Friday, October 9, 2015

The (Dutch) Dream Tour...

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It's no secret to readers of my blog...or my friends on FaceBook, that I'm smitten with the work of Piet Oudolf and others designers of the "New Perennial"(a.k.a. Dutch Wave) movement. Over the past dozen or so years, I've gravitated more and more towards the style, finding it not just beautiful, but emotionally resonant.

While I've long admired these designers and gardens from afar...I had resigned myself to the reality that I'd likely never see them in person. However, recently, an opportunity presented itself to visit them...and I jumped on it!

Carolyn Mullet paired with Carex Tours on a Piet Oudolf-centric tour of The Netherlands and Germany. The tour was spearheaded by Mullet, who was inspired by her own desire to visit these amazing gardens and share them with others.

I will apologize in advance that future posts on the tour (hopefully one for each garden) will be gushing, hyperbolic and wistful...these are gardens that inspire such reactions.

The Netherlands is a place unlike any other...with ideal climate and growing conditions...and with gardens that are vibrant without being ostentatious. The gardens we visited were the most beautiful I've ever seen. At each turn, I was reminded of the title of a book about Oehme & Van Sweden...these were BOLD, ROMANTIC gardens.

Aside from gardens by Oudolf himself, we saw a handful of gardens that were offshoots...a few which you could even say were the genesis of the movement.

I'm still sorting through the MANY photos I took (so many I filled up a hard drive and had to buy another), in spite of losing one of my memory cards full of photos (I'm still not over it...prepare yourselves for future whining on that account).

Of course, the photos are just the physical takeaways from the trip...more importantly are the memories...the impressions...the inspiration. I'll be honest, I feel like I'm still processing things...and will be for some time to come. It's lucky that we're heading into winter, prime time to mull over ideas.

Even more surprising were the connections I made with the people I met on the tour...the gardeners, designers, and, of course, my fellow tour members (a few of them pictured above)! We became fast friends during the trip and I still miss them...our last day was like a final day at summer camp, exchanging contact information as well as hugs. Then again...who's a small world...and I'm sure I'll run into them again :-)

So keep an eye out...there will be a flurry of posts coming up over the next few weeks...I hope you will join me as I take a trip down (recent) memory lane.

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