Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Review ~ Planting Design by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

A new book for the collection

This was one of many books on my book list and appeared under the Christmas tree for me last Christmas. I wanted to add this book to my collection of Piet Oudolf books. I really like his design ideas and use of plants and have used some of the ideas in previous gardens. The other books have been lovely to browse through, full of delightful planting combinations which are easy to re-create in your own garden and the narrative has flowed easily taking you through the background of the design and which plants to use and why. The photos alone are lovely and I hoped this book would be similar.

Piet Oudolf has developed his prairie style planting over several decades, incorporating grasses and perennials together to provide long periods of interest in the garden. Originally from Holland he has worked extensively world wide creating beautiful "landscapes" of colour and movement in private gardens and city green areas.

Noel Kingsbury is a British landscape designer and garden writer and is best known for his naturalistic approach to planting and for incorporating it into landscape design.

Written together by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury the book seeks to cover "the general principals behind creating successful and beautiful plant combinations in both time and space". It is aimed at the home gardener and professional landscaper designers but in my opinion I'm not sure it would appeal to most gardeners. As a professional I found the text very dry and to be honest it was like wading through treacle. Piet Oudolf''s passion for plants and his style of planting usually shine through in his books but not on this occasion; it came over more as someone writting a thesis. Usually the books are peppered with useful planting lists linked to photos, but there is very little of this in this book.

The book fits in the Landscape / garden design genre and for someone studying the subject academically this would certainly be a good book to have as it is certainly written more formally than for some one with a passing interest to easily dip in and out of.

I have waded through it, enjoying the thick paper it is printed on, making it feel like a good quality book and the photos which display Piet Oudolf's work to it's best.

To be honest there wasn't an awful lot I liked about the book, apart from the photographs and it's addition to my collection.

In hindsight I wish I had been able to look at this book before putting it on my list, I probably wouldn't have bought it or had it given as a gift. But it does add to my collection!

Just a few Oudolf books!

If you are interested to see what else is on my garden book shelves have a look at this blog
My Gardening book shelves. Happy reading!

Planting Design - Gardens in Time and Space by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury. Timber Press, 15 Nov 2005
ISBN -13 978-0-88192-740-5

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1 comment:

  1. Browsing through these types of books, especially ones like this with incredible images, is one of the greatest ways to get inspiration for your own designs.