Hauser & Wirth

2nd Prize: “Design or Concept of a Contemporary Park or Garden”

Hauser & Wirth (Bruton, UK)

Piet Oudolf

Visitors to the art gallery enter a glazed lobby with a first glimpse of the Oudolf Field: 1½ acres of curving borders with interlocking waves of colour and delicately contrasting textures and winding paths. Some 26,000 plants were planted in the most gruelling conditions. Gardener Mark Dumbleton acts as guardian to Piet Oudolf’s meticulously planned vision.

At the core of Oudolf’s design is the toughest possible selection criteria for every plant on the list. They are chosen for their form and for growing well, but not dominating, as well as for their longevity. There are 3,000 sqm of flowerbeds in total, nearly two miles of border. Dividing the main swathes of planting are two groups of low-mounding grass ovals, a calming pause in the action.

The outer borders act as a frame and are planted with taller plants. Within this frame are seven borders, which are subtly block planted so that, at times, there seems to be a rhythmical display of velvety russet, for example. At other times, the eye might be drawn cleverly up the garden with a different variety of a plant, such as the butter yellow Achillea Hella Glashoff in the lower borders, and the deeper yellow Achillea Credo higher up.

(Image: Hauser & Wirth)