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Perennial Planting in Winter

December 3, 2014

I had an unexpected treat last weekend-a trip to Bruton to see the Piet Oudolph perennial meadow at the exciting new Hauser and Wirth gallery in Somerset. I have long been a fan of this style of planting and even in early winter there was much to stimulate and inspire.



Molinia ‘ Moorhex’ was dotted throughout adding a fiery drama…

molinia 'moorhexe'

I loved the beds of Achillea ‘Credo’ below especially where some were still blooming a soft yellow and rubbing shoulders with their neighbours that had died back and were now an intense purple-brown…



The Knautia macedonica was in full flower …


as was the Origanum  laevigatum ‘Hopleys Purple’…


Both make good cut flowers so I shall find a space for several plants of each.

And the ground-hugging leaves of Phlomis russeliana have inspired me to relocate six plants from the allotment into my extended cutting bed …


The Sedum ‘Matrona’ had turned a rich russet brown and I’ve changed my mind about reducing the sedums here. It is worthy of a space even if only at the back of a border for the autumn colour and the contrast it offers to other plants…


I may not have room for the arching, diaphonous grasses Sporobolus heterolepis dotted with Sanguisorba ‘Red Button’ but they looked wonderful en masse bridging the wider landscape beyond.


Oudolph’s style which he describes as ‘romantic, nostalgic, not wild but organic and spontaneous’  has affirmed my plans for a re-design here.  Above all I love his palette of soft but complex colours making the transition from autumn to winter as exciting as any planting at the peak of summer. From his garden in Bruton I’ll take as much inspiration as space allows and I shall really look forward to going back next year to see the planting in several seasons throughout 2015.


All that could be rounded up to cut this week was the last remaining flower of Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’,  Rosemarinus horizontalis in full flower and the leaves of Lamium ‘Silver Beacon’ and Arum italicum.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2014 9:56 am

    Oooo! We’ve been thinking about going there for a while but haven’t got round to it. I’m a huge fan of his planting and have seen a few of his gardens now, so it’ll be interesting to compare. Hopefully by next summer the garden will be maturing a little too. I’m impressed you still have some pink flowers on your sedum. Mine all look a bit brown. 😉

    • December 5, 2014 6:01 pm

      I have nothing in flower in the garden after this week apart from the sweetly scented box. But I may be able to bring the hyacinths out of the dark cupboard under the stairs.

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