Piet Oudolf, from the Netherlands, is one of the most significant and acclaimed landscape designers in the world. As a leading name in the New Perennial movement, Oudolf ’s works are defined by a strong pictorial relationship to a garden’s layout and composition.
Inspired by nature, art and time, Oudolf ’s gardens are fulfilled by spaces of naturalistic planting, using swathes of grasses and perennials paired with structured pathways, shrubs and trees.
Piet, what inspired you to start a career in landscape design?
Plants were the drive and a way to express myself in life.
What would you say your trademark is?
Dynamic landscapes. Those that remind you of wilderness and let you experience the seasons.
Did you have a love of gardens from an early age or did you grow into it?
I became fascinated from when I turned 25 but never really before.
What country have you been most inspired by for its gardens?
Gardens in England definitely started my interest. Today, American landscapes fascinate me.
What are you currently inspired by?
What has been your favourite project to date?
The High Line in New York and my landscapes around Hauser & Wirth Somerset in England.
How involved do your clients get involved in your projects?
Completely. From the beginning to the end, all the while without loosing my own identity in the work.
What has been your most challenging project to date?
The High Line in New York
Which architects do you prefer to work with?
There are many, but one in particular I love to work with is James Corner Field Operations, who was the lead landscape architect of the High Line.
What’s your garden like at home?
Looks good and very well kept, unsuprisingly. It is rather complex though and particularly interesting from spring until winter.
Which is your favourite season?
If you weren’t involved in landscape design, what do you think you would be doing?
I think I would be an architect or graphic designer.
What landscape design trends can you foresee?
Less formality and more ecological-based gardens with greater design.
What’s the most important factor for you when designing a garden?
That it will turn make promises true.
What are you currently working on?
The Singer Museum in Laren [The Netherlands], a big roof project in Amsterdam, a Maggie centre in south London with Ab Rogers,
a few private projects in New York, a private garden in Nantucket and another public rooftop garden in the German city of Wiesbaden.
How do you relax?
I love working on my gardens when there is no pressure.
What are your plans over the summer?
Due to the day job, summer isn't really holiday time for me. I mainly travel in the winter.
Piet Oudolf; oudolf.com