Let’s talk about a great annual event in Chicago.

For the past fifteen or so years, Scott Byron & Co. has been working with Openlands and the Chicago Community Gardens Association to organize the annual Great Perennial Divide, a fall plant giveaway event. This year the event was held on September 27th with three plant distribution locations – Garfield Park, the North Park Village Nature Center, and the Embassy Church.

We at Scott Byron & Co. reach out to local nurseries and ask for donations of bulbs, perennials, vines, ornamental grasses, roses and other small woody plants. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community while also clearing out inventory that would otherwise need to be overwintered or thrown out. This year we received nearly 5,000 donations (and have gone as high as nearly 10,000 donations in other years) from Elite Growers, Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Mariani Landscape, Midwest Groundcovers, and Twixwood. Their generosity, along with that of the volunteers from Openlands and the Chicago Community Gardens Association, has allowed for the continued greening-up and beautification of 185 of Chicago’s community gardens, local institutions, and individual gardens.

On our end, we rely on Judy Melius and Jose Menendez in organizing our part of the Great Perennial Divide. Judy, our Sales Support Manager, reaches out to the nurseries in early September to ask them to participate in this event as well as thanking the donors for their generosity and also to let them know how successful and meaningful their contributions are to the event. Jose, our Yard Manager, receives all the plant materials in the Scott Byron & Co. yard and then organizes them for equal distribution to the different locations. Without their help we would certainly be struggling to organize and facilitate our part in this event. We are fortunate to have them on our team and doing such amazing work for the community.

Thanks again to everyone involved in this year’s annual Great Perennial Divide. See you next year!


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