We have been talking in recent posts about creating incredible outdoors spaces that are a reflection of native environments.  Conservation groups encourage native plantings and habitats for wildlife, the Lurie Garden promotes the ecology of a space, and we at Mariani Landscape design stunning, personalized landscapes with both of those points in mind.

The Hermannshof Spring

Today we bring you yet another design technique in that same spirit.  Cassian Schmidt is the Director of The Hermannshof Display and Trial Gardens in Germany.  He spoke on what is called the “New German Style” of planting and it goes far beyond just “style”.

The Hermannshof Spring

Inspired by natural, scenic views gardens are created that feel like a visit to a North American prairie, an Asian forest, or a Mediterranean hillside.  Each of these is a garden habitat, with unique environmental characteristics.  By choosing perennials that fit well in these environments displays are successful, dynamic, and ecologically sound.  Not all plantings are native, though non-natives still thrive, and are well-behaved companions, as they are properly chosen for the specific habitat.

  This is very similar to our familiar directive-“right plant, right place”.

Plants are classified by their survival strategy, which guides us on where to use them, and how costly their maintenance will be.  Generally, the competitive plants are hardy and resilient, and perform in sunny areas with moist soil, with a moderate level of maintenance required.  In the stress tolerant category are slow-growers because they perform in areas that don’t have much to offer plants; dry spaces, and/or shady, with low levels of organic material.  These plants and spaces require the least amount of maintenance.  The third group is called ruderal.  These are the aggressive plants that, given the chance, will appear wherever soil is disturbed and available, like weeds or fast growing annuals.  These require the most care, like an annual garden bed.

The Hermannshof Summer

By combining these scientific principles, natural inspiration, and design expertise we can create amazing designs with manageable requirements.  And we can apply this system to any space, from sweeping landscapes to urban plots.  If you are interested in an outdoor space that evokes a specific emotion or recalls a heart-felt memory we can build it.  It will have the visual appeal you are looking for, characteristics that match the environment, with a reasonable, practical maintenance program.

The images here are all courtesy of The Hermannshof.  For more inspiration visit our “Gardens, Farms, and Nurseries” gallery to see some formal designs, before and after images, and specific plants.

The Hermannshof Fall

We will continue to bring you design ideas over the next several weeks, in anticipation of the active growing season.  If you have suggestions on topics you would like us to cover, leave a comment and we will incorporate your thoughts into a future post.  And join us again, here, in the garden.

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About Seattle Rockeries

Seattle Rockeries creates hardscapes and landscapes using stones, boulders and concrete structures.

Hardscaping creates structures that can be used on slopes and hills to prevent erosion and create water barriers or drainage.