In the September issue of Greenhouse Grower, we accidentally merged two perennial personalities into one–an uncle and nephew both named Paul Babikow.
We had learned that Paul Babikow had received the grower award presented by the Perennial Plant Association but contacted his nephew at Emerald Coast Growers in Florida, instead of Uncle Paul at the original Babikow Greenhouses in Maryland.
The elder Paul and his brother, Don, are the third generation running Babikow Greenhouses near Baltimore, which was founded by William and Sophia Babikow in 1875. Paul was the youngest son of Oliver and Ethel Babikow. Oliver was the youngest son and eighth child of William and Sophia.
Paul’s oldest brother, Oliver Wendell (Buzz) Babikow, founded Greenleaf Enterprises, which is now owned by Yoder Brothers. Brother David founded Emerald Coast Growers, which specializes in perennial grasses. So as you can see, this is a family that has devoted itself to the perennials side of the industry, with the fourth generation also becoming partners in the businesses.
Babikow Greenhouses near Baltimore produces perennials, spring annuals and fall pansies. Before returning back to the family greenhouse in 1972, Paul majored in mathematics and English litearature at the University of Tampa and worked as a statistician for the State of Maryland, analyzing clinical studies in psychology. His math skills sure have come in handy managing the business. While the ’70’s marked the indoor plant boom, Paul saw perennials as the next big wave for outdoor plantings and the emerging landscape industry in the ’80’s.
Active in the industry, Paul was an early member of the Perennial Plant Association and helped plan and host the conferences in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. He’s currently treasurer of Maryland Nursery and Landscape Assocition and working part time on a master of liberal arts degree at John Hopkins University. His home garden in Baldwin, Md., has been featured in mid-Atlantic magazines and considered wone of the top ten private gardens in the Baltimore area. Paul refers to the garden as a work of art and considers it his most successful creative attempt.