Online gardening course with Piet Oudolf

Influential designer joins MyGardenSchool

Piet Oudolf
Influential garden and landscape designer Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf, one of the most influential garden designers of the past 25 years, has launched an online course with co-author and acclaimed horticulturist Dr Noel Kingsbury.

The pair have teamed up to teach students worldwide through the first online horticulture and design school – MyGardenSchool.

If you’re not familiar with Piet’s name, you’ll recognise his influence – a leading figure of the ‘New Perennial’ or ‘New Wave Planting’ movement, using bold blends of perennials and grasses.

The video lectures are at the heart of the courses, with Dr Noel Kingsbury. He has helped interpret Piet’s work for more than 20 years.

Stipa gigantea on a soggy August day
Stipa gigantea

On a tour of the Oudolf family garden at Hummelo, Piet and Noel discuss plants and combinations, before visiting Piet’s studio to look at planting plans and some pictures of the garden at Hummelo at different times of year.

Shot in September, the high point of the garden year at Hummelo, viewing concentrates on identifying structure, texture, form and colour which are so characteristic of Oudolf planting style.

The video is accompanied by four assignments which are aimed at encouraging viewers to go out and look at the plants that grow around them, to help them look at plants and planting “the Oudolf way”.

The idea is that wherever you are, nature has beautiful plants which have potential in the garden – it is up to you to identify, seek them out and use them. Evaluation of assignments will be done by Noel.

Piet said: “I know that many people across the world who I can’t reach would like to understand more about my planting philosophy and have personal recommendations.

I maintain that structure is the most important component in a successful planting; colour is important too but it is a secondary consideration. To work with Noel and MyGardenSchool I hope means that we can share our planting philosophy with you, and give you a deeper understanding, wherever you are.”

Golden Rudbeckia
Golden Rudbeckia

Noel added: “MyGardenSchool is an exciting concept as it means that Piet and I can actually reach out to students, and give you feedback in the unique MyGardenSchool virtual classroom.”

MyGardenSchool founder Elspeth Briscoe said: “We released information about this course on the site, and within 12 hours it became the fastest-selling online course we’ve ever released. We’re clearly seeing pent-up demand for online courses from experts in horticulture who many people can’t usually access like Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury.

“MyGardenSchool solves an important problem for globally disparate enthusiasts in fragmented industries like horticulture and landscape design (ie, there are millions of us foraging for information from a relatively few experts – but we are widely scattered).”

Complimentary courses are:

  • Planting Design with Perennials: taught by Dr Noel Kingsbury, on the more technical detail of Piet’s signature style;
  • Perennial Meadow Planting: a detailed, practical course taught by Michael King;
  • Gardening with Grasses: a detailed look at this critical element of the Oudolf-look planting palette.

The four-week Oudolf/Kingsbury course costs £250; other courses on site cost from £99. To reserve a place, book now to start in October, visit www.my-garden-school.com/courses/.

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