Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Diblik Garden at Lake Foxcroft Park, Glen Ellyn, IL

Any regular readers of my blog (Hi, Mom!) know that I'm somewhat of a Roy Diblik groupie. So when I learned that he and some College of DuPage horticulture students had just installed a garden at Lake Foxcroft Park (2S540 Lambert Road (on the east side of Lambert Road at Windsor Drive), I had to check it out.

Diblik is a well known plantsman, perennial grower, garden designer, and owner of Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, WI. I was lucky enough to take a couple of his classes while a hort student, and have toured Lurie Gardens with him (he grew most of the plants and partnered on the design with Piet Oudolf). His "Know Maintenance" style, one in which plants are selected based on their cultural requirements, size, form, and color, then planted tightly in a grid that blocks out weeds once established, has influenced me in my own design style. I was interested to see what plants were selected for the Lake Foxcroft Park garden, and it turns out, there were many of the same plants that I like to use in designs because of their texture, long season of color, and drought tolerance:
  • Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
  • Calamintha nepeta (Calamint)
  • Sesleria autumnalis (Autumn Moor Grass)
  • Stachys hummelo (Alpine Betony)
  • Allium 'Summer Beauty' (Ornamental Onion)
  • Coreopsis, probably 'Golden Showers'
  • And this Aster, which was already gorgeously in bloom:

While the garden is still very new, you can imagine how spectacular it will look in a year or two when the plants fill in. No more mowing, aerating, or fertilizing in this area. Just a gorgeous garden that will provide much more interest to birds, butterflies, visitors, and passing drivers, than a patch of grass.

Lake Foxcroft has more to offer than just this stunning garden. My kids love to walk around the lake path, and play at the park too. Of Glen Ellyn's 29 parks, it's definitely one of our favorites!

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