German-born landscape architect Wolfgang Oehme, who died Dec. 15 at his Maryland Home, influenced many American gardens, including my own. He did more than anyone else to introduce four season textural gardens to Americans that employed seed heads and ornamental grasses. The miscanthus, pennisetum, black-eyed Susans and Autumn Joy sedums that compose drifts in my garden came from his influence, from interviewing him, reading his books and visiting his gardens.
His trademarks include large drifts of meadow-like plants, including many natives, ornamental grasses and low maintenance perennials that continues to provide visual interest long after they finished blooming. He teamed up with then urban planner James van Sweden to form the seminal successful landscape design firm Oehme, van Sweden & Associates in 1977.
Mr Oehme (pronouced EHR-ma) trained in Germany and brought a European aesthetic to American parks and gardens. You can see his gardens at Battery Park City and Hudson River Park in New York, and at the Treasury Department, the National Arboretum and the Federal Reserve building in Washington.