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 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 2 July 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 9:51 pm

Today, with Josh’s help, I drafted up my inventory (or plant list) for Quad M-10.

We mostly spent the day mapping and tagging plants in different areas of the garden.

We  went to the Mound (which is located next to the East Conservatory Plaza) and mapped and tagged some box-woods,  Osmanthus, and Diervilla.  We then moved on to the Chimes Tower,  the Front Gate, and the Oak Knoll (which isn’t really a place that is listed on the map of the garden).

I also worked a little in BG-Base, and was researching my inventory plant names to make sure that they were accepted names within the data base. Mindy, who works as a seasonal in the Curatorial office, accompanied me to the library to get some books out about clematis; I have to become an expert on them as there are 6-8 of them in my area, and not all of them are blooming at this time of year.


Longwood Gardens: Day 1 July 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 9:19 pm
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Today was my first day at Longwood. I’m working with Kristina Aguilar and her one-year intern,  Joshua Willis.

I got assigned to map a 200′ x 200′ quadrant at Longwood Gardens, which was the Theatre Garden and the surrounding area. The Theatre Garden is a formal area that is highly visible to the public (no pressure in identifying, labeling, and mapping the plants at all)!

This garden has a Mediterranean-Californian dry feel to it; it is home to plants like hens-and-chicks, trifoliate orange, and sedum (which, I’ve now learned, that they’ve broken down into 3 different genera: Sedum, Hylotelephium, and Phedimus). The plant beds had been renovated this year; some plant materials were taken out, and others were added. I’ll get the chance to play plant-detective.

Plant records are important. Kristina told me if you don’t have them: you’re not a garden, but a park. Most institutions use BG Base/BG Map; the first being a data base in which you can make accessions (or records) of plants that are being kept in the garden, and the second being a program that is set “on top” of AutoCAD and is used to map the plants in the collection.

Most institutions use BG Base and BG map, but Kristina told me that Winterthur was one of the few that uses its own data base. BG Base is the “brain”; for instance, if it’s alive or dead, if it has been planted, moved to a different location, or removed altogether, how it came to you (plant, cutting, bare root, etc). You can also use this data base to keep track of your plant sources: who you got them from, where you got them. BG Base is also used to export the data to the web.

There’s 3 main tables that I’ll be working in for my project:

  • Plants
  • Names-which is the largest table within BG Base (it has 10 pages to fill out for data)!
  • Accessions

The most important thing to do before you start adding data into the data base is to make sure that the name is accepted. The way to verify this is to check with multiple, current sources. A few of the sources I used today were:

  • USDA.gov
  • eFlora.org
  • GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network)

Overall, an overwhelming change from the Mt. Cuba scene! I knew Longwood Gardens was a huge institution when I’ve been a visitor; but being behind the scenes and  looking at just the number of Horticulture staff, it really blew me away!