Meet the Dixon Garden Staff – Ian!

Name:  Ian Anderson         
Position:  Nursery & Plant Collections Specialist
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
How long have you worked at the Dixon?
I started as an intern February of 2010.  

The best thing about living in Memphis is……

The diversity of people and cultures here.


What’s your favorite public garden outside of Memphis?
The Atlanta Botanical Garden; they have a canopy walk that is amazing.
What experience initiated your interest in horticulture and gardens?
Both my Grandmother and my Aunt maintained a beautiful garden in Ft. Wayne Indiana. I was influenced by their gardens, but I think visiting Johnny Appleseed’s grave is what stuck in my head. Ft. Wayne is where John Chapman “Johnny Appleseed” is buried.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?

I have one fat tuxedo cat named Harvey, one skinny tuxedo cat named Spottswood, one tiny Maltese dog named Winifred, and one guinea pig named Guinifred. They are often blogged about at


What’s your favorite plant?
Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). It’s a Southeastern native. Its seed heads can be steeped in water to produce a brew that is similar to lemonade in taste. Its botanical name is the first plant name I ever committed to memory.

What do you like most about working at the Dixon?

Though the Museum and the Garden make for a good mix here, I’m garden biased. There is always something new to grow. The gardens offer a learning experience every day.