Documents: Tracks Oudolf & van der Kloet

Design at The New York Botanical Garden
by Sally Ferguson
September 27, 2009

Site Documents Evolution over Four (Now Eight!) Seasons

Want to Team Up with Piet Oudolf?

Train with Jacqueline van der Kloet?

Now, via , you can join these Dutch landscape design superstars in an online rollout of their landmark collaborative Seasonal Walk installation at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY. The designers' highly naturalistic concept, sophisticated plant mixes and artistic interplay of form and color are causing real excitement at The Garden, where many are referring to the design as “pure genius.”

Project Extends for Another Year

The design has been so successful that The Garden has decided to extend the project for another year. This is exciting for fans of the Seasonal Walk as it will allow for another year of maturity for the exciting mix of perennials in the border.

The Seasonal Walk Chronicles website offers a first-ever online opportunity to track a conceptual landscape design as it matures and evolves over a full growing season. The website is a teaching tool, featuring how-to sections detailing the design team’s innovative planting techniques and their stellar plant combinations.

Visitors should find abundant ideas there, large and small.

Via bi-weekly Chronicles and Picture Galleries, allows visitors to focus on “what’s happening now” in the garden, while revisiting the evolution of different plant combinations and sequences over the seasons.

Documenting the site are award-winning gardening professionals, writer Tovah Martin and photographer Rob Cardillo. Martin captures the plant and design interplay via evocative on-the-scene report. Her chronicles also incorporate design observations from the two designers and hands-on execution notes from the New York Botanical Garden’s crack team of gardeners. Cardillo contributes lush photography that visually documents the sophisticated design as it unfolds, including occasional unexpected contributions from Mother Nature.

The site already contains the November planting, spring bulbs and early perennials, up to early August. Next comes the intricate dance of flowers, foliage and form over the remainder of summer, into fall and winter. Then it all begins again next spring. Visitors may want to bookmark the site for repeat visits as new Chronicles, Plant Combinations and Picture Galleries will be posted every few weeks from now through November.

Duo’s First Collaboration “From Scratch”

Piet Oudolf of Hummelo, NL is famed for his artful uses of perennials. His influential New Wave planting style features naturalistic combinations of native plants, perennials, grasses, bulbs and other plant material used to create harmonious landscapes that evolve over the seasons as landscapes do in nature. Jacqueline van der Kloet of Weesp, NL, is known for stylish, eclectic designs with inspired, often impish, mixes of perennials and flower bulbs with blooming shrubs and trees. Her gardens have a relaxed random feel that belies the artistry behind her plant placement.

Only twice before have the two Dutch designers put their skills together in projects. Both were in the US: in 2006 at Manhattan’s Battery Park and in 2007 at The Lurie Garden in Millennium Park in Chicago. The New York Botanical Garden’s Seasonal Walk is the first garden anywhere that the duo has designed together from scratch.

The New York Botanical Garden’s Seasonal Walk is a broad garden path running between two wide borders adjacent to the glorious glass-domed Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The Oudolf-van der Kloet design project and installation is a collaborative project of The New York Botanical Garden and the Internationaal Bloembollen Centrum, Hillegom, NL. The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center (NFBIC) in Danby, VT created the Seasonal Walk Chronicles project and website.


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