The Dirt on GardenOpus

a legacy of mudpies

About Robert F. Gabella and GardenOpus


I'm an accomplished gardener (or like to think so), and live in DuPage County, just west of Chicago IL. Though I've killed a few plants along the way that is part of the journey for us all, and I have managed to take local, regional, and national awards for exhibition at Standard Flower and Vegetable shows, as well as at shows sanctioned by the American Iris Society and the American Hemerocallis Society.

I have long been at work on GardenOpus The Book, a collection of new essays along with updates of previously published work, with original photography and artwork.

I breed and select reblooming Iris and Hemerocallis (Daylilies), and have also worked with Echinacea, Roses and hardy Lycoris. Check out my Daylily and Iris Seedlings on Facebook.  For several years I produced and sold container-grown perennials from my home. I now provde consulting, sales, color and enhancement design, and procurement services to independent landscape services firms. Through Allies and independently, I also provide design and project management services to a select group of residential landscape clients.

Through a long career as Horticulturist, Business Manager and Consultant I've worked within various niches of the Ornamental Horticulture Industry and have a unique perspective on the relationship of genetics owners, growers, brokers, distributors and service providers to both home and commercial gardeners. In addition to my degrees in Ornamental Horticulture and Business Management, in 2012 I completed a Masters - an MLD in Leadership Studies, which through the innovative guidance of North Central College, was a custom program combining the quantitative and practical elements of the MBA – Marketing with the strategic, ethical and theoretical elements of the MLD.

Why GardenOpus?

Sometimes a person's destiny means they just have to get the most exotic kinds of dirt under their nails - most who know me well realize that such a path has without a doubt been mine.  My education, perspective, initiative and expertise in several unique Horticulture industry and IT-Business niches have allowed me to make a difference to organizations, professionals, clients & home gardeners alike.

  • Unique perspective from a range of roles as both industry insider & "inside-outsider".
  • Over 3 decades of Horticulture Industry experience in a broad range of niches: retail-wholesale sales and production, landscape design, construction & maintenance project management, Technology services including administration, growth & management of a massive SQL database of Horticultural plants, an extension of an ERP system which drove production & sales for factory sized growers.
  • Technology infrastructure specialist in the areas of PCI Compliance, data security, and payment systems integration - and accompanying third-partty service provider managegement & contracts. Originally within the Nursery Garden Center and Specilaty Retail arenas - later for a major University system across dozens of in-person and online card payment acceptance platforms.
  • Authorship of print-published and social media features on a wide range of topics for home gardeners and professionals.

Robert F. Gabella

Robert F. Gabella


          ILCA         GWA