Last May, the prestigious national gardening organization Garden Club of America held its annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. There, they awarded Walworth County resident Roy Diblik the organization’s medal of honor, in recognition of his “outstanding service to horticulture.” Diblik was nominated for the award by the members of the Lake Geneva Garden Club.
Diblik is the co-owner of Burlington’s Northwind Perennial Farm, where he has spent the past three decades establishing himself as a leader in the New Perennial Movement.
That movement in garden design places emphasis on the planting of North American native plants, hardy perennials and complementary grasses grouped tightly to prevent weed infiltration. Planting yards and gardens in this way reduces the need for watering, attracts pollinators and ensures beautiful blooms, attractive foliage and colorful ground cover throughout the growing season.
In 2004, Diblik collaborated with famed garden designer Piet Oudolf to help design the Lurie Garden, a 2 1/2-acre garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park. He has also worked with former Wisconsin First Lady Tonnette Walker to plan the gardens around the Wisconsin Executive Mansion, and completed high-profile projects planting the grounds around Milwaukee’s Mitchell Domes and the Migratory Bird Garden at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, in addition to his many local projects.
Diblik is the author of one book, “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden.” He is also a frequent speaker at national and local events, including those sponsored by the local garden clubs and the Geneva Lake Conservancy.