The Piet Oudolf designed garden at the Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London runs for a few more weeks, so if you haven’t managed to visit yet and are interested in the work of Piet Oudolf its worth having a look.
This year’s Pavilion is the 11th commission in the Serpentine Gallery’s annual architectural programme. This year the pavilion features work by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and includes a specially created garden by the influential Dutch designer Piet Oudolf.
The concept for this year’s Pavilion is the hortus conclusus, a contemplative room, a garden within a garden. The architect Peter Zumthor said of his central idea, “the hortus conclusus that I dream of is enclosed all around and open to the sky”.
At the heart of his pavilion is a garden in a courtyard setting that is surrounded on all sides by matt black walls and deep eaves, with a large section of its roof open to the sky. The effect is to concentrate attention on the inner central garden space but to also turn the mind to the sky outside.
Piet Oudolf’s signature is clear in this garden, with grasses and perennials figuring strongly. Typically of Piet Oudolf planting schemes, the plants that are selected offer interest in terms of form and texture as well as colour.
Sanguisorba canadensis. White Burnet. A clump forming hardy herbaceous perennial with bottlebrush white flower spikes in summer and early autumn. Likes full sun or part shade in a moist but well drained soil. H 1.5-2.5 metres. S 0.5-1 metre.
Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. Japanese anemone. A hardy herbaceous perennial with pure white flowers and yellow stamens. Likes full sun or part shade and a moist but well drained soil. H 1-1.5 metres. S 0.5-1 metre.
Actaea simplex ‘James Compton’. Baneberry. A hardy herbaceous perennial with tall reddish purple stems and leaves and narrow spires of white flowers in early autumn. Likes part shade in moist but well drained soil. H 1.5-2.5 metres. S 0.5-1 metre.
Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldschleier’. Tufted hair grass. An evergreen grass with narrow dark green leaves and feathery silver purple flowers on arching stems in summer. Prefers a positon in full sun or part shade in a moist but well drained soil. H 1-1.5 metres. S 0.5-1 metre.
Astrantia major ‘Claret’. Masterwort. A clump forming hardy herbaceous perennial with wiry branched stems that bear deep red pin-cushion flowerheads from mid summer. Likes full sun or part shade in a moist but well drained soil. H 0.5-1 metre. S 0.1-0.5 metres.
Tricyrtis formosana. Toad lily. A hardy herbaceous perennial that has arching stems with star shaped or bell shaped purple and white flowers. It prefers full or part shade and a moist but well drained soil. H 0.5-1 metres. S 0.1-0.5 metres.
Eupatorium maculatum Atropurpureum Group. Joe pye weed. This clump forming hardy herbaceous perennial has purplish stems that bear clusters of small tubular rose purple flowers from mid to late summer. It likes full sun or part shade in a well drained soil. H 1.5-2.5 metres. S 0.5-1 metre.
Molinia caerulea ‘Transparent’. Purple Moor Grass. Molinia are hardy deciduous perennial grasses. ‘Transparent’ forms an attractive clump of arching foliage topped with delicate flower spikes in summer. Likes full sun or part shade with a moist but well drained soil. H 0.5-1 metre. S 0.1-0.5 metres.
Other plants used in the garden include Aconitum wilsonii ‘Barkers’, Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’, Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’, Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’, Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ and Thalictrum rochebrunianum.
Further information: www.serpentinegallery.org
The Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2. The pavilion is open July 1–October 16, entry is free.
Want to see more Piet Oudolf?
Visit the Millennium Garden at Pensthorpe www.pensthorpe.com or RHS Wisley’s Glasshouse Borders www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley.
Photography: copyright Garden Design Eye