Video: Oudolf Garden opens on Detroit's Belle Isle, with formal dedication Saturday

August 22, 2021, 8:00 AM

Video by Michael Lucido

The much-anticipated Oudolf Garden on Belle Isle will be officially opened Saturday. Designed by the world-famous Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf, a leading figure of the “New Perennial” movement, the beds were planted last fall and through this summer, but have been fenced off as the plants get established.

"Both artistic and ecological, (Oudolf) chose perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees for their hardiness, durability and ever-changing textures and colors for enjoyment in all four seasons," the garden's website states. The display surrounds the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon near the glass-dome Conservatory.

Oudolf will not be in attendance, due to Covid-related travel restrictions. He is known as the architect of the gardens along the High Line in New York City, the Lurie Garden in Chicato and others around the world. 

The project launched five years ago, after the Garden Club of Michigan wrote to Oudolf. Once he was on board, the Oudolf Garden Detroit Grounds Crew went to work, raising $4.7 million for installation and endowment. "A public garden like this is needed now more than ever," spokesperson Maura Campbell tells Robin Runyan of Urbanize Detroit.

"It offers a peaceful, beautiful and safe place to enjoy a piece of living art. It's good for the body and the soul."

Deadline Detroit videographer Michael Lucido made an early visit.

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