Stonecrop Gardens is located in the lower Hudson River Valley region of New York State, six miles east of the village of Cold Spring. Stonecrop is well known for its diverse plant collections. The enclosed English-style flower garden has a framework of trees, shrubs and perennials which is enhanced each season with interplantings of bulbs, tropical and half-hardy plants, biennials and specialty annuals, most of which are propagated at Stonecrop. Plants in the alpine collection are found throughout the gardens in trough displays, unique raised stone beds, lime and ericaceous display frames, a rock ledge garden, and alpine house. The well-established, sophisticated woodland plant collection includes both native and exotic species. Each year approximately 30,000 bulbs are added to the outdoor display, along with a large collection of indoor choice dwarf bulbs that bloom from November to March. Aquatic plants are featured in the numerous ponds and pools found throughout the gardens. Greenhouse facilities include a conservatory with a quality collection of winter-blooming plants, alpine house, pit house, small tropical room and two working greenhouses used for propagation.
The emphasis of the Internship is on practical horticulture; to know, grow, and use plants. Our objective is for Interns to build the specialized skills necessary to a professional in the field and to enhance their theoretical foundation. Stonecrop Interns have the unique opportunity to work in all areas of the gardens throughout the season. They learn how to grow vegetables using crop rotation and have the chance to create their own vegetable plots. Interns are given time each day to research their chosen ‘Plant of the Day’ from the Stonecrop collection. They go on field trips to gardens, both public and private, and to interesting nurseries. Stonecrop interns have access to a library featuring a vast selection of resources and books on a range of gardening and botanical topics.
The 2020 Internship Program will run from February 3 through December 18, encompassing a full gardening season, but can be flexible to accommodate different schedules. Compensation includes a stipend of $400 per week plus on-site housing. Stonecrop is situated in a remote setting and Interns need to have a vehicle, since there is no reliable taxi
Interns have the opportunity to work in all the above areas on a rotational basis. Tasks will include:
1. Ornamental Horticulture:
- dead heading
- pest & disease identification & management
- labeling, mapping, record keeping
- selling & public relations
2. Propagation (both for our own display & for sale) of alpine, woodland, and flower garden plants to include:
- seed collecting
- processing and sowing cuttings - soft, semi, hardwood, and leaf division
3. Greenhouse management:
- environmental control
- general greenhouse watering
- care of plants
- greenhouse hygiene
4. Soil preparation & compost production
5. Watering (Indoor & Outdoor)
6. Rotating household duties: All staff share in such routine chores as pot washing and bathroom cleaning.
7. Rotating weekend duty
8. Diary: All students are to keep a notebook recording day-to-day activities as well as taking notes on tasks to be performed.
9. Garden Party Project: Interns and staff members research a horticultural topic of their choice and create a project for display at the annual Members’ Garden Party in September.
10. Intern Vegetable Plots: Interns design, install, and maintain a Vegetable Plot at Stonecrop. Plots are assessed four times per season considering such criteria as productivity, cropping plan, tidiness, and creativity.
11. Plant Identification Tests: Interns take eight Plant ID Tests throughout the season and are expected to know the Genus, Specific Epithet, Family, Country of Origin, Common Name, and Plant Description (i.e. perennial grass, deciduous conifer, etc.)
12. Lecture Presentation: Interns prepare and present a 30-minute lecture about a horticultural topic chosen from those offered.
13. Plant of the Day (P.O.D.): Each day Interns take 15 minutes to research a plant from the Stonecrop Collection. Interns can compile their P.O.D. write-ups to make a comprehensive collection of plants they have learned at Stonecrop.
14. Garden Host: Interns are required to work 2 open Saturdays and 2 Garden Conservancy Open Days per season. This is an opportunity to gain public relations experience as well as to learn how Stonecrop presents itself to the public.
15. Field Trips: Interns go on field trips to public and private gardens, and to interesting nurseries. Upon returning from each field trip, Interns write essays addressing details of the places we visited, plants they learned, comparisons of different gardens when appropriate, and aspects of garden design and style.
Horticultural education and/or experience is helpful. The desire to learn all you can about plants and the passion it takes to work hard in a garden-setting for a full season with like-minded individuals is essential.
If you want to really apply yourself and develop a sound understanding of practical horticulture, plant identification, plant families, and garden design, this internship is for you. Interested parties should send (mail or email) a cover letter and résumé to the attention of Caroline Burgess, Director, at the above address.