Romp, Sway, Tickle and Cavort.

"Piet Oudolf likes kinetic plants......plants with purpose, that romp, sway, tickle and cavort". From Ketzel Levine's Talking Plants.

How fortunate then that my visit to the Battery Park Rememberance Garden was on a fairly windy day and I got to witness exactly this kinetic display. The truth is I know very little about Piet Oudolf having only discovered him last year via the NYTimes article with the extraordinary images of hedges and grasses and seedheads. I've since looked at a couple of his books, his website and I now find that he's pretty well represented in NYC with this memorial garden and the proposed high line. I was planning to join an organised walking tour of this garden, but it rained that day. So it was just me left to my own devices which may not have been the ideal situation.

With a strong left brain narrative about the detail of native plants and planting schemes and choices based on shape, movement, suitability- I might have not allowed my right brain's snap reaction to what I saw. I read the words natural and naturalistic repeatedly in the literature describing his work but my overiding thought looking at this particular garden was - it looked really unnatural. The plants were in drifts that seemed oddly large and in some unusual and pronounced shapes, in colors that were sometimes not particularly harmonious.

Its not that I didn't like it, in fact the effect was provocative and stimulating- I wasn't quite sure what to think except I must take a look at the planting lists. Looking at the video when your eye is zoomed in you do see the genius of some of the combinations and then of course there is the romping and cavorting that I confess completely does not factor when I'm mulling over a plant at Tony's Nursery. I will definitely be returning to see what else goes on here over the next few months.

High Resolution
Soundtrack: Dave Brubeck; Blue Shadows In The Street from Time Further Out

+ Occasional Oasis:C'mon People Now

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