Piet Oudolf lists his definitive top-100 must-have plants

World-famous garden designer, nurseryman and writer Piet Oudolf has singled out the 100 plants he won't do without.

The influential Dutchman, who brought his new-wave planting to the Olympic Park, chose short-season and filler plants such as Briza media and Delphinium elatum for colour and foliage, with the caveat they lacked structure and could look untidy.

Pet medium-length season plants included Acanthus spinosus L and Aster umbrellatus. These retained their interest for at least three months because of their foliage and flowers, structure and seedheads.

Long-season plants of the Oudolf oeuvre included perennials, grasses and ferns, offering interest for at least nine months, such as Digitalis ferruginea. Meanwhile Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ and Tulipa ‘Lady Jane’ made the list for bulbs.

Oudolf, who was writing in February’s issue of Gardens Illustrated, gave brief descriptions of each plant, their season and size. Of the filler favourite Phlox divaricata he said it had sweeter scent than border species and good spread.

His books include Dream Plants for the Natural Garden and Designing With Plants.


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