Based on individual interests, International Interns and Trainees can customize their experience during their time at Longwood.
Work rotations are available in the areas below:
Students “learn the ropes” in an unparalleled garden setting with a strong history of tree preservation and more than 90 Champion Trees!
Students will explore tree biology and health, pruning, rigging, climbing techniques, tree support systems and workplace safety. Every student will start out as a ground person but skill and knowledge development is limited only by the motivation of the individual. Students will gain experience with equipment such as chainsaws, chippers, stump grinders and aerial lifts while working with a progressive team of Arborists using the latest climbing techniques. Fall students will also participate in setting up Longwood Gardens’ renowned Christmas Light display. Good communication skills are extremely important and experience in Arboriculture, Urban Forestry or a related field is preferred. Students should be in good physical condition and capable of sustained physical labor in all weather conditions.
The Conservatory Display student will learn the special nature of gardening in conservatories through hands-on involvement in the day-to-day process of installing and maintaining greenhouse displays and collections.
Students work on seasonally changing displays which include annuals, perennials, tropical plants, and bulbs. Students may work with palms, aquatics, orchids, ferns, succulents, bonsai, and Mediterranean flora. Duties include grooming, planting, and maintaining plant displays. A general knowledge of greenhouse environments and plant culture is preferred. Willingness to work independently, willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, willingness to work some weekends, ability to lift 30 lbs, and a valid driver’s license are required.
The Greenhouse Production student learns the systems and horticultural skills needed to manage a state-of-the-art container production greenhouse through hands-on involvement in the daily operations of a production facility.
Students will propagate plants by seed and vegetative means and will learn to mix various types of growing media. The Greenhouse Production student works collaboratively with the production team to ensure the highest quality crops are grown efficiently and consistently. Responsibilities include assisting in the upkeep and cleanliness of the greenhouse and other work areas, and performing primary plant care in the absence of full-time staff. Other tasks include transplanting, potting, repotting, staking, tying, grooming, watering and fertilizing with automated systems, transporting potted plants to and from growing areas, and assisting with installations of large displays and garden-wide projects. This experience is perfect for someone who intends to grow plants for a display garden or for commercial purposes. Willingness to work independently, willingness to work some weekends, and the ability to lift 50 lbs are required.
The Research student learns the daily tasks involved in operating a horticultural research facility through hands-on involvement with the research team and working with extraordinary hardy and non-hardy plants.
Research at Longwood focuses upon applied, practical studies to enhance the indoor and outdoor horticultural displays. The individual works in research plots at the Nursery and in the Research Greenhouses performing weeding, watering, mulching, soil preparation, fertilizing, pruning, planting and transplanting, labeling, and data collection. The student will collect data on seed germination, bloom period, and hybridization results on a variety of plant trials including camellia hardiness, boxwoods, and on-going evaluations of new plants. Additional tasks include soil testing, virus testing, and propagation by seed, cuttings, grafting/budding, and plant tissue culture. Attention to detail is important. This opportunity is ideal for students eager to learn a wide range of plants. Willingness to work independently, willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, willingness to work some weekends, the ability to lift 50 lbs, and a valid driver’s license are required.
The Integrated Pest Management student gains plant health diagnostic skills such as proper pest scouting and identification techniques and the recognition of common plant disease/pest infestation symptoms on plants.
The student assists the IPM staff in scouting for and diagnosing pest problems on a wide variety of crops grown in the greenhouse, conservatory, landscape, and natural environments. The intern performs applied research projects that investigate the biology and control of pests, designs and implements pest sampling and monitoring programs, releases beneficial insects in the conservatory, and evaluates the effectiveness of cultural practices, beneficial organisms, and chemical controls. The student must obtain a pesticide applicator’s license and will likely apply chemical pest control materials with an emphasis on safety, focusing on the least toxic yet effective methods of control. Additional responsibilities include developing lectures and displays and performing outreach educational programs concerning IPM. The ability to lift 50 lbs, willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, ability to work independently, and a valid driver's license are required.
The Natural Land Stewardship student gains a variety of skills such as native plant community establishment, restoration and management; invasive species identification and management; GPS mapping; and wildlife management techniques.
The Natural Land Stewardship student assists Longwood’s Natural Lands staff and volunteers in the stewardship of 700+ acres of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, streams, ponds and agricultural lands, in a southeastern Pennsylvania Piedmont landscape, including the newly opened 86-acre Meadow Garden.
The student performs daily stewardship activities such as planting, field mowing, weeding and invasive species management. Responsibilities include assisting in the development of invasive species protocols, land management plans and maps, research projects, and participating in educational programs related to land stewardship. The student must have or obtain a PA pesticide applicator’s license and will likely apply chemical herbicides, with an emphasis on safety, focusing on the least toxic yet effective methods of control. The ability to lift 50 lbs, the willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, the ability to work both independently and with a team, and a valid driver's license are required.
The Nursery Management student learns propagation, potting, labeling, record-keeping, pruning, and transplanting techniques through involvement with the day-to-day operation of Longwood’s nursery.
The student prunes, maintains, and evaluates woody and herbaceous plant material and conducts general maintenance including weeding and mulching. Additionally, the student prepares trees and shrubs for transport and installation in the display gardens by hand digging, ball-and-burlapping, or using a tree spade. The student will also assist with labeling plants and record-keeping. The ability to lift 50 lbs, willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, willingness to work independently, and a valid driver’s license are required.
The Outdoor Landscapes student maintains herbaceous and woody plants 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, students may prepare trees and shrubs for transporting from the nursery to the display area by hand digging, ball-and-burlapping, or using a mechanical tree spade. The ability to lift 50 lbs, willingness to work in adverse weather conditions, willingness to work independently, and a valid driver’s license are required.
The Plant Records Management student works closely with the Plant Records Manager to learn the methods and techniques applied in maintaining plant records at a public garden.
Specific experiences include: accessioning, verifying plant nomenclature, inventorying, and producing plant records reports, utilizing the database BG-BASE; labeling, both producing educational labels for visitors and accession labels for staff; and mapping with a GPS and maintaining digital maps, utilizing the database BG-Map. The student will develop a thorough understanding of the principles of plant nomenclature and gain familiarity with a wide variety of publications and other information resources, including archival files. A variety of computer skills and familiarity with plant identification, willingness to work independently and in adverse weather conditions, and a valid driver’s license are required.