Cover image for Dream plants for the natural garden
Dream plants for the natural garden
Gerritsen, Henk.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Méér Droomplanten. English
Publication Information:
Portland, Or. : Timber Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
144 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB407 .G4713 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Timber Press has previously published two critically acclaimed and bestselling books by Piet Oudolf, the influential Dutch landscape designer: Gardening with Grasses (with Michael King) and Designing with Plants (with No#65533;l Kingsbury). This new collaboration with fellow Dutch plantsman Henk Gerritsen deals with a selection of some 1200 plants most suitable for Oudolf's New Wave naturalism, which emphasizes the importance of plant structures in providing all-season interest. The gardener can prune back plants after flowering to create a perpetual spring -- at least until the onset of winter -- but the authors prefer to follow nature's example and let plants finish flowering, not only to please the birds and butterflies, but for the beauty that well-chosen plant groupings offer as they reach the end of their life cycle. Many illustrations in this book demonstrate the striking effects of Oudolf's favorite plants in fall and winter.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Inquisitive gardeners will savor the engagingly wry tone and provocative opinions contained in this fine compendium. Based upon the long-bandied-about idea of low-maintenance gardening, Gerritsen and Oudolf bring their own distinctive, aesthetic approach to the concept of choosing undemanding plants that also stand as beautiful garden specimens. Inspiring plantsmen, they remind gardeners that perfection is unattainable, so rather than "tarmac your garden," the wise soul learns to work with nature. Tough, playful, and troublesome are attributes that define this richly illustrated book's broad categories of hardy perennials, exuberant self-seeding species, and capricious types that might still be worthy of one's efforts. Taken together, a range of recommended plants holds the promise of bringing an exhilarating naturalism to a garden scheme. --Alice Joyce

Library Journal Review

Gerritsen and Oudolf loosely define a "natural garden" as one that contains plants that need minimal maintenance, attract wildlife, and have a "natural appearance." More than 1000 such plants are covered in this encyclopedic guide. Because the authors are garden designers practicing in Northern Europe, the plants featured are mostly suitable to cold-winter, temperate climates with summer rainfall. For other regions, many of the plants covered are unsuitable horticulturally (requiring lots of care) and environmentally (extremely invasive and ecologically destructive). Moreover, the authors support the cautious use of invasive plants, so long as gardeners are vigilantly prepared to control their growth. This advice is clearly unsound, especially considering that plants with invasive characteristics can be serious threats to local habitats. For readers interested in natural gardening, a much more regionally and environmentally appropriate resource is Natural Gardening, edited by John Kadel Boring (Time-Life, 1999). This book is not recommended. Brian Lym, City Coll. of San Francisco Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Winter is perhaps the best time of year for the gardener: the peace! You don't have to do anything, you don't have to think about anything and you don't have to worry about anything. You can just sit next to the fire reading gardening books and dreaming about how wonderful the garden will be next summer. Naturally, you will have to ensure that the garden has been prepared for winter: that is to say readied for winter without having cut back one plant or raked one leaf. Silhouettes of Eupatorium, Aster umbellatus, Veronicastrum virginicum and the beautiful black spherical seed heads left by the monardas which even in the depths of winter smell like Earl Grey tea. Grasses, of course, especially Miscanthus with its amazing silver plumes, and a lot of Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' against the backdrop of a neatly clipped hedge or just against the chill winter wind: it is always sad when you have to cut it back again in spring. And in front, close to the house so you can see them from your armchair, the strong, fleshy shoots of hellebores, working their way through the fallen leaves and remains of last summer's border intones of apple green, darkest purple, white and pale pink, exactly as you would see them in nature, in the Balkans. And, naturally, a specimen of Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' next to the door so you can experience the delicious scent of its flowers every time you go in and out. A garden lovely enough to lift the spirits even on the most sombre and overcast days of winter. And when it has frozen and frost lies everywhere, or when it has snowed, it is so beautiful that you can sit, next to your cat, and stare outside for hours with your nose pressed against the window pane admiring the ghostly forms. Excerpted from Dream Plants for the Natural Garden by Piet Oudolf, Henk Gerritsen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Noel Kingsbury
Prefacep. 4
Introductionp. 7
Part 1 Tough Perennialsp. 12
Battling with ground elderp. 42
Winter silhouettesp. 54
Giant plantsp. 59
Grassesp. 60
Food for allp. 62
Fernsp. 63
Bulbsp. 66
Shrubsp. 76
Part 2 Playful Self-seeding perennialsp. 83
Colour schemesp. 86
The rhythm sectionp. 97
Biennials and tender perennialsp. 99
Soap bubblesp. 110
Annualsp. 116
After flowering