David McKibben, Longridge Drive, is a retired pediatric dentist and former program director of the pediatric dentistry residency program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. A member of the Friends of the Library since the 1970s and a board member since 2013, he was named Friend of the Year by Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries in 2015. McKibben, also an American Rose Society consulting rosarian, is a longtime key organizer of the Library Garden Tour, scheduled this year for Sunday, July 9.
How much work goes into preparing for the tour? There is a dedicated committee that spends many hours searching for gardens, organizing the plant sale, planning the Garden Courtyard event that takes place the evening prior to the tour and much more. Tour preparation is a year-round activity. As soon as one tour is set, we begin planning for the following year. My wife and I joined the planning committee in 2004, but this is our last year to be involved, and we do need interested people to join the project.
How do you select the gardens? We are looking for gardens that make the best use of the topography of the typical Mt. Lebanon residence. The goal of the tour is to offer an enjoyable experience to the tourgoer and to educate the budding gardener looking for ideas and inspiration.
How many applicants do you usually get? Most gardeners are too shy to ask to be on the tour. We usually have to seek them out.