Sunday, December 07, 2008

What the Germans are Doing: Peter Janke

One of the outstanding new German garden designers, Peter Janke, has made his new garden amid a wood of oak, beech and hornbeam in an urban area near Dusseldorf. Noel Kingsbury's article on Janke in the latest issue of Gardens Illustrated magazine shows several garden plantings adjacent to mature woodland. This gives me hope since I garden in a clearing in the woods of western New Jersey, and I sometimes think the limitations of my woodland-edged site are almost too restrictive. About his own site, Janke says, "I'm happy about the shade it casts, which has so much planting potential." Lesson taken...

You can see photos of Janke's garden by clicking on the photo (above) from his website. Although the site is in German, the link will take you directly to his garden photo gallery, which needs no words.


  1. I thought it was a great article - although as I have only just got my copy of GI - I have not read it properly.

  2. Yes, American subscribers seem to get the magazine quite late compared to British subscribers. Noel Kingsbury emphasizes the training Janke got while working with Beth Chatto at her garden in Essex, and his anglophile leanings.

  3. When I deal with shaded gardens, I try to emphasize lighter colored foliage and variegation to capture and reflect as much natural light as possible. There are great opportunities in shade gardens to emphasize contrasting visual textures and the architecture of the plant when developing plant combinations.

    thanks for sharing the link to his site.

  4. Thanks for posting the link, I enjoyed it.

  5. Billy,
    Thanks for the suggestions. I garden in heavy, wet clay so anything I plant has to be able to survive a water table virtually at the surface throughout winter. I've found I need to experiment to find what will grow well here. Some of the variegated cornus are one area for exploration, and some of the willows with colorful winter bark are another.

  6. Hi again James :-)

    Wow… what wonderful images! Thanks so much for the link :-)

    Funnily enough, as I read through your post it did occur to me to mention Beth Chatto’s Woodland Garden as another source for you. I had never heard of Janke - I have now! Thanks for that :-D

  7. Shirl,
    Very perceptive of you. The article makes the point that Janke spent a year working in Beth Chatto's garden and looks to her as his "guru."

  8. It's funny how one automatically assumes shade means no plants when there is so much evidence to the contrary.




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