The Naturalist

October 23, 2017



With Chicago temps dropping to 33 degrees in the coming week, I spent my weekend planting spring bulbs throughout my garden before the first frost. I’ve mentioned that my ultimate goal is to have a natural garden – a true reflection of the wild landscape in Wisconsin. Just visualize The Highline in New York and the Luire Garden in Chicago gardens that are sprinkled with perennials and native grasses, and offer interwoven plants with sweeping views.


To dig deeper into what “natural” means, look no further than Piet Oudolf, whom is considered the leader in Dutch Wave gardening. Piet Oudolf and Ton ter Linden are two of my favorite champions of the Dutch Wave gardening movement, also known as New Perennialist and Naturalistic Gardening. As Piet Oudolf said, the goal is “to recreate spontaneous feeling of plants in nature. The idea is not to copy nature, but to give a feeling of nature.”


Here are some easy tips to help achieve a naturalistic garden:

  1. Select plants that are self-seeding like these.

  2. Achieve a meadowy effect with the help of native grasses.

  3. Embrace all four seasons by favoring plants that “die pretty” and avoid plants that require dead-heading.

  4. Allow for plants to stray from their designated area by planting a few strays, creating more natural-looking landscape. See some of Piet Oudolf's drawings


Images above are from my garden. 

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