As promised I am returning to the beautiful county of Somerset where Jude and I spent a day exploring the exciting new “Oudolf Field” and the gallery buildings at the Hauser and Wirth’s Durslade Farm.
We left off as we were looking at the pool and giant clock. This is the first time we have seen any water designed into an Oudolf designed garden and indeed the first one to include a giant clock. The pool afforded clear reflections of the trees surrounding the site and was only planted around the margin closest to the buildings to give the maximum area of reflecting water.
The tall clock towers over the pool and its white face stands out against the brightness of the blue sky. I would imagine it would look great against black clouds too! It casts a beautiful lollipop shadow across the golden gravel. Its face looks like a big circular disc but it is in reality asymmetric in design, which causes the minute hand to move out into clear air as it moves into the narrow side.
Although the planting is lower than in his previous gardens Piet Oudolf still uses many of his favourite plants such as Sanguisorbas, Echinaceas, Verbenas and Heleniums.
We had a break for coffee and to look around the galleries before wandering the gardens again as the sun dropped slowly in the sky and the light gave the meadows a fresh look.
We were enthralled by a gallery where a display of Oudolf’s garden designs helps reveal how this garden designer’s mind works. We loved the designs and working drawings and “idea jottings” of this garden here in Somerset as well as those from the New York High Line and the Wisley Garden.
Moving from gallery to gallery each courtyard space is softened by more of Oudolf’s plantings, featuring trees underplanted with grasses and perennials. The sculptural pieces sit comfortably among the old farm buildings with their richly textured surfaces.
Enjoy the gallery of photos taken in the sparkling late afternoon light. It is amazing how different plantings can look as the light changes within just a few hours at this time of year.
The next post in my 500 Celebration series will find us over in Hertfordshire where Tom Stuart-Smith lives. We had the privilege of visiting his own garden and the one he designed for his sister.