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Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space

By Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

A gardening book that tackles theoretical questions and the practicalities of gardening with equal aplomb.


Home gardeners with a keen interest in design, as well as professional landscape designers, will find invaluable advice in this new approach. The book focuses on the general principles behind creating successful and beautiful plant combinations in both time and space — working with perennials in the context of trees, shrubs, and the surrounding landscape. The authors suggest looking across, into, and through the landscape. They ask the reader to consider the rhythms and connections in their designs, through such elements as echoes, linkages, and repetitions. More than just theory, Planting Design includes practical discussion of topics such as soil preparation, plant selection, and garden maintenance. Exceptional photographs show growth of a designed landscape over time, opening the gardener to new ways of seeing and thinking about their landscapes.

Media reviews

"Piet Oudolf and Noël Kingsbury have accomplished quite a feat with Planting Design — they have written a gardening book that tackles theoretical questions and the practicalities of gardening with equal aplomb."

—Erin Kappeler, Horticulture

"I spent the first few minutes with this book wondering how they ever determined which of these high-powered plantsmen would have his name first on the cover."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"His writing is so honest and opinionated ... even when Oudolf is writing a straightforward directory of plants, his personality shows through."

—Amy Stewart, North Coast Journal

"We are enthusiastic about the 'new approach' to ornamental landscaping presented by Oudolf and Kingsbury ... practical advice, beautiful photographs ... Bravo, bravo, bravo!"


"Excellent as an advanced course in Oudolf's "New Wave" planting movement that advocates choosing plants that are in harmony with the surrounding landscape, are well adapted to the native soil and growng conditions, and that will develop beautifully over time."

American Gardener

"These two men bring their extensive knowledge of horticulture and sustainability to the realm of public design in an attempt to further the creation of contemporary landscapes that offer beauty and change instead of the often sterile public landscape. This is a thought-provoking book that will stimulate your mind and your imagination."

—Bobbie Schwartz, Buckeye

"Planting Design stands apart from many other garden design books because the authors have wisely and graciously included extensive plant lists. The book is a feast for the eyes."

—Mary Ann Newcomer, Idaho Botanical Garden

About the authors

Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is among the world's most innovative garden designers and a leading exponent of naturalistic planting, a style that takes inspiration from nature but employs artistic skill in creating planting schemes. Oudolf's extensive work over 30 years of practice includes public and private gardens all over the world. He is best known for his work on the High Line and Battery Park in New York, the Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park, Potters Field in London, and his own private garden at Hummelo in the Netherlands.

Read more about Piet Oudolf

Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury is a well-known designer, commentator, and writer on plants, gardens, landscape, and the environment. A a passionate advocate for sustainable plant combinations, he trials plants and gardens at his home on the border between England and Wales and travels widely.

Read more about Noel Kingsbury

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