Nature At Work

Cape Cod Home  /  Summer 2023 / ,

Writer: Susan Dewey

Famous landscape designer’s Nantucket garden featured in a newly released book. Landscape professionals have long known that in the international garden design field, Piet Oudolf stands above the rest as a designer whose visionary ideas have transformed public and private spaces, from New York City’s acclaimed The High Line, all the way to a homeowner’s 12-acre landscape on Nantucket. Photos provided by Piet Oudolf Like a stand of beachgrass blowing in the wind with abandon, Oudolf’s designs often seem dreamlike with artistically curated swaths of luminous, subtly hued perennials winding in ribbons around groves of trees and shrubs, providing season after season of ever-unfolding natural beauty. The prestigious, global book publisher, Phaidon Press of London and New York, known for publishing more than 1,500 sophisticated books on art, architecture, and design, recently released Piet Oudolf At Work with 300 gorgeous pages capturing the 78-year-old Netherland native’s career. Showcased in the large-size monograph, which is simply, but elegantly designed and produced on high-quality paper, are page after page of Oudolf’s drawings in black and white and color (his drawings have been featured in solo art gallery shows), hundreds of vivid photographs from Oudolf commissions around the world, a photographic catalog of the designer’s favorite plants, and insightful commentary by five of the designer’s acclaimed peers. “A garden,” says Oudolf in a quote at the beginning of the book, “isn’t a landscape painting that you look at, but a dynamic process that’s always changing.” Oudolf, whose designs decorate important urban centers, metro stations, college campuses, museums, and transportation hubs, was first and foremost a lover of plants, especially perennials.  His career began with a job growing plants for a Netherlands grower. The world-famous designer can still be seen in the early hours of the morning exploring and carefully noting the evolution of…

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Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, former associate publisher and editor at Cape Cod Life Publications, lives in Centerville where she grows vegetables and flowers for Cape farmers' markets, designs perennial gardens for her son’s company, Dewey Gardens, and enjoys living on beautiful Cape Cod year round.