Herbaria 51

Internship Blog/Plants/Interesting Facts

UDBG: Day 3 August 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 5:02 pm

Today, I received my project–researching and writing an article about the featured plant for the Spring Plant Sale. This year, the plant is camellias, and the article will appear in the newsletter that gets sent out to members!

Some of the notes that I took today about camellias:

  • Camellias need a planting site with well-drained soil.
  • Avoid planting them where shade trees’ shallow root systems will compete for nutrients/water
  • generally 2 types of camellias–spring and fall flowering

I have a list of species/hybrids that I’ll be gathering information about to provide some descriptions to the members—it’s going to be an enjoyable task!


UDBG: Day 2 August 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 4:28 am

I arrived at UDBG at 7AM to work with Melinda and Pat Boyd (who volunteers her time at UDBG). We weeded the Herbaceous Garden for a little while, then I got to water some. Just my luck though–as I started watering plants in the garden, it started to rain!!

We then moved indoors, where I learned how to do membership letters. When I had finished that, we moved on to potting up some plants in the green house. Today, I also learned that ‘development’ is the specific term used for when one is raising money


University of Delaware Botanic Gardens: Day 1 August 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 11:19 am

Today was my first day at UDBG, and I will be working with Melinda Zoehrer, who is the Assistant Director.

Melinda gave me a quick over view of the garden, and told me about several ways that non-profit gardening institutions raise money if they don’t have endowments:

  • special events
  • sales or rare plant auctions
  • direct mails (doesn’t necessarily have a high turnover rate, but it’s cheap)

Melinda also told me about the process of updating the member list goes when an individual pays dues, and I got to meet the Curatorial Intern, Matt.




Longwood Gardens: Day 10 August 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 9:08 am

Today was my last day at Longwood Gardens, so I spent a majority of my day today mapping all of the woody plants in QUADM10 with Josh’s help. I am proud to say that I was able to pick up BG-Base and BG-Map skills, as well as using the TopCon system in two weeks, and I know when I make visits back to Longwood, I can see my work in the Theatre Garden.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and I was sad to say goodbye to Kristina, Josh, and Mindy. They were great people to work with–I couldn’t have asked for a better set of individuals to learn from!


Longwood Gardens: Day 9 August 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 8:07 am

Today we went on a field trip to Dunbarton Oaks and Brookside Gardens. I really enjoyed touring Dunbarton Oaks and the butterfly house at Brookside was great! Check out the Center for Public Horticulture’s Facebook page for all of the pictures!


Longwood Gardens: Day 8 August 3, 2011

Filed under: Longwood Gardens,Triad Internship — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 7:57 am
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Today, I began the task of tagging plants within QUAD M10. When you put an accession tag on a plant, you must always place it on the north side of the plant.

Staking the tags or tying them to the plants may not seem like a lot of work, but it was definitely a work out! The worst plant to tag within the Quad M10 was Opuntia phaeacantha, also known as the prickly pear cactus. I got stuck several times trying to put the brass tags in the ground. If you think the large, smooth spines are a pain, just wait until you have to pull the smaller, finer spines out of your skin.

And yet another Piatt’s Pro-Tips for Landscapades:

The best recommendation for getting the smaller, finer spines out of your skin? Stand in the sun–you should be able to catch the sunlight on the spines to see them and pull them out. It also would be extremely helpful if you had a pair of tweezers. 



Longwood Gardens: Day 7 August 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 2:27 pm

Today, I made more tags for the plants that were in the Theatre Garden and did one last once-over of the garden after I received confirmation about plant locations.

A few of the plants that I had confirmed were:

  • Aloe maculata
  • Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’
  • Manfreda x Agave ‘Bloodspot’
  • Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’
  • Salvia x sylvestris
  • Sedum rupestre ‘Blue Spruce’
  • Hylotelephium cauticola ‘Likadense’ (previously known as Sedum cauticola ‘Likadense’)

We also had an incident with some hens-and-chicks within the Theatre Garden. There are six Sempervivum within the garden, but we were not entirely sure which ones were which–and we only found invoices for two of them. Five of the Sempervivum had display labels, and one was an unidentifiable plant. Mindy, Kristina and I were pulling out our hair trying to figure out which ones were accounted for within BG Base, and which ones were not. I am ever-so thankful for Mindy’s help with changing around accession numbers and making accessions for these plants–it was a difficult task. This ate up the better part of the afternoon; the Sempervivum have definitely put themselves on my “Plants I Do Not Like” list.


