You are here

Archiving Horticultural Legacies at Public Gardens

Digital media offers a unique set of properties which are not being utilized to their full potential
at public gardens. Digital repositories along with videography and technology have existed in
organizations such as universities and private industry for decades as a means to “capture,
archive, and pass down institutional knowledge” (Doctor, 2008). Capturing intellectual capital
from senior level employees before they retire is vital to preserve the integrity, functionality, and
relevancy of public gardens. As senior level horticulturists retire from public gardens, demand
for new specialty gardeners increases. While the field of horticulture has seen reduced interest
from younger generations over the past three decades, the search for experienced candidates to
fill these positions becomes more and more difficult. How can Public Gardens fill the
generational gap between senior level employees and entry level gardeners? How can Public
Gardens secure their valued employees’ intellectual knowledge to preserve the horticultural
legacy that allowed them to accomplish their missions?

Alongside plant collections, a Public Garden’s most valuable asset is their employees. Preserving
the legacy of these employees through a digital media archival process is the best practice to
ensure institutional knowledge is successfully passed down through generations. Using a
videography model appeals to younger generations that are accustomed to learning via
technological means.