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Daylighting

Written by Tovah Martin

Turning heads isn’t a cakewalk in my little New England town. Take the tulips, for example. Less than 200, and you’re whistling in the dark. Sure, I get the occasional glad hand. But it takes numbers to raise the eyebrows. I claim that I don’t care, but when the first Schnauzer came down the driveway to pay his compliments, that was big. You’re wondering why I’m seemingly such a slave to neighborhood recognition, aren’t you? Well, whether they love it or hate it is not important. What’s critical is that they notice it. I’m just like Lady Gaga in that  way.

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An Interview With Jacqueline van der Kloet

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Photo: Tea Garden

One has only to experience Jacqueline van der Kloet’s personal garden, The Tea Garden, to understand why she is known as one of the premiere bulb designers in the world. When I visited in mid-April, even with a 2 week delayed bloom time due to an unusually cold winter, it was lush, exuberant, almost sweet, yet paradoxically strong. The roundish circular flow, with winding pathways and evergreens judiciously placed, immediately gave a sense of order. Upon walking through an unassuming gate, I was met by large sweeps of narcissus and yellow tulips as the lead players and the majestic Fritillaria imperialis dotted about; I felt as if I had been transported to a spring wonderland. Continue Reading →

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Oudolf Nursery & Garden- Hummelo, The Netherlands

One of the highlights of summer was my first trip to Europe, specifically to Piet & Anja Oudolf’s nursery and private garden in The Netherlands. I went for their Grass Days.

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Much like Fran Sorin (as she noted in her fabulous three part interview last month), I am a huge fan of Oudolf’s unique style. His gardens intrigue me and his design aesthetic influences my work. I’ve enjoyed all of his books. My close proximity to the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago provides seasonal opportunities to appreciate the development of one of his grand scale gardens and study plant combinations in person.

You might then imagine my excitement when the opportunity to travel to The Netherlands presented itself! Continue Reading →

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Piet Oudolf Interview – Part III

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For Part I, click here. For Part II, click here.

A Conversation With Piet

It is important to understand that an Oudolf garden does not begin to show itself until mid- to late summer, when most of the perennials and grasses have matured and flowered so that the garden is full of texture, color and scale. But for me, his gardens really come into their own in the fall, when the grasses have matured into their straw-brown color or reddish and purple tones and other perennials are swaying in the breeze, many of them with seedheads and some still in bloom. Continue Reading →

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Piet Oudolf Interview – Part II

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A Conversation with Jacqueline van der Kloet

To learn more about Piet, I decided to speak with two people who have worked closely with him over the years.

First on my list was Jacqueline van der Kloet, a highly respected Dutch garden designer especially known for her knowledge of and artistry with bulbs. She initially met Piet in the 1990s: she was writing an article about the perennial, astrantia, and went to his home to interview him about it. What Jacqueline thought would be an hour-long interview turned into several hours of deep conversation about a plethora of gardening subjects. Without ever having met Jacqueline before, Piet suggested that she attend a plant conference with him in Germany, thinking that it might prove to be interesting and beneficial for her. Jacqueline did: and so developed a professional relationship that has continued to grow and flourish for more than 15 years. To this day, Jacqueline marvels at Piet’s enormous generosity.

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