On tour through the Garden Conservancy, a stunning private Fairfield County, Conn. garden provided an inspiring lesson in mass planting. Created by AHBL Landscape Architects of Seattle, Wash., the 8-acre garden featured modern sculptures set in oceans of fall blooming perennials and ornamental grasses.
Mass plantings of grasses and native perennials have been popularized by Dutch landscape designers such a Piet Oudolf, and have often been displayed in design trend magazines such as Garden Design and Architectural Digest. This was my first time actually walking through such a garden, and I was amazed by its sheer size and impact. Plants were used not in groups of 3 or 5, but in groups of hundreds.
The garden was a juxtaposition of strong structure and soft plantings, of modern, geometric beds set against rolling fields and woods. Although I do not usually garden on such a grand scale, this garden was terrific inspiration for creating a “wow factor” with magnificent swaths of plants.