I'm planning to create a perennial garden inspired by Piet Oudolf's style on a 1000 m2 plot. I have a few questions regarding the process, and I would appreciate some guidance from experienced gardeners.

  1. Seed or Bare Root Plants: I'm considering purchasing seeds from jelitto.com, where 20-250 seeds cost around 5 EUR. Are seeds a good option, or should I go for bare root plants? I'm weighing the cost and time factors.

  2. Soil Preparation: Is it necessary to till the entire garden at the beginning, or is it sufficient to do it once? I want to ensure good weed control and proper drainage. What are the best practices for soil preparation?

  3. Seed Germination: If I choose seeds, is it advisable to start them as seedlings before planting them in the garden? How can I ensure successful germination and healthy seedlings?

  4. Emulating the Serpentine Gallery Garden: I'm specifically inspired by Piet Oudolf's garden at the Serpentine Gallery. Does this style of garden necessitate a drip irrigation system, considering the scale of my project?

Any insights, tips, or resources you could share based on your experience with perennial gardens, especially in the Piet Oudolf style, would be immensely helpful.

  • 1
    If you have the budget, you cannot compare the headstart of bare-root plants to the long wait and iffiness of seeds. But farmers plant seeds. Nov 25, 2023 at 23:24
  • It's not necessarily to till the soil - in fact, you just wind up exposing more weeds and if you have plants that spread via pieces of root (lily of the valley and Chinese lanterns [Physalis], you're very likely to spread them throughout the garden. No-till is the way to go if you can do it. Clearing the soil chemically is easy in the US (glyphosate); elsewhere, not so easy (probably best via solarization, but that takes a full growing season). Hand-digging would be your other (back-breaking) option.
    – Jurp
    Nov 26, 2023 at 14:46
  • 1
    I think you should break this out into 4 separate questions; seeds vs. starts, soil prep, seed germination, and gallery garden irrigation are all interesting and imho need more space than a single question provides. I've been enjoying your questions as you plan out this garden and I'm really hope they keep coming :-)
    – MackM
    Nov 27, 2023 at 17:23
  • I am voting to close this as it is four questions,
    – kevinskio
    Dec 19, 2023 at 21:14


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