Students do one-month work rotations in various areas throughout Longwood. Over the course of the two years, students spend about half their time working in the gardens.
Arboriculture students learn and refine tree care skills amid an excellent collection of century-old specimens, trimmed allées, and woodland areas. The work involves tree climbing and pruning and requires the use of hand tools, chain saws, chippers, and bucket trucks. Duties may include tree trimming and cabling, bracing, hedge pruning, and tree health evaluation.
Students work on seasonally changing displays which include annuals, perennials, tropical plants, and bulbs. Students may work with palms, aquatics, orchids, bananas, roses, ferns, succulents, bonsai, espaliered fruit, and Mediterranean flora. Duties include grooming, planting, and maintaining plant displays.
Students gain greenhouse experience in propagation, pruning, and general care of ornamental plants for use in the Conservatory displays. Assignments include potting and transplanting seedlings, cuttings, bulbs, and mature plants as well as pinching, tying, and changing plantings in the Conservatory displays.
Students learn how the lawns and grounds of a public garden are maintained. Participants mow lawns, weed and edge beds, prune shrubs and trees, prepare soil and compost, and assist in other general and special maintenance projects important to outdoor display horticulture.
Students maintain annuals and perennials in several sections of the Gardens. Duties include planting, weeding, mulching, watering, pruning, staking, and fertilizing. Students may work with woody plants, herbs, bulbs, ground covers, roses, vegetables, and fruits in some of Longwood’s most intensively cultivated areas. In addition, the student may prepare trees and shrubs for transporting from the nursery to the display area by hand digging, ball-and-burlapping, or using a tree spade.
Research involves evaluation and development of new ornamental plants for greenhouse and outdoor display. Student duties include plant maintenance, plant propagation, data collection, labeling, and record keeping. Students may also work with the plant curatorial staff.
Integrated Pest Management
Students gain practical experience by assisting the IPM Coordinator in scouting for and diagnosing pest problems throughout the Gardens, indoors, and outdoors. The student performs applied research projects, designs and implements pest sampling and monitoring programs, and develops lectures and displays concerning IPM. Students may apply a variety of biological, cultural, and chemical controls, and evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments. A Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator's License may be required and can be obtained while at Longwood.
Plant Records Management
Students gain exposure to a wide variety of plants in virtually all parts of the Garden. The student works closely with the Curatorial staff on diverse projects including plant acquisition, identification, labeling, inventory, mapping, and plant trials data collecting.
Students learn propagation, potting, labeling, record-keeping, pruning, and transplanting techniques through involvement with the day-to-day operation of Longwood’s nursery. In this internship, PG students prune, maintain, and evaluate woody and herbaceous plant material and conduct general maintenance including weeding and mulching. Additionally, students prepare trees and shrubs for transport and installation in the display gardens by hand digging, ball-and-burlapping, or using a tree spade.
Natural Lands Management
Students work alongside the natural lands crew on invasive plant management and removal, installation of plant material in natural areas, seasonal maintenance of meadows, wetlands, and forests. In addition, students in this internship may work with the turf managers and arboriculture crews on winter pruning of tree species.