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It’s almost graduation day at Longwood Gardens. On Friday, December 16, 2011 another Professional Gardener student (PG) class will graduate. These nine PG students will now enter our network of accomplished and inspiring Longwood Gardens PG alumni as working horticulture professionals in the garden industry.
Overall, the students got to touch all areas of horticulture during their two years at Longwood Gardens.
Domestic and International Studies Coordinator Brian Trader, Ph.D., oversees the PG program at Longwood Gardens and says this class has been an exceptionally self-motivated team and has strived to achieve excellence in everything they did.
“The PG class of 2011 has taken the core values of Longwood to a whole new level. As far as accomplishments, they have had the greatest success at fundraising among all preceding classes and set precedence for future study abroad trips with their comprehensive travel and education itinerary for their South Africa trip,” says Trader.
This class is especially meaningful to Trader because it is the first class he led from start-to-finish in his new role as Longwood’s Domestic and International Studies Coordinator.
“Almost two years ago, I embarked upon a new path in my career here at Longwood Gardens. At the same time, nine individuals began their education and training in the Professional Gardener Program. As a group, we have grown professionally and expanded our knowledge of public horticulture. I am so thankful to the Professional Gardener class of 2011 for everything that they have taught me over the last two years and their support, respect, and passion for horticulture,” says Trader.
Trader is looking forward to following the bright careers he believes each of the graduates will have in the future as the next generation of professional horticulturalists.
He says, “What made this class exceptionally strong to work with was that the group had diverse interests and passions—which is evident in the different future plans they have laid for themselves. Some graduates will be working for plant nurseries, greenhouse producers, and public gardens, while others are interested in beginning their own businesses, including an organic herb farm.”
Additionally, Trader says some PG graduates will be traveling abroad to continue their training through internships. Meanwhile, others will be seeking permanent employment across the US. Some of the graduates plan to take advantage of articulation agreements established with Temple University and the University of Delaware.
The entire Longwood Gardens family would like to congratulate the PG Class of 2011:
A look at what’s next for a few PG graduates:
John Moore: Studying floral design abroad
In January, Moore will travel to Minden, Germany to study and work with German floral designer Klaus Wagener for three months.
“I feel as a floral designer it is extremely important to continue the education process. Not only will I be studying and creating within the industry, but also working closely with Mr. Wagener and his team of designers creating trends and executing floral designs for product development and media publications within the trade,” says Moore.
Upon completion of this internship, Moore says he plans to stay in Europe and will seek out other creative apprenticeship and internship opportunities.
Moore says he owes much of his inspiration for floral design to his instructor Nancy Gingrich Shenk.
“Nancy has been a pivotal part of the Longwood family, inspiring students with her many years of floral training and experience. Her encouragement has been paramount,” says Moore.
David Sincavage: Temporary Executive Director at Vallarta Botanical Gardens A.C.
After graduation Sincavage will get to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—he will get to be the temporary Executive Director at Vallarta Botanical Gardens A.C. for six months. The garden is located in Mexico outside the city of Puerto Vallarta on the west coast, below the Baja.
Sincavage says he has Longwood Gardens to thank for this leadership opportunity.
“Longwood really helped me realize the importance of learning internationally. In May this past year, I volunteered at Vallarta Botanical Gardens because I saw a need for experienced gardeners. I then kept in touch with this garden and I was asked to return when I finished with the PG Program at Longwood Gardens,” says Sincavage.
Just a month ago Sincavage received a phone call that would change his life.
He recalls, “The executive position opened and the director asked me to fill it for my six month period. I said yes because this is an amazing once-in-a-life-time experience to get to be an acting director.”
As acting director Sincavage’s duties will only be working on garden projects, but also design, installation, special event planning, and community outreach.
“I was drawn to this garden because of where it is located and my love for Mexican culture. I am in love with this garden and can’t wait to grow with it over the next 6 months,” says Sincavage.
Nicole Blevins: Raker Greenhouses intern
After graduation Blevins will be working and studying at Raker Greenhouses in Michigan as an intern.
Blevins says, “The interest I developed at Longwood Gardens for greenhouse production is what prompted me to apply for this internship position. My experience in production here at Longwood Gardens helped me to realize that this is the perfect career path for me.”
During Blevins' time at Longwood, she says she the most invaluable part of the program was the constant hands-on experience. “As PG students you’re never stuck in the classroom—everything we learn we get to see applied in the Gardens,” says Blevins.
Like all of her fellow students, the thing Blevins says she will miss most about Longwood Gardens is the wonderful people she has meet and worked with.
Longwood’s Continuing Education department recently unveiled its 2012 Course Catalog. Featuring over 50 pages of hands-on classes for every type and level of gardener, the catalog is being delivered to mailboxes this week and is available online now.
Several new courses have been added to this year’s offerings, including photography and art classes centered around next summer’s Bruce Monro exhibit, birding classes, and a soil to sky tour focusing on Longwood’s sustainable practices.
Courses and lectures on sustainability, plant propagation, floral design, and exotic plants are set to kick off the new year of offerings in January.
Livable Landscape Lecture Series: Cultivating an Ecosystem Esthetic –January 17, February 21, March 6 & 20
In partnership with Stroud Water Research Center, Longwood will host a four part lecture series promoting landscape decisions informed by advances in carbon and hydrologic cycles and influenced by esthetically compelling designs. Held from January through March, lecture topics include “The Science Behind Your Livable Landscape,” “Towards Regenerative Design: A New Paradigm for Site Development and Landscapes,” “Looking at Your Livable Landscape,” and “Living Buildings for Livable Landscapes.”
The Nuts & Bolts of Plant Propagation – January 18
This three-hour workshop will familiarize students with the equipment and techniques necessary to propagate plants in a home setting by teaching how to create systems for seed germination, rooting cuttings, and growing young plants. It will also teach practical information on soils, grow lights, misting equipment, and containers.
Floral Fun- Cure for Cabin Fever –January 20
This two-hour “just for fun” class will teach you how to create a cheerful miniature floral landscape to cure the winter blues. Both new and experienced students will enjoy this session.
Exotic and Tropical Plants –January 26-March 1
Over the course of six sessions, this course will concentrate on identification, culture, growth patterns, and management of exotic and tropical plants in the interior and exterior landscape. Learn how to use exotic and tropical plants to add color, texture, movement, and excitement to your home, garden, institutional, or commercial applications.
See it all!
To view the full course catalog and to register for courses, visit Longwood’s Continuing Education website. Because classes are popular, those interested in taking courses are encouraged to register online in real-time to ensure they can get into their desired courses.
The full course catalog is available for download online. <https://ce-registration.longwoodgardens.org/wconnect/ace/home.asp>
To register for courses, visit https://ce-registration.longwoodgardens.org/wconnect/ace/home.asp.
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Enjoy family-fun activities, an outdoor concert, and behind-the-scenes experiences.
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Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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