Project Team

Planning Team

Renee Byrd: Landscape Design Consultant

Renee's interest in design and nature began at a very young age in central Alabama, where she spent countless hours building forts in the woods behind her home. Her parents’ careers in landscape design and residential custom home construction inspired Renee to pursue a future that would similarly combine the fields of art, science, and design. She earned a B.S in Horticulture with a minor in Urban Forestry from Clemson University while running cross country and track for the Tigers, and continued her education at Clemson for a M.S. in Plant and Environmental Science, with a focus on sustainable landscape design. Renee then worked as a research associate at Clemson, teaching landscape design classes and working with the Cliffs Communities to design a public botanical garden for one of their properties. For the past 10 years, she has run her own business, Byrd Landscape Design, and now works full time designing residential landscapes and chasing her highly energetic three year old daughter through the fields behind their home in Pickens, SC. She looks forward to sharing her appreciation of the nature and background in art, landscape design, and construction with students from many disciplines at Clemson University.

Karen Hall: Native Plant Advisor / Consultant

Karen Hall grew up on 50 acres in the mountains of North Carolina. In this land that once belonged to Cherokee people, her grandmother tossed her outside to play and this was the impetus for a career tied to nature and culture. Karen earned her B.S. in Biology from Western Carolina University, M.S. in Botany and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Clemson University. Her dissertation work with Cherokee people focused on learning about their use of plants as medicine so that they might continue that aspect of traditional identity. Currently, Karen serves as the Director for the SC Master Naturalist program and state coordinator of the SC Master Gardener programs. She hopes her background will infuse inspiration from nature, joy, fun and little research-based thinking into both programs.

Adrienne Gerus: Client / Landscape Services Director

Adrienne grew up outside of Philadelphia and Erie, PA where she and her brother spent most of their childhood free time exploring neighboring woods and streams. She has been fascinated by plants and animals for as long as she can remember and caused her to pick a career in horticulture. Adrienne earned her B.S. in Agriculture from University of Kentucky and her Master of Agriculture (MAg) from Clemson University. She first worked for Greenville Technical College as a Landscape Superintendent and then moved to Landscape Superintendent and then Director of Landscape Services for Clemson (the first woman to ever hold that job!). She was environmental long before it was fashionable. Reducing inputs of water, fertilizer, pesticides, and maintenance have always been high on her agenda. She strives for a balance between natural and enhanced landscapes in Clemson’s park-like setting. What excites her about this job is seeing dirt patches transformed into lush gardens and seeing saplings turn into majestic trees. She is thankful for all of the learning opportunities that present themselves in her position and she is still learning from the good people she works with daily.

Cory Tanner

Cory is a horticulture extension agent for Greenville, Pickens, Oconee and Anderson Counties and Master Gardener coordinator for Greenville County. His responsibilities include assisting nursery growers and landscapers with their production and maintenance needs by providing educational programs and consultation services, managing the Master Gardener volunteer training program, providing home gardening advice, and writing horticultural columns and fact sheets. A life-long gardener, Cory earned a B.S. and an M.S. in horticulture from Clemson University. Prior to employment with Clemson Extension, he worked in the nursery trade, producing quality landscape trees and shrubs for Ray Bracken Nursery, Inc. Cory continues to garden in Easley, where he lives with his wife, Stephanie.

Ellen Vincent: Project Leader / Sustainable Landscape Instructor

Ellen grew up in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of New York State where she was immersed in art, architecture, and agriculture. Ellen earned her B.A. in American Culture  from SUNY New Paltz, M.S. in Agriculture/Horticulture from Northwest Missouri State, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Clemson University. Her dissertation work examined the therapeutic benefits of nature on health. Currently, Ellen serves as Environmental Landscape Specialist for extension in SC and teaches HORT 3080 Sustainable Landscape Garden Design; HORT 3090 Drawing laboratory; and HORT 4610 Advanced Landscape Design and other classes for the department of environmental horticulture at Clemson University.

Sarah White: Plant & Water Quality Advisor/Consultant

Sarah grew up on 60 acres in the foothills of South Carolina, where she first experienced and enjoyed the flowers, forests and streams that she now works to enhance and protect. Sarah earned her B.S. in Horticulture from Clemson University, M.S. in Horticultural Science from Virginia Tech, and her Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University. Her dissertation work assessed the use of constructed wetlands to cleanse nutrient contaminants from agricultural runoff. Sarah serves as the Nursery Extension Specialist for SC and her extension programs focus on utilizing ecologically based systems (constructed wetlands, floating wetlands, vegetated riparian buffers, rain gardens, etc.) to cleanse agricultural and stormwater runoff. She hopes to promote harnessing “plant power” to provide solutions for cleansing water for a healthy environment.

