Wanderlust in Hummelo

When your goal is to green up the grey city, sometimes the best place to get inspired is in the green countryside.

 

Written by Hanne Sinninghe

As the private garden of Dutch landscape artist Piet Oudolf will close for public soon, we decided to take a trip to Hummelo and get inspired! It’s a pretty far trip driving from Amsterdam to Hummelo, where the garden is situated. As you start driving through the Dutch landscape it’s impressive to see it changing slowly. The dense city at last makes way for long reaching green meadows and as we head further east it’s almost as if the green landscape is giving us instant fresh air.

Piet Oudolf is a well known landscape architect who primarily works with perennial plant varieties and is aiming on a naturalistic approach to gardening. Oudolf pays attention to the whole life cycle of plants and chooses this cycle and the looks throughout the year over decorative aspects like flowering or color. Gardens designed by him will give a spectacular sight in summer, but can be be even more inspiring in autumn and winter.  

It’s still about 15 minutes drive when we leave the highway but we get to see the quaint little villages and farms on our way to Hummelo. Even though I was born near The Veluwe, sometimes I forget how soothing and relaxing it can be to be closer to nature and have more green around you. After a while we arrive to the garden and we can see we’re not the only ones with this brilliant plan. It’s a nice day and the sun is out, let’s get inspired!

Garden view at Hummelo

Piet Oudolf is well known for his naturalistic way of planting and focusses on grasses in combination with other perennial plant varieties that have interesting structures throughout the year. When entering the garden we can immediately see what makes this particular style of planting so interesting. The different blocks in the garden are separated by pathways but when standing next to it and looking over the plot you can hardly see the different segments. It’s like looking over a sea of different colors and textures and within all these differences Piet Oudolf manages to create one unity. Grasses like ‘Stipa Gigantea’ form the base of the design and give a soft and ‘airy’ feel to the whole. Combined with different plants such as classics like Verbena, Persicaria and Echinops it feels like a sort of ‘structured chaos’.

 

Echinops Bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’. Spring blue flowers peak out and give a nice colorful detail in the border. They bloom from July till August, and make a wonderful architectural statement in the Winter.

What I’m most impressed about is that although the design and plant combinations are very well thought of, the garden gives you the feeling it’s made by nature. The plants are scattered over the plot as though the wind has dropped their seeds randomly instead of neatly placing them in structured patterns. It’s like walking through a meadow, instead of a private garden.

 

Persicaria Amplexicaulis. With their stunning dark pink flowers this easy plant give the border a boost all though summer and autumn. The flowers bloom from July until September.

Verbena Bonariensis. A perfect plant to combine with other plants. Because of it’s airy and ‘loose’ character it lets itself weave through other plants easily.

A corner of the garden with the grasses bathing in sunlight

Walking through a garden like this makes you think about the possibilities in the city. Wouldn’t this be a nice style to bring back with us? If we would have ‘Piet Outdoor Gardens’ on our rooftops, you would be surrounded by green architecture all year through. I guess adding a little extra structured chaos on our rooftops would be a great way to ad green to our cities’ own structured chaos, but giving it a naturalistic feel to it. Giving us nice views to look at and maybe sometimes even forgetting you’re in a big city.

 

For cities, for live, for a better future,
we create green oases in and on buildings!