I write this just as I come to the close of my fourth week here at the Memphis Botanic Garden. As I look out my office window, I see daffodils sprouting up. This, on the one hand, seems early, but, on the other, is hopeful that spring is soon to arrive! Friends and family have asked about my early experiences here at the Garden, and so I thought I’d share those same thoughts with you. Beyond the fact of how beautiful and serene it is here, my first impressions are about how complex it is when you peek behind the screen!
Most of our members and guests – I would imagine – have one particular part of the Garden which they are most familiar with. Most of us don’t really know all of its moving parts!
We are a year-round, 96-acre jewel placed right in the middle of the City of Memphis. We have 28 different specialty gardens, with a 29th, a fragrance garden in memory of Jeanne Parham Coors, scheduled to “bloom” this spring.
We have a vibrant Education program, which includes outreaches to public and private schools across all zip codes in our community, as well as dozens of field trips here each school year.
We are home to the family-friendly My Big Back Yard, as well as a prime destination for corporate, civic, and family events – like weddings! We can uniquely and seamlessly blend outdoor and indoor venues for truly spectacular events.
And of course, we are home to The Live Garden and the annual summer music series known as Live at the Garden, which draws tens of thousands of guests to the finest outdoor music venue in the city!
As I think more about those daffodils sprouting up outside my window, perhaps they are, in a way, a metaphor for my arrival here and the new opportunities offered both to me and the Garden! I look forward to meeting each of you as you visit!
Michael D. Allen
Memphis Botanic Garden