When Roy Diblik spoke at a meeting of the Garden Club of Morgan Park/ Beverly Hills in spring, the Baffes Theatre at the Beverly Arts Center was teeming with people eager to hear what he had to say. Diblik wrote the book on perennial gardening, and avid gardeners throughout Chicagoland know him for that book – “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” — as well as for his work planning and planting some of the city’s most beautiful gardens. Diblik is the plantsman for the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park, and the gardens at Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Now, at the invitation of the Garden Club, the plant expert has designed and helped to plant the Roy Diblik Garden of Living Art at the Beverly Arts Center. The garden will be dedicated Wed., Sept. 18, 10 a.m., in the BAC courtyard, 2407 W. 111th St. Diblik will attend the dedication.
“We were astonished when he accepted [the club’s speaking invitation] and he was astonished with our turn out to hear him speak,” said Barbara Gyarmathy of the Garden Club of Morgan Park/Beverly Hills. “He was so taken by the warmth and enthusiasm . . . he offered to design and help us plant the new garden that is now at the BAC. It is beyond imaging that someone of his caliber would do this!”
Diblik returned to the BAC in early August to work alongside members of the garden club to plant the garden that he designed around the core ideal of sustainability.
“We planted everything based on Roy Diblik’s advice, making sure that the garden has four-season interest,’” Gyarmathy said. “We will be planting something new every season and maintaining the garden throughout the year.”
The garden was designed using all perennials and native plants that were selected for sustainability in an urban setting as well as for their beauty beauty. BAC patrons will enjoy watching this garden grow! The plants are all relatively mature, about three years old, and include hydrangeas, alliums, echinacea, salvia and sesleria, a perennial grass.
With 35 years of knowledge growing traditional and Midwest native perennials, Diblik specializes in visually appealing and sustainable gardens that are easy to maintain and provide interest during all seasons. He is a partner in Northwind Perennial Farm, Burlington, Wisc., and according to his bio on the website, “believes that gardens should be thoughtful, ecologically directed emotionally outreaching and yet very personal.”
The Garden Club of Morgan Park-Beverly Hills was established in 1926 as a way for community members to share a passion for gardening. Over their club history, members have helped to establish many community gardens and develop a love of planting and nature among area gardeners. Club volunteers have tended Beverly Arts Center gardens as part of the BAC’s ground beautification initiative since 2012.