overview of Horticulture internships: 2012

allison bozer, clemson horticulture intern, 2012

Allison Boozer
Stacey's Greenhouse, Pendleton, SC

I spent my summer working at Stacy’s Greenhouses in Pendleton, SC.  This is the production greenhouse for the Stacy’s in York, SC.  My summer consisted of potting up plants for a new project, collecting data, and participating in quality control of the cuttings that were shipped to the company.  My experience was great and full of fun times along with giving me a better knowledge of plants.

Alex Burke
Carolina Landscape Management, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Alex Burke Carolina Landscape Management, Hendersonville, North Carolina

This summer I interned with Carolina Landscape Management. We are a landscape design, install and maintenance group out of Hendersonville, NC. This summer I got familiar with all the green industry but spend most of my time on the design/install side of the business. I was asked to share my thoughts and creativity in design work and learned a design program (Prolandscape). We completed many tasks a day, from installs and enhancements, to pruning, spraying chemicals, and repairing irrigation. The two crews I worked with were respectful, patient and didn’t mind teaching me new things. My experience at CLM was well worth the sweat and hard work. It is a small company looking to grow and expand so I was appreciative to have this opportunity with them. 

Ben Ebert
Thornhill Farm, McClellanville, South Carolina

Ben Ebert Thornhill Farm, McClellanville, South Carolina

I spent the summer on a beautiful, 100 acre sustainable farm in the small town of McClellanville, South Carolina.  Throughout my internship at Thornhill Farm, my work responsibilities were very diverse and exciting.  On the livestock side of the farm (pigs, cattle, laying hens, broilers, and sheep), I fed the animals, made sure that they always had adequate water, moved them into new paddocks, collected, cleaned, and packed eggs, and many other various tasks that go along with animal husbandry.  On the garden side of the farm, I harvested, washed, and packed fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs; I weeded, amended soil, put in and removed drip tape, made soil blocks, planted seeds, and transplanted seedlings into the field.  My time on this farm has truly been amazing.  All of the interns that I live with on the farm can attest to how great the farming lifestyle is, and how amazing it is to consume (in abundance) wholly organic, local produce 7 days a week.

Whitney Blue Fraser
Artistic Florist, Amelia Island, FL

Whitney Blue Fraser Artistic Florist, Amelia Island, FL

I spent my summer on Amelia Island in Florida working for Artistic Florist, a chic upscale retail florist, in Fernandina Beach.  I completed my internship through a program with the American Floral Endowment.  I experienced every aspect of the retail florist business.  I learned how to process flower shipments, order flowers from wholesalers, take orders for daily floral arrangements, daily cleaning tasks, prep and decorate green and blooming plants, route and deliver daily floral arrangements and I was introduced to basic floral designing principles.  Each day was overflowing with challenges and opportunities to learn something new.  I gained experience working with Latin and common names of plants, the finicky public and amazing coworkers.  I could not imagine a more rewarding internship; this was an absolutely phenomenal venture that I'd repeat again in a heartbeat!

Jay Gilliam
South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC

Jay Gilliam South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC

The Clemson South Carolina Botanical Gardens was the perfect place for me to do my internship. The fact that there are so many duties that have to be done allows for no two days being alike.  The faculty was great in that they didn’t hold back and treated me just as they did everyone else from the very beginning; even when I had only been there one week. Being able to be in the great outdoors every day in such a wonderful environment with so many different species of plants was awesome. I gained invaluable experience and knowledge while working at the gardens that I am sure will be used throughout the rest of my career. 

Liz Godwin
Clemson Student Organic Farm, Clemson University

Liz Godwin Clemson Student Organic Farm, Clemson University

I spent my summer farming away right here in Clemson. I worked at the Clemson Student Organic Farm where I was involved with the production of organic vegetables. I worked with the plants from start to finish beginning with planting seeds and ending with the harvesting process. We then distributed the produce twice a week through a CSA market, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Along with fieldwork, I co-managed an online farmers market with produce from the farm to local residents. The best part was getting to take yummy veggies home with me whenever there was extra.

