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Planting the Piet Oudolf Way

Taught by Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury

Watch the course trailer

Course Description

This teaching video takes Dr Noel Kingsbury, who has known and has helped interpret his work for over twenty years on a tour of the Oudolf family garden at Hummelo, with Piet. They will discuss plants and plant combinations, before going inside to Piet's studio to look at planting plans and some pictures of the garden at Hummelo at different times of year. Shot in September, the high point of the garden year at Hummelo, viewing will concentrate on identifying those elements of structure, texture, form and colour which are so characteristic of Oudolf planting style.

The video will be accompanied by four assignments which are aimed at encouraging viewers to go out and look at the plants that grow around them, to help them look at plants and planting “the Oudolf way”. The idea is that wherever you are in the world, nature has beautiful and long-lasting plants which are potential garden and landscape plants - it is up to you to identify, seek them out and use them. Evaluation of assignments will be done by Noel, whose links with garden people across the world give him a uniquely global perspective.

This course focuses on Piet’s design style.  Complimentary courses are ‘Planting Design with Perennials’ taught by Noel Kingsbury where you will learn the more technical detail of Piet’s signature style, using plants that are predictable and long-lived; Perennial Meadow Planting, a detailed, practical course covering all aspects of this planting style taught by Michael King and Gardening with Grasses which takes a detailed look at this critical element of the Oudolf-look planting palette.  To perfect Piet’s overall planting style all of these courses are recommended.

Course outline

  • Plant Structure

    With guidance and personal feedback from Noel on this first project you will orientate yourself with plants which have good and distinctive structure: flower heads, seed heads, foliage, or the shape of the plant overall.
  • Plant Combinations

    Having focused on the individual structure of varying plants during the first project you will now start to consider effective combinations of both structure and texture.
  • Considering Seasonality

    Now it is time to plan a seasonal calendar for the plants combinations, considering for how long they hold their good structure, and important consideration in any design.
  • Plant Suggestions For Your Region

    Lastly, a time to focus on the plants most suitable for your region considering: Repeating elements; scatter plants (i.e. plants with a short season of impact, relatively inconspicuous before and after their period of performance); and matrix plants, (i.e. plants which can be used to cover most of the ground in a planting, and act as a backdrop for more prominent species).

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option

    Recommended

    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 4 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 4 assignments marked by Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury
    • Certificate of completion from Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $299
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 4 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 4 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $99

Learn better together

  • Online classroom

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students

    Start anytime and join a class of no more than 20 students
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson

    Practice what you learn with assignments after each lesson
  • Personal tuition

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors

    Exclusive assignment feedback from Expert Tutors
  • Share

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

    Share ideas with classmates from around the world

Meet Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury

Piet Oudolf’s landscapes are as peopled as they are planted. Folks flock to them, whether it’s the High Line in New York, the meadows at Hauser & Wirth’s art gallery in Somerset, or the Olympic Park in Stratford, to name a few.

Alys Fowler, The Guardian
"Structure is the most important component in a successful planting; colour is important too but it is a secondary consideration"

I looked at landscape gardening as a career alternative to my family business of catering. I'm probably best known as the landscape designer from the Netherlands! And I consider myself along with Noel Kingsbury as one of the leading figures of the ‘New Perennial’ or ‘New Wave Planting’ movement, using bold blocks of perennials and grasses to create Prairie style designs. My wife and I first opened a nursery in Hummelo, the Netherlands back in the 1980s, this is where my planting style emerged with strong block-type groupings based on structure and texture as much as colour. As my design style progressed I have focused on the perennial meadow, mimicking nature in my planting style. Nature is my biggest influence.

It comes as a surprise to some people that I'm also an early adopter of some technologies. I love using my iphone to capture videos and photos as I work. I have a large presence on instagram, and I'm excited to share my work through teaching on Learning with Experts. Dr Noel Kingsbury and I have been collaborators for over 25 years, and Noel will be with you in the classroom marking your work, while Noel and I developed and filmed the course materials together. We are planning more courses over time here too. I hope you enjoy your online courses with me.

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    13 Courses • Taught by 11 Expert Tutors

    Master the complete range of garden design skills from the biggest names in gardening, including landscape architects Tom Stuart-Smith and Chris Beardshaw, influential Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf and his co-writer Dr Noel Kingsbury, along with acclaimed design lecturer Annie Guilfoyle.

    Whether you want a career change, or are keen to design your own garden under the watchful eye of some of the world's big names in gardening and design, this collection of courses is unrivalled in its level of expertise.

    Our students at Learning with Experts say that it’s the practical elements of our courses that give them real-world insights into how they can succeed in garden design. Whether you’re hoping to upskill in an existing role or thinking of pursuing a new career in garden design, this Garden Design Diploma will give you all the skills you need to help you on your journey.

    The opportunity to have the likes of Tom Stuart Smith casting his eye over your own design plans is not something that you will find anywhere else – and will give you a huge advantage as a newly qualified garden designer. The experts who are on hand to guide you through this process are at the absolute top of their game, and they are keen to help you develop your skills further by giving detailed feedback on any work you submit to the classroom.

    As you progress through these courses, you will explore the principles that underpin good design and how you can apply these to your own ideas. You will tap into your creative side and be encouraged to create your own unique designs under their guidance. All aspects of the profession will be covered, including technical knowledge, artistic tendencies, planting in specific situations and skills in drafting and rendering, allowing you to create professional-quality plans with confidence.

    The course is taught in our friendly and private online classroom, where you will get to know your tutor and classmates. You will have the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other, compare designs and planting plans, discuss difficulties you face and ask your tutor any questions.

    You will receive 2 Continued Education Units (CEUs) for each course in this collection, which are recognised by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). This certification is a huge advantage in the marketplace, promoting the recognition of landscape designers as qualified and dedicated professionals.

    Most importantly, you will have an enjoyable learning experience, whilst learning from highly acclaimed and trusted practising designers. Many of our students have gone on to make a hobby into a profession and now have careers in gardening or garden design all over the world.

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