Kyle Cheesborough
Before starting at Bellefontaine Cemetery this spring, my career has taken me through nursery production, public gardening, plant collection expeditions, and much more. I developed an affinity for gardening as a young man in Augusta, GA, helping my grandmother in her perennial and vegetable gardens. An avid, self-taught gardener, my grandmother bequeathed her plethora of hands-on knowledge to me, and I knew immediately what sort of work I wanted to pursue. I attended the nearby University of Georgia, and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Science of Agriculture, my major being horticulture. During school and for a year after graduation I worked for Goodness Grows, a wholesale and retail nursery specializing in unique, often old-fashioned shrubs and perennials. Upon leaving Goodness Grows, I accepted a position as Horticulturist I-Conservatories with the Missouri Botanical Garden. My career with MoBot saw a quick maturation of my abilities as a public gardens horticulturist. I received a promotion to Horticulturist II in my short tenure (2011-2012), and even participated in a plant collections trip to Siberia, specifically the Altai Mountain region. After my time at the Garden, I took the position of Horticulturist with Bellefontaine Cemetery, seeing the Cemetery’s arboretum as an excellent opportunity to further develop my skills as a professional. On a day-to-day basis I may prune mature and young trees, work with annual displays and container designs, plant trees and shrubs, and perform basic horticultural maintenance tasks. I have used my emphasis on conservation and habitat restoration to shape my duties at Bellefontaine, embarking on projects that focus on native plants and those that provide some sort of forage, cover, or nesting attribute for our local wildlife. The Bellefontaine landscape is one of supreme beauty, and as the Horticulture Supervisor, I hope to serve the Cemetery in the next few years by developing this urban green oasis into a horticultural destination. My favorite color – green of course!