Danielle Hicks
Todd A. Steadman, Clemson, SC

Danielle Hicks Todd A. Steadman, Clemson, SC

This summer I interned with the sole proprietor of Steadman and Associates, who mainly makes his living by designing landscapes. My role as an intern was to help analyze sites and collect data, research plant materials, meet with clients and contractors, and installation and maintenance of certain sites. The sites we worked on varied from small and large residential homes to a public site that the community will use. I mainly spent my time in Clemson working on residential landscapes and the design of a sculpture garden at the Clemson Arts Center. However, one of the projects I worked on this summer was in Starkville, Mississippi. I was able to make a trip down there to help with the preliminary design and meet with the homeowners. For this project, I got to do a lot of research on different plants to use that are native to the upstate of Mississippi and saw similarities and differences from plants I was using at the other sites in Clemson. I was also able to do research and cost estimates on using hydroseeding to sow a native wildflower meadow that will be at the site in Starkville. The sculpture garden was one of my favorite sites to work on this summer because there was so much going on in a small area that it took a lot of creativity to design the site. My favorite part of this summer was being able to meet all different people in the design, installation, and maintenance careers. I was in constant contact with nursery owners, contractors for hardscaping and sod, and the clients themselves and really enjoyed knowing that it was taking all of us to make something work. 

Ethan Hughes
Fachhochschüle Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany

Ethan Hughes Fachhochschüle Osnabrück, Osnabrück, GermanyI was able to work at the Fachhochschüle Osnabrück in Germany for the summer of 2010 in Osnabrück, Germany. My job duties on a weekly basisincluded: pruning of hedges, planting of various herbaceous and woody ornamentals, weeding of the ornamental beds and removal of invasive plants in the gardens. Not only was this a great opportunity for an increase in my horticultural knowledge but it was a cultural experience of a lifetime and it is one that any person in this field would love to experience!

Ben McElrath
Austin Outdoor, Savannah, Georgia

Ben McElrath Austin Outdoor, Savannah, Georgia

My internship was a twelve-week program with a Yellowstone landscaping company called Austin Outdoor. My mentor for a majority of the summer was Grant Hawkins who was a very cool guy that answered any questions I had. Throughout my internship experience I took part in things such as grading, sod, irrigation, installation, client meetings, maintenance, fert/chem applications, and enhancements. It was really cool seeing how a large landscaping company like Austin Outdoor is ran. The majority of my time was spent with mow crews and irrigation. Being that the Savannah branch was a bit smaller than the other branches there was always a lot of work to do as we picked up more jobs. Overall I was very pleased with my internship experience and I really learned a lot.

Steven Meadows
Student Organic Farm, Clemson University

Steven Meadows Student Organic Farm, Clemson University

Internship at The Clemson Student Organic Vegetable FarmMy Internship has been a great work experience, full of good co-workers and a great boss.  I work under Shawn Jadrnicek, who is very easy to work under and is also a great teacher.  I have learned more under him this summer just working, than I thought possible.   I learned about organic/sustainable weed and pest management, and many facts about individual plants that are needed to successfully grow them.  The Clemson Student Organic Farm keeps around 3 acres of organic vegetables planted at all times.  We harvest in the mornings for our 63 person CSA, and then our afternoons are spent in weed and pest management, and planting more successions of vegetables.  I got a lot of experience using various tractor implements and walk behind tiller.  I also spend time filling orders for the online market (CAFÉ) that Shawn has allowed Liz Godwin and I to manage on our own.  This has given me a lot of insight on the business side of vegetable farming.  Working at the Student Organic farm has been a better experience than I could have ever asked for.

