Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury

Piet Oudolf Vlinderhof Garden

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $40

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Join master plantsman and landscape designer Piet Oudolf and horticulturalist Dr Noel Kingsbury on a tour of Vlinderhof Garden (designed by Piet Oudolf).

In this short course you'll learn Piet's key planting design principles and investigate how Piet Oudolf's planting design appears to break a fundamental rule of design – 'less is more'. We'll try to crack this conundrum together.

The course was filmed in this Dutch garden just at the end of summer - just as summer's flowering tips over to autumnal colour and winter seed heads, which will help us to understand how Piet's plant selection works in garden designs throughout the seasons.

Alongside you'll understand how the planting schemes can be applied on a large or a small scale (from huge public gardens to your own garden) and learn how to appreciate the consistently natural look and feel of the plant varieties Piet has chosen.

We'll also look at how the artistic principle of tonal depth in your planting design and how to achieve this in your garden using light and dark.

The Vlinderhof Garden includes over 100 plants, and we'll look at how Piet pulls together this number of plant varieties. We'll also see how the plants are used for three themes throughout the garden - Key Plants, Companion Plants and Surprises.

You'll understand how to choose Key Plants for their long season of good structure and these plants are repeated creating a strong sense of rhythm and visual unity throughout the garden design.

You'll be guided through the garden plant to see how other plant varieties are added for additional impact, even in small numbers, to keep up interest and create surprises.

Plus this course includes an overview of the founding of the Vlinderhof Garden and essential maintenance tasks performed throughout the seasons by the garden's volunteers.

You'll learn:

  • How to apply planting design principles on small or large scale gardens
  • Choosing plants for seasonal structure
  • Creating planting surprises
  • Garden maintenance tasks

Time to complete this planting design course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 4 hours to complete including:

  • Video lesson: 40 minutes
  • Course notes: 50 minutes
  • Assignment: at least 2 hours
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes

You'll need:

You don't need any special equipment, but you will be creating your own plant list and garden design.

The course is suitable for all levels - beginners to garden designers or horticulture professionals who want to learn from a master plantsman.

The course includes:

  • 1 on-demand video lesson - presented by Piet Oudolf and Dr Noel Kingsbury
  • lifetime access to the video, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical (optional) planting project
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom chat online to students from around the world
  • Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited for 4 hours (Expert version)

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Noel on your Piet Oudolf inspired garden design and questions.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 4 hours of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

Course outline

  • Key planting design principles

    Piet Oudolf & Dr Noel Kingsbury will teach you how to understand planting design principles that can be applied on a large or a small scale.

    You'll learn how to choose plants for seasonal structure and how to create planting surprises with the plant varieties you include.

Back in school with pleasure! I definitely would have no chance studying with experts like this if it wasn't for Learning with Experts.


Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


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

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 1 week tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 1 assignment marked by Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury
    • Certificate of completion and CPD hours
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 1 lesson with expert video & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • 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
    • 1 lesson with expert video & notes
    • 1 course assignment
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

Buy this course for a business or group

You can now buy this course through your business or organisation for individuals and groups up to 20

Gardening classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury

Piet Oudolf & Noel Kingsbury - Gardening

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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Awards & Accreditations

  • Royal Horticultural Society - Approved Centre 2023-2024
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Adult Home Learning Product of the Year