BAR HARBOR – The Beatrix Farrand Society will present its 2020 Achievement Award to Piet Oudolf, renowned Dutch nurseryman and designer of gardens and landscapes renowned for their celebration of herbaceous perennials. The award ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17 at the Holy Family Chapel in Seal Harbor. 

This event is free, and is presented both on-site and by Zoom. Pre-registration is required both for on-site and Zoom attendance. To pre-register, go to On-site audience size is limited per the building’s COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing.

At the ceremony, Oudolf will accept his award, and present an edited version of the film, “The work and gardens of Piet Oudolf.” He will follow up by answering questions from the audience. Oudolf will participate by Zoom from his home in The Netherlands.

Oudolf and his wife, Anja, started their nursery in 1982 in Hummelo, The Netherlands. Since 1986, he has designed public gardens and urban parks in The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Canada. In the U.S., he is most recognized for his planting design of The High Line and several parts of Battery Park in New York City, and his collaborative design of the Lurie Garden at Chicago’s Millennium Park.

His landscape designs rely heavily on herbaceous perennials, emphasizing not only color and texture, but also plant structure, form and seasonal change. He allows perennials to complete their annual cycle in place, to surprise visitors with change through all seasons, and to contribute to the winter landscape. Some of his installations are expansive, yet his reliance on perennials makes them inviting, personal and intimate.

Oudolf has shared his knowledge and experience by teaching courses at Harvard Graduate School of Design, University of Sheffield, Delft University of Technology, and Iuav University of Venice. He has also co-authored several books, with noted colleagues such as Noel Kingsbury, Henk Gerritsen and Rick Darke.

His many awards include a Gold Medal and Best in Show title at the Chelsea Flower Show in London (co-designed with Arne Maynard) in 2000; the award of distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers for his unique contribution to the profession of landscape design in 2010; the lifetime achievement award from the British Society of Garden Designers in 2019; and the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America in 2019.

More information about the Beatrix Farrand Society’s summer events is available online at If you register to attend this event on-site, please check the website before arriving, to learn of any updates in social distancing protocol that may be in effect at that time.