No matter how plentiful the ideas that garden designers discover in their personal well of creativity, occasionally, there is a need to refresh and invigorate the mind. Searching online for inspiration is one of many ways that I add to my body of knowledge, because one cannot predict where, or when, the next innovative gardening concept will be born.
This quest keeps me researching online during the winter, when I cannot garden. On any morning, when I open up my computer, I have no clue where my hunting expedition will lead. Recently, I tripped over the Paul W.Steinbaiser Landscaping website and it stopped me in my tracks. The impressive images, I found there, reminded me that beautiful, eye-catching, flowerbeds can be created using mainly native plants and wildflowers.
In the gardening community, these two genres of perennials have taken center stage, of late, for several reasons. They are reliable, low-maintenance, hardy, easy to propagate, native to some locations, and many supply textural winter interest. While there is no consensus on the role that native plants should - or should not - play in landscaping, gardeners who are concerned about sustainability always find ways to include them in their plans.
Consequently, plants in this category appear as basic themes in many gardens, all over the world. Steinbaiser, too, uses ordinary, easily accessible, perennials to create extraordinarily eye-catching compositions. Yet, rarely have I seen them designed and photographed so effectively.
I return regularly to this website for several other reasons. First, there is much to learn about designing with native and wildflowers from the imaginative work of this commercial landscaper. Secondly, gardeners who have been wondering how they might adapt Piet Oufdolf’s and Michael King’s native and wildflower meadows, to their modest sized properties, will find some inspiration here, even though the examples are limited to a handfull of images. Thirdly, it offers evidence that Rudbeckia, a perennial that I have been avoiding, deserves reconsideration.
The landscape design and construction firm of Paul W. Steinbaiser, in Frenchtown, New Jersey, USA, also operates a native plant nursery. The organization focuses on the long-lived relationships between the landscape and its users. Local stone, soil, and native plant communities are sourced to create sustainable and eye-catching wildflower meadows and native plant gardens.