Chanelle Russ Volunteers for Oudolf Garden Detroit

2 min read

Image by Ryan Southen

The non-profit, Oudolf Garden Detroit, came into existence from a love letter of sorts. Members of the organization wrote to Piet Oudolf, Dutch garden designer, plant nurseryman, and author, asking him to consider designing a garden for Belle Isle. Following his visit to Detroit, Oudolf agreed to the project, and soon after, members of the organization secured enough funding for the design and maintenance of the site. The garden initially was to be planted in 2019, however due to historic water levels from the Detroit River, the site had to be re-engineered before plant installation.

PEA Group’s landscape designer Chanelle Russ has been following the Oudolf Garden Detroit project for three years. Since the beginning of the project, Russ has attempted to volunteer and, finally, due to her experience and the relationships she has established with members of the organization, she was permitted to be one of only forty volunteers.

Russ utilized her previous knowledge and experience on large-scale planting installations to assist the efforts of the organization, while also ensuring the planting installation maintained integrity. She was responsible for facilitating plant layout activities by staking plant types/quantities in the planting bubbles spray-painted from the master plan onto the plant beds, directed plant runners to where plants were located, tracked inventory, and spaced out pots and plugs of plants in the matrix planting as directed by Austin Eischeid and Roy Diblik, those who implemented and oversaw the installation. Due to Covid-19 protocols, work for the forty volunteers was spread out across a total of seven days. Piet Oudolf, the designer, could not attend due to travel restrictions from the Netherlands. He will visit in 2021 to inspect and adjust the design prior to its opening in August 2021.

To view the official website, please click here:

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