May 2016 Issue #77   
With Heavy Hearts
 We dedicate this issue of the Coastal Current to Oliver "Buzz" Babikow, who died on April 28. He was 83. 
Buzz was the older brother of Emerald Coast Growers' founder David Babikow. Buzz didn't just grow plants: He grew growers. He nurtured nurseries. ECG is one of at least nine nurseries that can trace their roots back to Buzz and the former Green Leaf Enterprises, which he started in 1968 and sold in 1996.
An innovator, Buzz applied greenhouse propagation techniques to perennials, simplifying and greatly expanding what had been a niche market. His liners helped fuel the rapid growth of the perennial industry.
In 2015, Buzz received the Perennial Plant Association's highest honor, the Award of Merit, whose recipients read like a Who's Who of the hardy plant industry.
Buzz will be missed by many. He leaves Lee, his wife of nearly 60 years; two brothers; three sons, two of whom work here at ECG; a daughter; 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of admirers.
To the industry, Buzz was an under-appreciated great man. To those who worked with him and for him, and to his family, including adopted and foster children, he will be recalled as a very good man. But his deep faith kept him a humble man. That's a very rare trifecta.
A more humorous, familiar and comprehensive edition of the Coastal Current will soon be before you. But this one had to come first.
RIP, Buzz. And thank you.


John Friel  
Marketing Manager    
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