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Retrospective: Horticulture in Memphis Over the Years with Rick Pudwell, Memphis Botanic Garden

Retrospective: Horticulture in Memphis Over the Years with Rick Pudwell, Memphis Botanic Garden

Retrospective: Horticulture in Memphis Over the Years with Rick Pudwell, Memphis Botanic Garden

Rick Pudwell, Director of Horticulture at the Memphis Botanic Garden for the past 27 years, has spent a lifetime in the green industry.  His childhood curiosity about plants and animals was encouraged by a grandfather who gardened, an aunt who worked in a pet shop, and another set of grandparents who had dairy farms in Wisconsin. After formal study of greenhouse management at Michigan State, he worked in retail and wholesale nurseries, greenhouses, flower shops and public institutions.

Fortunately for the plant-community in Memphis, Rick moved here in 1986 with his wife and two small children.  He became the first full-time horticulturist at the Memphis Zoo, where he oversaw landscape plantings in various animal exhibits and public areas, as well as created floral designs for Zoo events. Seven years later, he joined Plato Touliatos for two years as a landscape designer for Trees by Touliatos.

Finally, in 1995, he accepted his current position at the Memphis Botanic Garden, where he has overseen the plantings for the grounds, provided many programs for garden clubs and plant societies, produced two plant sales a year, and continued to provide floral design for events and programs at the garden.

Rick has been honored by awards from The Memphis Horticulture Society, The Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, the Garden Club of American and the University of Tennessee Master Gardener Program.  In October of 2006, the new horticulture center and greenhouse complex at the Memphis Botanic Garden was dedicated in his name by local philanthropists, Jabie and Helen Hardin.

He looks forward to retirement in September, when he will have ample opportunity to develop his own gardens on his several acre lot and to continue to raise exotic birds as he has done most of his life.

Rick feels fortunate to have spent a large part of his life in public horticulture where he has been able to help convey the joy and beauty of the natural world around us to others.

We will meet at Sara’s Place. 

Refreshments 6:30 pm

Program 7:00 pm

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