The Evelyn Jackson Wild Life Garden is named for my beloved aunt, whose generous bequest made the water feature and rain garden possible, making my gardening dreams come true. I think of her every day.

Evelyn Jackson Lived a Wild Life

Beautiful Aunt Evelyn Jackson sitting on a split-rail fence. She's about 25 years old.
Evelyn Jackson

Aunt Evelyn was glamorous, independent, funny, and smart. She loved her family and was deeply curious about the world her whole life. She took great pleasure in growing flowers on her balcony in Burbank, California and from talking politics with her brother (my father) and later with me.

Aunt Evelyn had a very successful career in advertising and television, starting in the Mad Men era. She opened an ad agency in Rockefeller Center in New York City on behalf of a Washington DC firm. Later she worked for Standard Oil in New Rochelle, New York, and Los Angeles. She and her husband Phil ran an advertising agency in Burbank for eight years, where she designed ads and wrote copy. Finally, she worked for Universal Studios until she was 78. Her work included managing the rights to TV shows for stations in South America. Sometimes this included organizing cocktail parties for TV stars, station managers, and Universal executives. She was happy that when her best friend from Michigan visited, she was able to take her to the VIP lunch room at Universal, where they saw Charlton Heston and other stars.

At the age of twelve, I was very impressed that she and Uncle Phil had a full-sized pinball machine in their living room and very little other furniture. You could play as much pinball as you wanted for free! I remember her stylish clothes and her elegance. She opened my suburban mind to new possibilities for how adults could live.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver
Aunt Evelyn Jackson and her mother Nellie Parks lean on Evelyn's shiny new Cadillac
Evelyn Jackson and her mother, Nellie Parks, in front of Evelyn’s Cadillac