Matt Rosen
South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure to work at the South Carolina Botanical Gardens. The first thing that everyone should know is that the Garden staff and the people in charge are there to teach you and help you learn and grow as a person and I couldn’t ask for a better staff. With that said, the internship contains multiple different learning opportunities through the different sectors of work. One section is the Nursery that contains hundreds of different species and cultivars of plants. Some things you learn there are plant propagation, soil mixing, and Nursery irrigation maintenance. In addition, there is plenty of landscaping to be done throughout the gardens. Through this you learn proper landscape design as well as general landscape practices. Furthermore, there are projects that are spread around and completed throughout the gardens. This ranges from building new paths to making a floating island for the duck pond. I had a great experience this summer, and couldn’t ask for anything more from everyone who I met and helped me have a great summer and to that I say thank you for the opportunity to help me succeed.

Braden Roth
Burket Contractors, Greenville, SC

Braden Roth Burket Contractors, Greenville, SC

I have spent my summer in my home town of Greenville, SC working for Burket Contractors, a professional landscape maintenance company.  I was involved with all aspects of production including mowing, weed eating, edging, spraying for weeds, blowing, trimming bushes and pruning trees.  I worked for twelve weeks, learning every step of the way.  Burket Contractors had 48 accounts and with the hard work and dedication from crew members and owner, we were able to complete all 48 professionally every week.  The best part of my internship was earning my way to running my own truck by week 10.

Nate Ruben
South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson, SC

This summer I interned at the South Carolina Botanical Gardens.  My primary role was to work in the nursery, but I spent the rest of the time maintaining the gardens.  Inside the nursery, I gained experience playing many roles.  I learned to up-pot plants, mix soil, repair irrigation lines, set irrigation schedules, and even control fertilization rates for watering.  Towards the end of the internship, the nursery manager split sections of the nursery up amongst the three nursery employees.  My section consisted largely of full-sun, woody landscape plants, but I also maintain several varieties of grasses and edible fruits.  The highlight of my non-nursery work was repairing the brick pathways throughout the heritage gardens.  I learned that tree root systems can expand far beyond their home tree, which causes the bricks to pop up.  What I also found fun was creating a floating island of plants in the duck pond.  Fellow employees Xander Petroli, Matt Rosen and I spent two days collecting plants throughout the gardens’ natural ecosystems, planted them into special aquatic pots, and then set them into the floating island in the pond.  Overall, this has been an extremely positive experience.  I’ve learned a lot about horticulture, worked a full summer’s work, and made some wonderful connections with the rest of the staff.

Talena Stewart
The Reserve on Lake Keowee, Sunset, SC

Talena Stewart The Reserve on Lake Keowee, Sunset, SC

I spent my summer doing landscape maintenance with The Budd Group at The Reserve on Lake Keowee. I maintained a butterfly garden, waterfront or cart path, estates, cottages and the Village area. I performed tasks such as trimming with pruners as well as articulators, blowing walkways, water flower pots and beds, spray round up and sevin insect killer and various other tasks. My goal was to satisfy the home owners and other employees with how the property looked. I helped make it presentable to everyone. Our main transportation other than the work truck was a John Deer gator, so that was pretty fun. I worked with great and fun people that are easy to get along with and make the job better. This is a job that requires hard work but it is worth it because of the experience and things that you learn. My experience was very good, I really liked working with the other employees and learning the landscape maintenance field.

Jonathan Windham
Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Center 

Jonathan Windham Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Center This past summer, I had the pleasure of interning for Clemson University under Dr. Ksenija Gasic at the Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Center. This internship focused on evaluating peaches for qualities such as size, firmness, and acidity. During my internship, we evaluated fruit from over 100 hybrid peach trees and peaches brought from Titan Farms (Ridge Spring, SC). My responsibilities also included labeling trees, pruning, seed harvesting, and lab work. This internship exposed me to the basics of plant breeding and gave me an understanding of hybrid selection. I have an interest in genetics, so I valued the opportunity to learn more about the breeding process. I was pleased to have helped improved the peach experience for both the consumer and the industry.