The Netherlands is steeped in horticultural history and its gardens have long been a place for innovation and progressive thinking, exemplified by iconic figures such as the landscape architect Mien Ruys and naturalistic plant pioneer Piet Oudolf.
In this book, Noel Kingsbury explores how the particularities of landscape, history and culture in the Netherlands have given rise to distinctive gardens and demonstrates how a new generation of Dutch designers are reimagining outdoor space in such a revolutionary way.
At the heart of the story is a people intimately engaged with their surroundings, as proud of the feats of engineering used to reclaim their land from the sea as they are passionate about nature and biodiversity. This creative tension is played out in their parks and gardens: a clean, pared-back aesthetic contrasts with billowing planting; water is managed and made accessible with boardwalks; and meandering paths lead to inviting outbuildings for work and relaxation.
These inspiring examples of sustainable, modern, liveable outdoor spaces will appeal to forward-looking garden makers wherever they live.
About the Author
Dr. Noel Kingsbury is an acclaimed garden designer, best-selling author of numerous books and long-time collaborator of the renowned designer Piet Oudolf. With Annie Guilfoyle he runs the highly successful garden workshops, webinars and international study days at Garden Masterclass. Noel is a leading figure in naturalistic planting design and the New Perennial Movement and has written on gardening, plant sciences and related topics on a wide range of magazines, newspapers and digital media.
Maayke de Ridder originally studied fashion design at the Arnhem Academy of Art and Minerva in Groningen, followed by graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. After working as a fashion and interior stylist and picture editor for a wide range of Dutch magazines she started taking photographs. Her early career brings a new perspective to her work as a photographer and she is now an acclaimed garden and landscape photographer whose work has been published in many magazines and books.
"No one does ecology-based plant harmonies better than these two, and it's just so sweepingly, stunningly beautiful." —Pacific Northwest Magazine on Planting: A New Perspective
"[Gardens Under Big Skies] provides us with a design paradigm in which these plants not only align with nature, but also are good civil servants" — The Berkshire Edge