Longwood Gardens: Day 6 August 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 11:04 am

Today, I had to make accessions of the plants for which we had invoices. I edited the pictures that I took of plants in the Theatre Garden and uploaded them to Plant Explorer.

This took up most of my day. I also had to send another email off to April to confirm more plant additions and removals.


Longwood Gardens: Day 5 July 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 12:33 pm

I was very busy today. Kristina instructed me on how to make accessions within BG Base, which has two parts. The first part is making the accessions within BG Base.

In order to do that, one has to go to the Accessions tab. Hitting F7 will pull up the next available accession number. Then there are several tables you have to fill out:

  • The date on which you’re accessioning
  • The date you received the plant if it is a different date than the date of accession (which is 90% likely that this is the case)
  • Received how (basically, how the plant came to you: plant, plug, cutting, seed, germ plasm…)
  • Received size, received amount
  • Source (where/from whom you got the plant)
After that, you then have to update the Plants table.
  • You pull up the plant by the accession number and qualifier
  • You go down to field checks and observation, hit Ctrl + N –and fill in the data.
  • Then go to where it says Check Note, and put “per inventory check”.
  • And, save it!
I also got to make labels today on a piece of equipment worth about $30,000… That was a bit intimidating, but it was also a great experience and fun.
Kristina and I met with April Bevans (who is the gardener in charge of the Theatre Garden in Quad M10) to figure out which plants were still in the area, which had been taken out, etc. Sitting down with April was really helpful, since I was unfamiliar with some of the plants.
I accomplished a lot today; time flies when you’re busy!

Longwood Gardens: Day 4 July 28, 2011

Filed under: Longwood Gardens,Triad Internship — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 10:23 pm
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SPOILER ALERT: This post may have some spoiler material about Longwood Garden’s Christmas Display. Readers, you have been warned. 


Today, I took another walk in the Theatre Garden and found more plants. I attempted to find a few  tags on the roses that were in my area, but it was a complicated task. A few tags were missing, or some of the original brass tags were hard to read due to the weathering they have endured over the years. Plants such as the roses, a few masses of Japanese Pachysandra, and others have different accession tags than some of the others that are used within the rest of the garden.

Normal accessions at Longwood Gardens look like the following:


The “2011” represents the year in which the plant was accessioned (meaning the year in which a number was assigned).

The “oo13” represents the individual number given to the plant. So in this case, 0013 tells us that it is the 13th plant to be accessioned in the year 2011.

The “*A” can represent an individual plant or mass of plants. “*A” is called a qualifier, and qualifiers are added if there are multiples of a plant in different areas. To use the Theatre Garden as an example, I have two Clematis ‘Will Goodwin.’ They are not planted next to each other, but rather on opposite sides of the garden. Because they are in different locations, I cannot mark them both as A (as a mass planting). This is the time where you would use two different qualifiers: A and B.

I also got to attend a Horticulture staff meeting today. These meetings happen quarterly so that everyone in Horticulture knows what everyone else is working on and are able to hear the achievements or benchmarks that have been reached by each division.

Divisional meetings, as Kristina and Sara Helm (who works on the herbarium at Longwood Gardens) told me occur on a monthly basis.

I was able to learn about the theme of Longwood’s Christmas display: GINGERBREAD! I won’t ruin it for everyone, but let me just tell you this; Longwood Gardens’ Unofficial Motto is “Go big or go home.” I’ve seen pictures of the plans that they have in store for the Christmas season, and it is going to be spectacular. It is embarrassing to admit that I have never been to a Longwood Gardens Christmas display, but rest assured I will not be missing this year’s display!

I also got to learn about the community efforts in which Longwood Gardens is participating. They are working on the beautification project in Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware. Currently, the site serves as a small park and as a transportation hub. Most of the trees that had been planted in this area have been failing due to soil compaction. They plan to overhaul the area, making ‘tree cell pits’ to allow the trees to have plenty of room for their root systems. A few plants that will be brought in are Quercus bicolor and Alnus americana. 

They are also working on the Curtis Institute; Linfest Hall (which is a state-of-the-art living space) in particular. Two plants that they will be installing here are Acer campestre and Platanus acerifolia.

Last but not least, they are assisting the Hamorton Church which is right up the road on Kennett Square Pike. I don’t recall all the details, but I do know that Longwood Gardens will be donating at least 18 large shrubs and 12 large trees to give the church with an instant landscape.

After that, I took pictures of  some plants that didn’t have images up on Plant Explorer.

All in all, a very interesting and exciting day at Longwood Gardens!