New Perennialism


I am with a large church and we would like to replant the property using Piet Oudolf ideas. I am trying to find people here who have that skill. I did ask one Master Gardener but she knew only one person. She said there are more and to ask you. I know that you say you can’t recommend landscapers but I did try Landscape Ontario and only 1 name comes up – the same one the Master Gardener mentioned. I am not asking for a recommendation, I am asking for several names/contacts.



Hello Gardener, your query to the Toronto Master Gardeners about “New Perennialism” is an interesting and timely one.  We find many people looking toward a more pollinator friendly garden relying more and more on native plants.

I believe the term includes a naturalistic style of gardening including “matrix” gardening.

Matrix gardening being at the most basic level “right plant in the right place”, pairing together plants that have similar light, water, nutrition needs and space requirements both above and below ground.

I do not know of any landscapers who presently promote this type of garden plan, and as mentioned it is not the policy of Master Gardeners to recommend specific landscapers, nor is garden design in the prevue of the Master Gardeners.

However I am adding some websites you may find useful.

The 1000 Island Master Gardeners held a workshop last year and detailed their plan for a Matrix meadow.

Designing biodiverse garden ecosystems

The Canadian wildlife federation’s website “Gardening for wildlife” is also handy

Gardening for wildlife

Please also see the Toronto Master Gardeners guide for native plants for habitat

Toronto Master Gardeneners Native plant guide

There are many books available to help with your quest, they include;

Roy Diblik, The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden (book) and his website Northwind Nurseries (in the US), outline of matrix planting, suitable plant profiles, sample garden layouts.
Benjamin Vogt, The Monarch Garden (US) provides information and products for matrix planting favouring native plants.
Douglas W Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home, How you can sustain wildlife with native plants.
Good luck with this endeavour, it sounds like a wonderfully exciting project.