Tower Hill: The First Twenty-five Years Selective Memories of a Benign Dictator

Tower Hill: The First Twenty-five Years Selective Memories of a Benign Dictator

Press Release ( - CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sep 06, 2017 - Tower Hill: The First Twenty-five Years traces the metamorphosis of a venerable urban horticultural institution, the Worcester County Horticultural Society (WCHS) into Tower Hill Botanic Garden which opened in 1986. Located in Boylston, Massachusetts, Tower Hill was a radical departure from its horticultural antecedent, situated as it had been for nearly 150 years in downtown Worcester, historically a formidable manufacturing center with roots in colonial agriculture. As the new Director of the WCHS, John Trexler arrived in 1984 to find a board looking at options but unsure of the best path forward. Their youthful “benign dictator” championed moving to the countryside and led an ambitious planning process with a fifty-year horizon. John collaborated with an inspired staff, a committed board and generous backers to create thirty acres of gardens. Translating creative ideas into action takes artistry as well as resilience and navigational savvy. That story is told here with eloquence, generosity to others, good humor and candor. Trexler’s memoir is a persuasive reminder that focus, patience and a long view can produce enduring results.

Praise for Tower Hill, The First Twenty-Five Years

“A richly detailed account of the author’s first interest in trees as a toddler, to his working tirelessly for twenty-five years creating…gardens designed to delight…and inspire. With vision, determination and passion, John achieved this goal and here the story of the creation unrolls.”
–Marco Polo Stufano, Horticulture Director Emeritus, Wave Hill

“…a delightful guide to growing a successful career in public horticulture. The birth and growth of Tower Hill Botanic Garden is, in large measure, a testimonial to the vision, energy, and professionalism of John…”
–Paul rogers, Student of Horticulture and Columnist, Worcester Telegram

“To make something important and lasting like Tower Hill, one must be both visionary and taskmaster…Thank goodness for both of his dimensions.”
–Margaret roach, creator,

About John W. Trexler

John W. Trexler holds a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley University, Doylestown, PA. He developed his extraordinary knowledge of plants and garden design at Skylands, Ringwood, NJ, where he worked on garden restoration. John spent 6 years at the Morris County Park Commission, Morristown, NJ, restoring Bamboo Brook, the garden of renowned landscape architect, Martha Brookes Hutcheson. John’s 28 years developing Tower Hill Botanic Garden are a distinct reflection of these remarkable gardens.
Fake Smiles: A Memoir

Hardcover • 240 pages ISBN 978-0-9978482-0-5
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9978482-1-2

Contact TidePool Press, LLC, for more information at

Source : Tide Pool Press


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