant Pick of The Month- Colocasia

As I have addressed in previous posts, much of the attention my corporate design work (e.g. Gardens at the Bank of Springfield) receives can be attributed to my use of tropicals in the mixed border. It is unexpected to see lush tropical foliage flourishing in central Illinois. This season I have installed a truly subtropical garden complete with several species of palm, banana, croton, ginger, canna, fern and the like.

In seasons past I have had great success growing elephant ear (Colocasia). Not surprisingly, they are an important part of this year’s display. Named for the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield, June’s GGW Plant Pick of The Month instantly adds an exotic touch to any container or garden. Continue Reading →

Comments { 10 }