Update Piet Oudolf Landscape at RHS Wisley

The transformation of the Glasshouse Borders at RHS Garden Wisley by the internationally acclaimed landscape designer Piet Oudolf is taking shape.

Piet Oudolf Borders RHS Wisley
credit: RHS/Sam Hall

When first conceived in 2000 by Piet Oudolf, the original Glasshouse Borders were planted to fit the available parallel spaces in the Oudolf’s New Perennial style to echo Wisley’s famed Main Borders. In April 2023 the RHS announced that the borders were to be redesigned by the acclaimed designer to not only to better reflect Oudolf’s famous design style, but also crucially as a response to “nature, declining diversity of insects and plant species”, explained the designer.

The photo taken in December last year by RHS Wisley shows how the borders, renamed the “Oudolf Landscape” have been transformed to include a series of meandering hillside paths designed to guide visitors through the various plant communities that “naturally support each other”.

Covering just under 2 acres, the Oudolf Landscape will be one of the largest and most significant examples of the designer’s work anywhere in the UK. Boasting more complex planting than the original scheme, with over 160 different perennials compared to the previous 50, the new landscape will help to increase biodiversity in the garden and reduce the need for irrigation by removing the formal turf vista from the area.

A reported 36,000 perennial plants will fill the new landscape, a third of which are being grown in-house by RHS Wisley’s propagation team. The scheme also contains 117 species and cultivars that are new to RHS Wisley, which have been chosen for their ornamental appeal, resilience to the changing climate and benefits to wildlife.

“Good to see the new garden getting in shape at the RHS gardens at Wisley. Looking forward to the summer already”, writes Oudolf as he showed progress made to date.

Works on the new landscape started in autumn/winter 2023 and is expected to be opened to the public in summer 2024.