The generosity of Piet Oudolf

Intriguing podcast where despite his ever growing global cult status, Oudolf remains open, modest and above all generous with his talent.

The leading proponent of the New Perennial Movement, Piet Oudolf is famous for his dynamic perennial mosaics in urban masterpieces such as the High Line in New York, the Lurie Garden in Chicago, and the Oudolf field at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset. The designer sat down with Stephanie Mahon, editor of Gardens Illustrated for an interesting and frank discussion, on Season 2 of Talking Gardens. The highlight of the podcast was on the subject of planting plans. Oudolf’s planting plans are extraordinary, unique to the plantsman, and yet very much in the public domain. Few garden designers publish their planting plans for fear of their work being copied but Oudolf has no such fear. In fact, he is keen to share and does so in great detail in his books.

“What’s the problem?” he asked Stephanie Mahon, “All my life I have shared. People come to my house, and I’m digging up plants to give them a part of it. That’s just who I am. By sharing, you can teach people the ideas”, he explained. “Just look at restaurants and their chefs, they share their recipes in their books, listing ingredients and tell you how to do it” added the designer. Mahon and Oudolf agreed though, “Just because you have the ingredients doesn’t mean that you can cook”…