SYMPOSIUM & EVENTS
2013 Spring Gardening Symposium
Co-sponsored by the Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation and the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden
- sold out (Waiting List Only)
- Saturday, March 23, 2013, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
- Bastyr University Auditorium, 14500 Juanita Drive NE, Kenmore
- Cost: Members $65, Non-members $85 (lunch included)
- Registration: Email email@example.com or phone (206)780-8172
The New European Garden: Principles and Gardening Practices that Make Sense for Everyone’s Garden
In 1992, after seeing the perennial plantings at Weihenstephan and Westpark in Munich and Hermannshof in Weinheim, the British garden writer Stephen Lacey coined the phrase, “The New German Style Garden.” The new German planting style is to base your perennial garden strictly on ecological rather than on aesthetic principles. In other words, try to imitate nature.
The use of clumping grasses is a hallmark of the German style. Grasses are planted throughout the garden, each in its own natural habitat, and act as foils for other flowering perennials. They impart a naturalistic, meadow-like look to the garden as a whole and provide low maintenance, mixed species “communities” planted on low-fertility soils corresponding to those found in the wild, and dispersed in naturalistic rhythms and repetitions.
Although much of this work has been done relatively recently based on research into perennials published in 1981 by Richard Hansen and Friedrich Stahl, the foundations go back to the early nineteenth century.
Karl Foerster (1874–1970) is considered the father of the new German garden style. He pioneered the use of grasses in perennial plantings, as well as the development of improved perennial selections. Today, his garden in Potsdam is a mecca for those who appreciate this style of garden.
By 1996, the Dutch had evolved their take on the work in Germany. The designer Piet Oudolf and others developed gardens with more freestyle artistry than in Germany. Their gardens were still centered on grasses and wild perennials, but they were more of a personal evocation of nature rather than being fueled by strict ecology. With this work, the new European garden was expanded and popularized in England and America.
To give you an insight into applying these planting and design ideas into your own gardens, the Northwest Horticultural Society, with support from the Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation and the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden is bringing some of the leading horticulturists and garden designers from Germany and Holland to Seattle to present The New European Garden: Principles and Gardening Practices that Make Sense for Everyone’s Garden.
Cassian Schmidt: The New European Garden: The Influence of the “New German Style”
Cassian Schmidt holds a landscape architecture degree and a master’s degree in horticulture. Since 1998, he has been the director of Hermannshof—the garden that provides the inspiration for the new European garden movement—in Weinheim, Germany. In his naturalistic planting design, the so-called “New German Style,” Cassian combines nature, art, and ecology into a concept of “enhanced nature.”
Professor Schmidt’s research is focused on natural plant communities as models for sustainable plant combinations for the urban environment. He has developed habitat-based low maintenance perennial planting combinations. According to Cassian, planting in Europe today is influenced by concern for ecology, attractive garden design, and maintenance requirements.
Cassian’s goal is to utilize grasses and ornamental perennials to create plant combinations with the potential to become hardy, robust plant communities.
Petra Pelz: Experimental Design with Grasses and Perennials
Petra Pelz grew up in the former East Germany, and studied landscape architecture in Erfurt. In 1993, she established her own practice and since 1999, her inspired designs have been showcased at state and federal garden shows throughout Germany.
The U.S. Perennial Plant Association awarded Petra their highest landscape design awards in 2005. Her book Grasses in the Garden received the German Horticultural Society’s Book Prize. Petra is currently overseeing the installation of her garden for the International Garden Show in Hamburg in 2013.
Inspired by the prairie landscape, the grasses, and their communities of perennials, Petra has aspired to transfer the captivating aspects of the prairie to her gardens. Employing relatively few species, she creates a blooming “carpet” interspersed with a few dominant, stately grasses or multi-season shrubs as accents. She believes that gardens should provide refuges from our busy lives: places to slow down, connect with natural cycles, and experience the healing power of plants.
Christine Orel: Herbaceous Border Design Inspired by the Spirit of the Environmental Landscape
Educated in Weihenstephan, Christine Orel has been an independent landscape architect since 1990. Her projects include state garden shows and parks in Germany, Austria, and Holland. Christine’s book The New Annual and Perennial Flower Garden won an award for excellence in her profession in 2012. Christine’s approach to landscape design goes beyond the theory of plant communities. She tries to establish a connection to the spirit of the location and create designs suited to each site. Her designs are characterized by unusual combinations of color and form. She also utilizes the character of plants to create distinctive combinations. The arrangement of plants and distribution of flowers, leaf sizes, and colors are used to create the atmosphere she seeks.
Developing rhythm and structure throughout the space is as significant as the relationship of foliage and flowers in defining the atmosphere of the garden.
Gert Fortgens: Garden designers, plants, and plantings trends in the Netherlands
Gert Fortgens is a graduate of the Horticultural College at Boskoop, Netherlands. He has done research into the nomenclature and garden worthiness of perennials and woody ornamentals at the Boskoop Research Station. Since 1996, Gert has been the director and curator of Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum in Rotterdam.
Gert will introduce important Dutch and other European landscape designers, along with their plantings, built on combinations of bulbs, perennials, and woody ornamentals. Additionally, he will discuss some recent plant introductions and their garden worthiness, together with their possible garden uses.