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The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden

By Roy Diblik

A stunning guide to creating nature inspired gardens.

Chicago Tribune

We've all seen gorgeous perennial gardens packed with color, texture, and multi-season interest. Designed by a professional and maintained by a crew, they are aspirational bits of beauty too difficult to attempt at home. Or are they?

The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden makes a design-magazine-worthy garden achievable at home. The new, simplified approach is made up of hardy, beautiful plants grown on a 10x14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community. They are designed to make maintenance a snap. In fact, the entire garden is mowed down at the end of the season!

The garden plans can be followed explicitly or adjusted to meet individual needs; size can be altered by treating the grid-like design as a modular building block that can be halved, doubled, or tripled as needed. This complete garden system makes a gorgeous perennial garden available to everyone, no matter their skill or the size of their space.

Media reviews

"A stunning guide to creating nature inspired gardens. ... Diblik, who supplied many of the plants for the award-winning Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, offers up detailed information about 74 sturdy and appealing perennials in a photo-rich reference."

—Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune

"An attractive book stuffed with common sense advice, innovative ideas and garden plans to build thriving, rhythmic gardens."

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

"A straightforward, easy-to-follow guidebook for planting design success, suitable for the homeowner and professional alike."


"Roy Diblik to the rescue! His latest book debunks the traditional landscaping advice in favor of a more natural approach that takes advantage of site, soil, light, and just the right selection of plants to bring year-round beauty and interest to your home or business."

East Oregonian

"A book for thinking gardeners who really want to take the time to know their plants and understand how their plants live and work together as a sustainable community. Armed with this knowledge, gardeners will be free to actually spend time enjoying their gardens."

—Debbie Roberts, A Garden of Possibilities

"If you're considering a perennial garden for a project, the plantsman behind the Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park has some ideas to share. ... The true treasure—chapter 6 has 62 planting plans, broken down into sun and shade, and then further into themes inspired by successful public plantings ... or even paintings."

Landscape Architecture

"Diblik gives plant combination advice to make his lower maintenance, sustainable, and environmentally friendly technique work well and provide beauty year round."

Journal Times

"The nuts and bolts of success with perennial flowers along with 62 sample garden designs and 74 high-performing, low-care perennial plants."


"Diblik has codified a naturalistic, yet artistic, approach to building garden beds."

Country Gardens

"Perennial gardeners will appreciate The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden, a book based on the premise that knowing your plants helps you care for them more effectively, with less work."

—Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

"If you're dreaming of a low-maintenance, lush, perennial garden this spring, then Roy Diblik's new book should be your planting bible. It provides dozens of fresh, detailed plans and gorgeous color photographs of easy-care yet stunningly artistic gardens."

—Joyce H. Newman, Garden Variety News

"With Diblik's method, you can throw out the mulch, abandon staking, deadheading, the fertilizers and herbicides, and the end-of-the-season cleanups. Instead, you'll learn to understand how plants grow ... and the easy ways to get what you want. ... A wonderful book for homeowners and designers alike — it definitely belongs on your bookshelf."

—Jane Berger, Garden Design Online

About the author

Roy Diblik

Noted plantsman and designer Roy Diblik has spent more than 30 years studying, growing, and enjoying plants. He is best known as the plantsman behind Piet Oudolf's midwestern garden designs, including the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago. He is a sought-after speaker and regularly addresses audiences across the country.

Read more about Roy Diblik

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