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Ornamental Grasses [GER]

Wolfgang Oehme, in partnership with James Van Sweden, has been one of the most influential garden designers of the last thirty years. Together they have spearheaded the revolutionary garden style known as the New American Garden. Encompassing the simple beauty and grandeur of the prairie, the New American Garden is defined by large sweeps of herbaceous perennials and grasses, in contrast to such previous conventions as vast sterile lawns, clipped shrubs and annuals. This book is the first to chronicle the professional journey of Wolfgang Oehme. From his childhood in war torn Germany and his postwar forays around Europe, the scene shifts to the eastern US and Oehme's remarkable career as a garden designer, his highly successful partnership with James van Sweden with their landscape architecture firm Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Inc., and ultimately to his successful solo projects in his German homeland and the US. Lauded as a 'garden book of the year' in the original German edition, the book is bursting with dreamlike gardens, original drawings and observations. Of considerable interest to gardeners wishing to follow Oehme's lead, a final section illustrates a selection of 'Wolfi plants', the most beloved and characteristic ingredients of this great designer's work.
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Gardens featured: The Vollmer Garden: Baltimore, Maryland The Federal Reserve Bank: Washington DC Pennsylvania Avenue: Washington DC The German-American Friendship Garden: Washington DC Nelson A Rockefeller Park: Battery Park, New York The Rosenberg Garden: Long Island, New York Private gardens: Long Island, New York Pennsylvania Virginia Maryland Chesapeake Bay German public projects: Magdeburg Chemnitz Bitterfeld

About the Author

Stefan Leppert, born in 1959, trained as a gardener and worked in gardening and landscaping before studying landscape architecture at Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony; he went on to work as a garden and landscape architect in various design practices, then joined the aEURO÷Garten + LandschaftaEURO editorial team for five years. In 2001 he set up an editorial office in Munster and has contributed numerous articles on garden design and landscape architecture to magazines and books.


A good example of how the native-plant movement is affecting more mainstream designers is that of Oehme-van Sweden Associates in the United States. Both Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, the founders of this highly successful partnership, trained as landscape architects after originally studying in other disciplines - van Sweden as an architect and Oehme (who was born in Germany) as a horticulturalist. The two men have always been critical of the vast areas of sterile lawn and fiercely clipped shrubs that are such a feature of the American landscape. Instead they have used large drifts of ornamental grasses and perennials to create a quilted look, although in their private garden work they developed a much greater level of complexity. In their 'classic' work there was no intermingling of species, and much of the visual effect was gained from using large monocultural blocks. The practice is, however, now changing its approach to planting design, through younger project managers and partners developing their own style, which often involves a much greater use of native vegetation and more subtle intermingling of plant varieties. From Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space by Noel Kingsbury and Piet Oudolf

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