Our Horticulture staff exhibits a tireless commitment to creating new and innovative gardens and displays that delight and inspire visitors of all ages and from all backgrounds. We are committed to demonstrating the use and cultivation of a wide palette of native and exotic plants suitable for use in Central Virginia and strive to maintain our collections to the highest standards in an environmentally responsible way. We think independently, work collaboratively, and are unified in our passion for horticulture. We come from diverse backgrounds and celebrate different ways of being, in ourselves and in others.
The work of the Horticulture department is supported by an inquisitive, dynamic, hard-working and enthusiastic research intern, who is excited about spending the summer learning the art and craft of horticulture while supporting a plant-based research project. The intern will work in all Garden areas, assisting staff and volunteers with the challenging hands-on tasks of managing and curating a wide variety of seasonal displays, garden areas, plant collections and departmental initiatives. When not scheduled for research, the intern can expect to weed, rake, groom, prune, plant, mulch and haul debris in seasonal extremes and all weather conditions.
In addition to supporting the Horticulture team, the Horticulture Research Intern will work with Director of Horticulture and supervising Horticulturists to design and execute a research project that addresses a departmental need and provides value to the landscape design and nursery communities.
This internship will last 15 37.5-hour weeks, with time divided into approximately 25% research tasks and 75% horticulture tasks.
• Plan and carry out a qualitative or quantitative research project, working in collaboration with senior Horticulture staff and other Garden stakeholders.
• Draft a presentation on internship experience and research results for staff and guests.
• Create research-related deliverables (graphics, social media content, etc.) as requested.
Of note, past research topics have included invasive plant identification and removal, planting strategies for habitat value, pollinator and benthic macroinvertebrate population surveys, southern blight pathology and management, water quality monitoring, food crop production and medicinal plants.
• Assist with the hands-on maintenance of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and tropical plants in a manner consistent with the horticultural standards of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
• Physically work in all aspects of garden maintenance and development including soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, potting, raking, sweeping & blowing, tree & brush cutting, and recordkeeping.
• Utilize shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools to complete assigned tasks.
• Operate push mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATVs, tractors, pickup trucks, and other power equipment in accordance with LGBG safety protocols and regulatory standards (training will be provided).
• Work collaboratively with a dynamic team to achieve horticultural standard of excellence.
• Participate in weekly group maintenance tasks such as blowing walkways, filling gas cans, and caring for tools and equipment.
• Participate in group projects and meetings with other Horticulture staff and in cross-departmental projects.
• Work with Horticulture volunteers.
• Perform other duties as assigned by the Senior Horticulturists, Director of Horticulture or his/her designee.
Skills and Abilities
• A demonstrated understanding of the horticultural practices and procedures required for soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, mowing, raking, sweeping & blowing, and tree & brush cutting.
• The willingness to learn to identify frequently used woody, herbaceous, and annual landscape plants by common name.
• The ability to use shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools effectively.
• The ability to operate push mowers, riding mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATVs, pickup trucks, chainsaws and other power equipment safely and effectively.
• The physical strength, dexterity, and coordination sufficient to perform the above functions.
• A willingness to interact with the public on an informal basis by answering questions, providing directions, etc.
• The ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
• Possession of a valid driver's license.
Required: Current student in or graduate from a program in horticulture, plant science, or related field.
To apply, please send cover letter and resume to email@example.com.