Ornamental Grasses Wolfgang Oehme and the New American Garden

Ornamental Grasses by Stefan Leppert

Wolfgang Oehme and the New American Garden

Format: Hardback, 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780711227507
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Buy from an Online Retailer
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.
Format: Hardback, 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780711227507
Illustrations: 180 colour photos, 10 black and white photos, 5 plans
Size: 9.843 in x 0.404 in x 9.055 in / 250 mm x 10.25 mm x 230 mm
Language: ger
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




Chesapeake Bay

German public projects: Magdeburg


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