Welcome Michele Jameson
It was wonderful to interview Michele and get to know her better. Below is my interview with her. I know that she would appreciate meeting you so please introduce yourself soon.
Where were you living before moving to this area and why did you move? Was it recently?
I moved here from Winnetka, IL, a suburb of Chicago, two years ago when my husband, Larry, took the position of Dean of the The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and EVP of the University of Penn Health System.
What do you like about living here? Do you miss your other life?
I was born in Pennsylvania (Pgh) and so it’s good to be back in the state. I think it is one of the prettiest states in the country, with varying terrain and vegetation. It’s so nice to have hills again after living in the midwest where it was very flat. They actually had to build a sledding hill with landfill in Winnetka for the kids to use.
I also love the sense of history here; and, I am enjoying the ability to get to New York and Washington easily by train.. In Chicago, you can’t really get anywhere else of interest easily unless you are willing to travel a fair distance. On the other hand, Chicago is truly a world class city, having the vitality and breadth and depth of New York, but is cleaner and friendlier. Philly is definitely home, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Chi-town( and Da Bears, and Da Cubs…)
Have you found some new interests that you didn’t have before?
The move here has allowed me the opportunity to explore new interests on philanthropic boards such as The Philadelphia Antique Show Board, The Womens Health Leadership Board , and Impact 100. In addition to having the good fortune of being asked to join The Gardeners, with it’s venerable history of beautification and education, I am enjoying being a part of other clubs with deep roots on the Main Line and in the city, such as The Merion Cricket Club, where I hope to renew my passion for tennis, and The Union League, where I am looking forward to taking part in the rich social and educational format in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. At the end of the day, I feel incredibly lucky to be here!
Can you share with us the makeup of your family including pets?
I have been married to my wonderful husband Larry for almost 30 years. We met when I was an ICU nurse at Mass General Hospital in Boston. We have three children, Ryan(25), Christina,(21), both residing in Chicago, and Jimmy (18), who just left the nest to become a freshman at Penn. Rounding out the family, we have my mother, (92), and two boxers, and a shih tzu, all of whom keep us on our toes.
Did you need to create a new garden here or just make small changes?
When we moved to the house on Cherry Lane, we found the house to have the most minimal landscaping. The only trees left on the property were two ancient beech trees–one of which was dying; an awkwardly placed construction-grade driveway and a crude gravel walkway to the front door. We have spent the last 18 months designing, planning, and installing new hardscapes, beds, a kitchen garden,patio, a pool, an outdoor kitchen, and a fire-pit. The house was an old Main Line estate with a great history Sadly it was neglected for many years. I am told that it had beautiful formal gardens and I wanted to honor that. When working with our landscape architect, he was made to understand that everything had to be developed in keeping with the house.
What conditions do you have around your garden—sunny, shady, dry, moist—or all of the above. How does that affect your gardening.
I am lucky to have varied garden conditions, sunny, shady, wet, dry; you name it and I have it. I love the latitude it gives me in plant varieties. I was limited in Winnetka to a shade-only garden so I am having lots of fun picking out full sun plants for a change.
Have you found our garden club helpful to you? Describe what you especially find helpful.
I am so looking forward to learning from all of you and working side by side with you. As I am newly ‘transplanted’ to the area, I am enjoying discovering the nuances of gardening in a new zone, exploring historic gardens in the area, and participating in local programs. I am particularly excited about the proposed new section in the blog, “Ask The Gardener.” The Gardeners are an amazing group of women–passionate, knowledgeable, and hopefully very patient with all my questions.