Name: Jesse Howley
Position: Manager of Grounds Horticulture
Hometown: Perry, OH
How long have you worked at the Dixon? 2 years
The best thing about living in Memphis is…… midtown.
What’s your favorite public garden outside of Memphis? Honestly, I haven’t been to many. When we lived in suburban Washington, D.C. for a couple of years, I really enjoyed visiting Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring, MD. It’s a free garden and has introduced a number of great plants to the market. Plus, it has probably the finest paperbark maple I’ve ever seen (one of my favorite trees).
What experience initiated your interest in horticulture and gardens? My entire life, my mind has seen things, but my hands could never quite cooperate in making them. Building beautiful outdoor spaces doesn’t require highly tuned fine motor skills… just a vision and the knowledge to make it work. It also gives me the opportunity to have a directly positive impact on a little piece of the environment.
Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names? Sally, my 9 year old All-American mutt, and Charlie, an orange Tabby cat, but you never know what other critters may be in temporary residence – currently we have Black Swallowtail chrysalides on the kitchen counter.
What’s your favorite plant? There are just too many great plants to choose a single one… my favorite changes frequently with the whims of the season. Right now the Sweet Olives are blooming – truly one of the plant world’s most heady and memorable fragrances.
What do you like most about working at the Dixon? I enjoy being a part of making improvements to the Gardens that generations of visitors will get to enjoy.