Keeping Up With the Joneses

An East Memphis garden offers a lovely way to beat the heat.

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A variety of handpicked pottery and limestone planters frame the facade of the brick, Georgian-style greenhouse/guest house with its three distinctive round windows.

When the guesthouse was first built, it consisted of one large bedroom and bath. It soon became apparent, however, that the space was too small to accommodate visiting family members such as Jack’s granddaughter, singer/songwriter Caroline Jones, who comes to Memphis once a year to perform and host classes for local students. The family soon decided to add a large living room and another bath. The living room is a decorative mix with horn chairs, painted furniture, an oriental rug, and accents such as an antique Russian copper samovar. In keeping with the botanical theme, the décor in the bedroom features a tree-root headboard and an old garden gate on the wall. The floors throughout are dyed concrete.

It was good fortune that I first got a glimpse of the Joneses’ beautiful garden when Sandra invited me to a showing in the greenhouse of Keith Ellis Prest jewelry. Keith Ellis is her business-savvy teenaged great-niece, who launched a jewelry line called “Keith E Jewels” late last year. This talented St. Mary’s student makes everything by hand; you can find out more about her lovely pearl jewelry on Twitter @keithejewels.

I would also like to add how grateful I am to Jack and Sandra Jones for graciously agreeing to our photo shoot at an extraordinarily busy time for them. They were literally on the eve of their departure for Jack’s 65th reunion at the University of Virginia law school and afterwards for the Robin Hood Foundation’s 25th anniversary gala in New York City. Most Memphians already know by now that this incredible philanthropic organization was founded by Jack’s son, Paul Tudor Jones, to help needy New Yorkers build better lives.

Maybe next time, if we play our cards right, Sandra and Jack will kindly let us photograph the inside of their house. Sandra can guide us through some of her many collections, which have moved with her over the years from one home to another. You may like to know that the Jones home has a “safari room.” If this sounds intriguing, stay tuned! 

 The inviting greenhouse is filled with oceans of orchids and other plants and provides a botanical entryway through the double doors into the guesthouse.


Anne Cunningham O’Neill is the arts & lifestyle editor of Memphis magazine.


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