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One of the promises Professional Gardener (PG) students make on graduation day is to continue to share all they learned during their time at Longwood Gardens—and Lisa Roper, PG class of 1990, is doing just that.
In fact, Roper is teaming up with the Longwood Gardens Continuing Education department for the first time teaching a six-course ornamental horticulture class called Sun Perennials this September. Roper, who is the Asian Woods Horticulturist at Chanticleer in Wayne, Pa, has taught a similar class through the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society for many years at Chanticleer. Additionally at Chanticleer, Roper is the staff photographer and builds rustic furniture, patios, and vine supports. Roper has worked at Chanticleer for 21 years since graduating from the Professional Gardener Program.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to return and teach at the place where I really found my love of gardening and knowledge of sun perennials. I feel like this is the perfect time for me to branch out my teaching network because my eldest son started college this year and I felt like it was time for a new challenge in my life,” says Roper.
Roper, whose favorite garden at Longwood is the Hillside Garden, says she still uses techniques today that she learned from her teachers at Longwood.
“Ed Broadbent taught me great pruning techniques. I loved Pat Christopher’s passion for plants and teaching. She imparted her wisdom to notice every detail and to take notes,” says Roper.
Roper says her interest for gardening really started after college graduation.
She says, “After school I worked on an olive orchard in Jerusalem, harvesting the fruit for and bringing it to a village to be pressed into olive oil. And from there I was hooked.”
The following year Roper returned to the United States and worked for a garden design and installation business in Cambridge, Ma. After this job, Roper attended Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, where she studied fine art and majored in painting, printmaking, and photography.
“I really feel that the design skills I learned at Cooper Union helped me propel and excel in my gardening career—art and nature are interconnected, and for me one cannot exist without the other,” says Roper.
In addition to sun perennials, Roper says her area of expertise is shade gardening, specifically with Asian plants. “I love combining plants for textural and color contrast,” says Roper.
Overall, Roper hopes her students leave her course with a familiarity and interest for sun perennials.
“I hope to inspire my students to experiment and use these plants in their gardens. Additionally, I hope my students find what I have found: a fulfillment for growing new plants,” says Roper.
Roper’s series of six classes, Sun Perennials runs Saturdays, from 10 am to noon from September 10 to October 22. A limited amount of spaces in Roper’s class are still available. Click here to register today.
Longwood Gardens recently welcomed 19 new college and university interns. This particular group of interns marks several firsts for the program. It is the first time the Civil Department of Facilities is taking an intern under its wing, Tyler Rodkey. Additionally, this group of students includes the program’s first International Intern and two Rotational Interns, who will get a taste working in all horticultural areas at Longwood. Interns will be staying at Longwood for 3 months to one year.
Each year, the pool of applicants for the internship program gets larger and stronger, due in part to positive word of mouth generated by previous interns.
Domestic & International Studies Coordinator Brian Trader, Ph.D, says, “The interns keep us refreshed. They allow us to see how universities and colleges across the country are preparing the next generation of horticulturalists, librarians, educators, marketing professionals, etc. The staff at Longwood relies on these individuals to keep them challenged, to give them a renewed drive, and to continue the Longwood Legacy as well as spread our intellectual capital.”
Our new group of interns includes: Jason Bonham, Mary Castillo, Austin Deputy, Stephen Dorn, Emma Erler, Lucas Fedechko, Jenna Hicks, Sam Hoadley, Justin Kondrat, Brenda Landhuis, Andrew Lyons, Meghan McLaughlin, Katie Newman, MacKenzie Patrick, Tyler Rodkey, Beth Sanders, Gary Shanks, Andrew Tremblay, and Victor Villanueva.
Read the interviews below to “meet” a few of our new interns who traveled from all over the world to study, work, and learn from Longwood’s gardeners and staff.
Q: Describe how you’re hoping this experience at Longwood Gardens will help you attain some of the goals you have set for yourself and your career?
Gary Shanks of Cape Town, South Africa. Production Intern.
A: Even in South Africa we’re taught that Longwood Gardens is one of the most renowned Gardens in the world—and I am hopeful this experience will give me the skills and confidence I need to excel in a career in public horticulture display. I am most looking forward to learning from the best in the business—Longwood’s team!
Justin Kondrat of Galway, NY. Production Intern.
A: Without doubt I believe this experience will give me a better impression of public gardens—we study them and their design in school, but being here is invaluable. I hope to gain professional connections that I can hopefully work with throughout the rest of my career, in addition to making lifelong friends. I hope to be a good role model for students with reading and learning disabilities—I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and believe when there is a will, there is a way.
Meghan McLaughlin of Quakertown, PA. Marketing Intern.
A: Longwood simply has so many different programs and departments to market. I’m hopeful that I’m not only going to become a skilled marketer in the horticulture industry, but also in the performing arts industry, education sector, and membership department. During my time at Susquehanna University I had the opportunity to intern at marketing agencies, and I’m thrilled that I’ll get to focus all of my attention to one client that has international recognition, Longwood.
Katie Newman of Winchester, IN. Production Intern.
A: Every week I find something new I want to do in the field of horticulture—and to be honest I don’t know what my ultimate career goal is. As far as technical skills, at Purdue University I majored in horticulture production and marketing, I could see myself working in so many different departments. I am very excited to learn more about ornamental production, how plants are grown in the nursery, and green house operations.
Q: What are you most looking forward to during this internship?
Brenda Landhuis of Byron Center, MI. Integrated Pest Management Intern.
A: After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in horticulture I wanted to work at on of the most prestigious public gardens in the world. I feel very lucky to have been selected to work at Longwood—Longwood is committed to education, so I know I will leave here well-learned. I am most looking forward to developing a better understanding of where my leadership skills can be used in a public garden setting and how I can apply my knowledge of IPM in a public garden.
Victor Suarez Villanueva of Gijon, Span. International Program Intern.
A: I learned about Longwood’s internship opportunity through a professor at my college, Universidad de Leon in Spain, who was an intern here. It may sound basic, but in addition to mastering the plant-care and design techniques required of a professional gardener at a public garden, I hope to improve my English.
Q: How do you think living on-site during your internship experience will influence your time at Longwood?
Mary Castillo of Edwardsville, IL. Education Intern
A: Living on “The Row” is not plain and simple like living in an apartment in Kennett Square, Pa. It’s living in a piece of Longwood’s history. The Row was here when Pierre du Pont was alive, and I feel very privileged to get go home to such a special place every night.
Jason Bonham of Lancaster, OH. Summer Rotational Intern.
A: I think this is so important and really differentiates this internship program from others. I feel like we are completely immersed in the Gardens and are very connected to the other interns that we’re sharing this experience with. The houses allow you to be constantly exposed to the Gardens, and it also keeps us focused on our work.
Q: Have you ever been to Longwood Gardens prior to your internship?
MacKenzie Patrick of Rising Sun, MD. Outdoor Display Intern.
A: I grew up coming to Longwood Gardens, so working here is a dream. Right now I’ve finished three years out of my five year program at Penn State University where I’m majoring in landscape architecture. I create many designs in my studios, and from coming here for so many years I always wondered how the creators of the displays incorporated what they made in the studios into the garden. I think I’ll get to leave my internship with a better understanding of how to make designs that can be used in a real public gardens setting.
Jason Bonham of Lancaster, OH. Summer rotational Intern.
A: I was lucky enough in college to get to take a field trip to Longwood Gardens. It was during my visit that I became interested in the Longwood Graduate Program, and Dr. Lyons took me on a tour and really inspired me to apply for the internship.
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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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