We received the shocking news this week that our friend, and retired Director of the Morris Arboretum (Pennsylvania), Paul Meyer, passed away. Paul spent his entire 42 year career at the Morris Arboretum, first as Curator/Director of Horticulture, and then 28 years as Director of the Garden, before retiring in 2018. We all wondered what would happen after he retired, since for the entire 42 years, Paul, and his wife Debbie, lived in a home on the arboretum property. I know I’ll always treasure the time I was able to spend the night with Paul and Debbie, in what was truly a room with a view.
During his tenure at the garden, Paul co-founded NACPCC, the North American China Plant Collection Consortium. As a result, he participated in twelve overseas plant collection trips. In addition to running the gardens and traveling, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, which owns the arboretum, and wrote for a number of publications.
Paul was a recipient of virtually alll of the top horticulture awards, including the prestigous Scott Medal (2018), the L.H. Bailey Award from the American Horticulture Society (2014), and most recently, the Veitch Medal from the Royal Horticulture Society (2022). Just prior to his cancer diagnosis this spring, he was preparing to lead an International Dendrology Society tour to South Korea.
I’ll miss running into you on the road, my friend, and chatting about all the cool plants you’d encountered. Our thoughts go out to Debbie during this difficult time, but what a life, well lived.