cover image Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantsman's Life

Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantsman's Life

Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury. Monacelli, $50 (400p) ISBN 978-1-58093-418-3

Dutch plantsman Oudolf, long in the avant-garde of garden design, breaks rules. The movements he is associated with, the New Perennial Style and Dutch Wave, elevate principles of ecology paired with well-grounded plant knowledge, especially of perennials. He is is known for New York City's High Line linear park and for Chicago's Millennium Park. Oudolf (Landscapes in Landscapes) and his literary collaborator Kingsbury (Hidden Natural Histories: Trees) prepared this homage for Oudolf's 70th birthday in 2014. The invigorating book follows Oudolf's life chronologically, beginning with Hummelo, the garden begun 30 years ago by him and his wife, Anja, to supply plants required for his designs. It continues with discussions of Oudolf's growing reputation from Europe to North America, where he's learned to work with another continent's plants. Kingsbury's fraternity with and admiration for the garden designer lead him to pay proper tribute in interstitial essays to Anja as well as to Oudolf's theories and influential colleagues past and present, such as Mien Ruys, Jac Thijsse, and Karl Foerster. The moody tapestry of photographs is largely Oudolf's work, too. 300 color photos and illustrations. (Apr.)