In late September Susan and I snuck off to the Netherlands (leaving husbands and children behind – hooray) for the weekend to take a peak at the playgrounds of a couple of Dutch garden design luminaries.
Our first stop was Hummelo, the garden of Piet and Anna Oudolf. Piet Oudolf has had a hand in some of the most significant landscape and garden design projects this century: The Highline in New York, Scampston in Yorkshire, RHS Garden Wisely…
Many of the vistas in the Oudolf’s garden were familiar from reading so much about it – it was like walking through a good pal’s garden.
The most exciting discovery of our visit was that the Oudolfs have weeds in the garden – lots and lots of them. The Oudolfs generously open their garden much of the year to the public and don’t appear to mind a jot if the dandelions and pink campion are indulging in some blatant argie-bargie with the asters and actea.
Of course this fits perfectly with Piet Odoulf’s naturalistic approach to gardening, one which we share. However try as I do I just can’t quite bring myself to step over yet another dock. But the Oudolf’s garden is lovely, weeds and all. The lesson I learnt – which I will endeavour to follow – is worry less about weeds, spend the time instead experimenting in the garden, or even enjoying it!