John Floyd has been interested in gardening since he was a young boy. His interest blossomed when the family moved out of town to the community of Potters Station, Alabama. With a new house and a large lot, his parents allowed him to not only grow roses but encouraged him to start a small lawn business while he was in high school. Also, the minister at their small country church grafted and grew roses for cut flowers. Learning how to graft from him was his first introduction to the science of horticulture.
After high school, John entered Auburn University and majored in Ornamental Horticulture. While at Auburn, he held part time jobs over the years in the horticulture department, at Auburn Flower Shop, and Hall’s Wholesale Florist. Also while at Auburn, he was honored to do an internship at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Upon graduation from Auburn, John entered Clemson University and received a Master’s in Horticulture with a minor in Plant Taxonomy and a PhD in Plant Physiology with a double minor in horticulture and botany. During his time at Clemson, he had small landscape design business.
Upon completion, John accepted a position at Jefferson State Junior College to teach horticulture. He continued his landscape design business until he joined Southern Living as Senior Horticulturist. After working for Southern Living‘s parent company in various positions, he was named Vice President and Editor-In-Chief for 18 years. During that time, he received an honorary doctorate from Furman University in 2008 for helping conceptualize and develop a model house for sustainability, which currently houses the Department that was established for sustainability studies. He held that position until he retired in 2008, all the while gardening and keeping records of what he did in his garden.
The Southern Living garden book line was introduced under his tenure, and the Southern Living plant collection was also launched during that period. Today he gardens on a typical subdivision lot and volunteers at the Birmingham Botanical Garden weekly with a group of the “Gardening Docs” who help maintain the Japanese Garden.