Introducing the Tulip Expert, Mary Meyer

Mary Meyer Mary Meyer Mary Meyer

Meet Tulip Expert, Mary H. Meyer
Professor and Extension Horticulturist
University of Minnesota

1) Any childhood memory that was important in guiding you into your occupation? How did you become interested in this field?
I loved gardening with my Father. I grew up on a farm and loved exploring the woods and fields of the 100 acres around my home.

2) Any person, role model or leading authority that greatly influenced you? (a parent, 6th grade teacher, scientist etc.)
My Father loved the outdoors and was happier outside than inside, and I think I am as well! Both of my grandmothers loved plants and I still have an orange tree that was one of my grandmothers plants. It's a 50 year old house plant!

3) Your background: (job title, profession, education/training etc.)
I have a BS from Clemson University, South Carolina;a MS from Cornell, New York; and a PhD from University of Minnesota.

4) Favorite work story or experience: (One of your most exciting, memorable, or exhilarating experiences in the field.)
I was once teaching a class on how to repot houseplants and not being able to get the plant out of the pot!
Studying grasses and making a recommendation for the 10 grasses to grow in Minnesota and learning that one of the biggest growers in the country took my list and grew 1,000 of plants based on my recommendations. That was exciting!

5) What advice can you provide to a student who might be interested in working in your occupation some day?
Horticulture is a delightful field, working outdoors (or indoors) and watching plants grow and studying how to make them grow is fascinating. Living plants are important to our well being. Study and learn as much as possible from a variety of places, internships at different parts of our country or throughout the world will serve you well.

6) Any family members, including pets?
Two daughters, each married and living in the Twin Cities. Husband of 38 years. No animals as pets, but love nurturing plants!

7) Any hobbies?
I love gardening, reading, golfing, cooking, and traveling. Pizza and a plant-based diet are my favorite foods. A book I really like: The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck