Design with native perennials

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Wild at Heart: New use of perennials

As you walk along the Floriaden, you encounter the Lageschaft Vaste Planten near the entrance to the cable car. Lageijzer’s contribution is ‘Wild at Heart’, a new and innovative concept, consisting of a mixture of native and common perennials. ‘We want to show that as a garden designer and architect you can also design with native plants.’

Lageijzer is one of the few private entrances on the Floriaden. In early October 2021, Lageijzer planted the plants on the plot. Laurens Lageijzer: ‘We would have preferred to have planted them earlier, but unfortunately that was not possible. But the plants grow well on clay soil and look good. You already get a good idea of ​​what Wild at Heart can look like, and we’re already getting positive reactions. The plants are in three different parts that contain: driverso you can see the different possibilities. ‘

The plants on the Floriad were planted in October 2021
The plants on the Floriad were planted in October 2021

Experience and structure
Lagschaar continues: ‘We especially want to show that you can also design with native plants. Now natives are often sown, but as a designer you can do less of that. A landscape architect or designer still wants to create a kind of experience and structure in the garden, and with sowing you always have to wait and see what comes out of it. You can also decide what color and texture you want in the garden with native plants all year round. We have been looking at how we can use more indigenous greenery in gardens and in public places. We have been researching this for about four years, also because we wanted to know how we can ensure that the native blend is actually used. One of the goals was that the plant area should grow so dense that after two or three years you hardly need to do anything for the maintenance. People often know us from Prairie Garden, but we create many more concepts and plant combinations. Wild at Heart is therefore something completely different. ‘

Native to public green is certainly possible
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Research in the backyard
Different perspectives are important for Lageijzer. As biodiversity, but in a broad sense. Can insects overwinter on these plants? Great if the plants attract bees and butterflies, but what about other insects and birds? Which insects actually come to which plant? A study has been launched in the nature reserve behind the company, which will provide answers in the coming years. Five specimens of each plant species have been planted; they will be monitored from now on. ‘How does a plant really grow? If you want to use a particular plant as a designer, you need to know when it will bloom, how tall or wide it will be, and so on. If a client asks which insects are attracted to a plant, we must be able to answer them ‘, says Lageijzer.

Designing with native plants is possible, according to Lageeloos
Designing with native plants is possible, according to Lageeloos

Research is important for the multi-year supplier. Lagschaar: ‘Why do we do it? We sell mainly to intermediaries, such as gardeners and large landscape gardeners, before the product reaches the end user. We want our customers to be fully behind the product they sell. For example, we have just adapted two new prairie garden mixes. These are now followed through research for a while before they go on sale. ‘

‘We will continue to research the properties of native plants’
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Lageijzer: ‘The plant combinations can always be tailored to the customer. For example, flowering plants in the summer are not so important for a school because there are no students then. They want them in the spring and fall. So we adapt the mixes accordingly and these customers get a tailor-made plan. It’s work for our specialists. For this, you need a lot of knowledge about plant species and a sense of aesthetics. ‘

Resident of the city
‘Designing with native plants is a new development. Natives are in high demand, but the questioner usually gets a bag of seeds. We now make combinations of native plants, which can therefore also be seen on the Floriaden. In the past season, we have created several boundaries in a number of companies and municipalities, half of which consist of native plants. ‘

Wild in the heart of the Floriaden
Wild in the heart of the Floriaden

Perennial native plants nevertheless remain difficult because it listens much more carefully where you place a plant. Lageijzer: ‘We are fortunate that Holland is a delta country; many native perennials can therefore stand nourishing. That even applies to about 85 percent of our offerings. The other 15 percent should be a little slimmer. So you need to take into account the growth habits of the plant and the area and conditions where the plant is applied. Through many years of research, our plant designer Sipke Terpstra has extensive knowledge of native plants and the associated growth conditions. He has combined this knowledge and his passion for perennials and nature to create the plant design for Floriadehaven Wild at Heart. ‘

Lageijzer is always looking for other ways to use perennials, applications that make people happy and that require a little maintenance. ‘We are innovative when it comes to perennials; we often hear this from our customers. We are passionate enthusiasts, and the same goes for the people who work here. We enjoy it and it should be fun. That is also the reason why we participate in the Floriaden. We were asked the question four years ago. We then wondered what we would show there. Of course, it must be innovative, and it must be needed. The demand for natives grew and we started exploring ways to design with native perennials. We have now completed four years of research for the development of Wild at Heart, and we will continue to do so; we want to gain more knowledge so that the plants can be used even better. The better you know the plant, the better you can make a design. The result so far is positive, and can be admired at the Floriaden! ‘

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