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Birth of a New Perennial Garden

March 11, 2023 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


A personal introduction to the design principles of Piet Oudolf — one of the world’s leading naturalistic landscape designers. His work includes New York’s High Line, Chicago’s Lurie Garden, the Oudolf Meadow at Delaware Botanic Gardens, and Oudolf Garden Detroit. Deborah Chud’s five years of research on Oudolf’s gardens led to her own Oudolfian garden and the only known database of his plant combinations. Part 1 of this class traces her discovery of Oudolf’s work, her research on his plant combinations and her use of that research to create a garden in his style. Part 2 explores the historical context in which he emerged as a landscape designer. Part 3 provides an introduction to his design principles, particularly his concept of structure and the special balance he creates between coherence and contrast. At the end of the talk, participants will enjoy some practical Oudolfian “do’s and don’ts” for solving the problem of excessive contrast. Co-hosted with New England Botanic Garden.

Deborah Chud is a retired Massachusetts physician turned garden maker, consultant and educator. Her five years of research on Piet Oudolf have generated the most comprehensive database of his plant combinations. In the fall of 2020, she presented her work at an international event organized by Oudolf’s co-author, Noel Kingsbury, under the aegis of Deborah has also presented to members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., the Ecological Landscape Alliance, the Northwest Perennial Alliance, Toronto Botanical Garden, and Delaware Botanic Gardens. The latter two public gardens contain Oudolf-designed sections.

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