Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantsman's Life is an intimate look at the personal garden of the Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf, renowned for his plantings at the High Line in New York City, and Lurie Garden at Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Hummelo—near the village of the same name in Gelderland in the eastern Netherlands—is visited by thousands of gardeners seeking inspiration each year. It is Oudolf’s home, his personal garden laboratory, a former nursery run by his wife Anja, and the place where he first tested new designs and created the new varieties of perennials that are now widely available.
A follow-up to Oudolf’s successful Landscapes in Landscapes—Hummelo tells the story of how the garden has evolved over the past three decades since Oudolf, Anja, and their two young sons moved onto the property, with its loamy sand and derelict, wood stove-heated farmhouse, in 1982. Text by noted garden author and longtime personal friend Noel Kingsbury places Hummelo in context within gardening history, from The Netherlands’ counterculture and nascent green movement of the 1960s, to prairie restoration in the American Midwest, and shows how its development has mirrored that of Oudolf’s own outstanding career and unique naturalistic aesthetic.
Oudolf has long been at the forefront of the Dutch Wave and New Perennial Style movements in garden design, which have ecological considerations at their base. His work stresses a deep knowledge of plants, eschewing short-lived annuals in favor of perennials that can be appreciated for both structure and blooms in every season. He is credited for leading the way to today’s focus on sustainability in garden design.
The book will appeal to readers who favor beautiful, biodiverse, and ever-changing plantings: seed heads, grasses, sedges, and winter silhouettes. They will be drawn into its pages by lush photography, often demonstrating how Oudolf views his own work, and providing rare glimpses into his daily life. Short essays highlight important techniques, including scatter plants and matrix planting, and introduce other famed landscape designers—Karl Foerster, Henk Gerritsen, Rob Leopold, Ernst Pagels, and Mien Ruys—to create a full panorama of the movement Oudolf now leads.