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THE KNOW MAINTENANCE PERENNIAL GARDEN
I picked up this book because author Roy Diblik is the head gardener at Lurie Garden in Millennial Park in Chicago. He’s a mastermind, as far as I’m concerned, and I was eager to absorb his wisdom.
The book is divided into eight sections: basic facts about the garden (soil, water, etc.), understanding plants (what plants need to grow), site prep and planting, plant care and maintenance (including watering, weeding, fertilizing, etc.), key perennials to use in the Midwest, garden plans, plant communities, and profiles of “outstanding gardeners.”
I thought his basic facts were illuminating. I found new tools I needed (and I did really need them! That dutch hoe has absolutely saved my back.) Next spring, I am going to try mowing all my perennials down in March or early April and leaving the debris to act as nutrients for the plants. I also learned about the best time to divide plants.
A couple criticisms: I wish the weeds section and the garden plans section had accompanying photos of each weed/plant. I also wish the plant community section had been more robust. Show me some more good examples of plant combinations in action, you know?
Still, I learned a lot from this book. It’s such a fantastic resource for Midwestern gardeners. I know I’ll be referencing it for years to come.