For me, sometimes, less is more, and nurseryman Roy Diblik's new book fills a need I have had for a cookbook approach to solving a garden recipe problem. Don't get me wrong. I love my encyclopedias of plants but this paperback is 132-pages and has formulas for successful garden beds. User friendly.
Roy Diblik's Small Perennial Gardens: The Know Maintenance Approach
Diblik has 30-years of plant experience and is a co-owner of a Wisconsin nursery, Northwind Perennial Farm, where he and his two partners grow 400,000 plants - enough to know what plants need.
Here's what I like - the entire book is focused on plants that grow in regular soil (no pH balancing required), all the suggested plants are compatible in their water and sun needs, dozens of plant schemes are divided into categories (calm, fresh, elegant and friendly) and there are photos of some of the finished beds.
The artistically inclined will appreciate the finely drawn watercolors of plants and flowers by Elizabeth McCown Dunham who is a technician at Knight Hollow Nursery in Wisconsin.
Horticulturist Diblik was one of the founders of Natural Gardens in St. Charles IL. Comments of interest are at j.siegel designs, Wisconsin Gardener, Garfield Farm Museum, and GazetteExtra.
He is described in the Herbaceous Perennials Symposium program as an expert in landscaping and native plants. Also, Diblik was closely involved in the selection and installation of thousands of plants at the Lurie Garden in Chicago. The more you read the more you realize what a trustworthy expert he is in planting low maintenance gardens.
There is a long bed in our back yard that will become one of these designs. My only complaint about the book is that I wish there had been a lot more pictures of what the bed-designs look like when they have been grown so I could get a better idea which one to choose.
The publisher of the book is American Nurseryman, $25, at the website.