Piet Oudolf is a world-famous garden designer, nurseryman and writer. In 2013, he singled out the 100 plants he won't do without and we have them all listed for you here in Shoot.
The list is helpfully divided into short-season and filler plants, medium-length season plants, long-season plants and bulbs.
The list of short-season and filler plants includes such plants as Briza media (Quaking grass) and Lathyrus vernus (Spring pea). All the these plants are useful for fillings gaps earlier in the year. These plants have interest for less than three months, or good foliage but no real structure. Some look untidy after flowering.
Some of Piet's top medium-length season plants includes Acanthus spinosus (Spiny bear's breeches) and Rudbeckia subtomentosa (Sweet coneflower). These retain their interest for at least three months because of their foliage and flowers, structure and seedheads. All of the plants listed below retain interest for at least 3 months because of their foliage, structure and seedheads as well as flowers.
Perennials, grasses and ferns with interest for at least nine months because of good foliage structure and seedheads. Long-season plants includes perennials, grasses and ferns, offering interest for at least nine months, such as Digitalis ferruginea (Rusty foxglove) and Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' (Sneezeweed 'Moerheim Beauty').
Piet also lists out the bulbs he likes most. Bulbs are useful as they create interest during the spring months before most perennials emerge and are in active growth. Nectaroscordum siculum (Sicilian honey garlic) and Tulipa 'Lady Jane' (Tulip 'Lady Jane') both made the list for bulbs.
Piet's top short-season and filler plants
Medium-length season plants
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