Designers

Whitney Blue Fraser: Garden Design

Whitney Blue is a senior in the Horticulture program at Clemson University. She discovered her love for plants in her high school AP Biology course her senior year where she learned binomial nomenclature and classification of common plants. She loved working on the design of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden with Suzie Lombardo; they had a similar vision and played off each other very well. The incorporation of native plants was important to them, they wanted a sustainable garden that included plants already adapted to the area. Whitney Blue and Suzie also wanted year round interest so they included varieties of blooms, textures, colors and foliage in order to achieve that goal. Whitney Blue hopes to continue working with small-scale landscape design after her graduation in May of 2013.

Allison Kelly: Garden Design / Installation

Allison Kelly is a horticulture major at Clemson University. Allison first became interested in horticulture through the master gardener program in Virginia. She would help neighbors and friends with their gardens while also designing and maintaining her own. Allison helped with the installation process in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden on Clemson campus and she said that her favorite part was the passersby who stopped and asked questions about plants. She was able to educate them on what was happening within the garden. Allison was previously a music teacher so she enjoys the educational aspects of the garden because education is her “comfort zone”. Along with music Allison also enjoys spending time with her family and taking care of her organic vegetable garden at home. Allison is not exactly sure what she wants to do with her future horticulture degree when she graduates but she is looking into landscape design or maybe working in the Botanical Garden where she can work with the plants and also educate others on sustainability and organics.

Suzie Lombardo: Garden Design

Suzie Lombardo graduated from Clemson University in December 2011 with a bachelor’s of science in Horticulture. She owns a floral design company called Statice which she started during her college career at Clemson. She now lives and does business in Greenville SC and hopes to continue expanding her business in the upstate area.

Tip Reburn: Garden Design

Tip Reburn is a forestry and horticulture student in Clemson's College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to study in college but suggests, something pulled him towards that path, perhaps because he liked sticks so much as a boy, or perhaps because he knew nothing about forestry and plants and I wanted to endeavor to learn something new. Basically, it was a wild risk that turned out very well. He is co-chairman of Clemson's Forestry Conclave team, a runner, a summer camp counselor of six years, plays the trumpet with gusto, writes poetry and stories, and likes to wander around in the woods without shoes on his feet

Installation & Maintenance

Ryan Anderson
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2018

Ryan Is a senior Turfgrass Management major from Richmond, Virginia. He developed an interest in plants at a young age when he would always want to help his parents with yardwork. His main tasks in the garden include weeding, pruning, and making sure the plants stay watered. Ryan’s favorite part about working in the garden is when he sees people enjoying the garden as they walk past. His future plans are to become a head groundskeeper in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, or for a college athletics program.

Alexis Anthony
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Alexis Anthony is a Horticulture major from Fort Mill, South Carolina. She first developed her love of plants when she was playing around her grandparent’s garden as a little girl. Her passion for gardening was translated through her work in the garden during every task she accomplished. From weeding to cutting back expired plant material, Alexis accomplished the tasks with a smile on her face. The aspect of this project that brought her the most joy was getting to educate the public on the important of sustainable garden practices. Alexis plans to continue working with plants at Augusta National.

Jack Bergeron
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2016

Jack is a sophomore in the Horticulture program with a business minor at Clemson University. He is from Old Saybrook, Connecticut. He helped his father set up a large vegetable and herb garden in the back of his family property when he was very young. This sparked his initial interest in Horticulture and gardens. His love for plants and the outdoors only grew from there. His favorite part about working in the Sustainable Garden was interacting with the students and faculty passing by. He loved explaining why they were working in the garden, and teaching them about some of the native plants if they were so interested. Another of his favorite parts about the garden work was seeing the changes the plants and landscape go through from fall to winter to spring. One of his favorite pastimes involves being out on the water fishing, wakeboarding or just boating around. He also enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling to new places. After graduating from Clemson University Jack plans to get involved with holistic medicine and travel the world.

Patrick Blakely
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2013

Patrick is a senior forestry major at Clemson University. Patrick first became interested in nature through time spent outdoors as a child. Patrick and his father went fishing often and sometimes they would explore the surrounding woods. Patrick enjoyed exploring and observing nature and trees. Patrick helped with the maintenance part of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden on the Clemson campus along with being in charge or surveying students about their opinions on the garden. Patrick’s favorite part about working in the garden was seeing everything return after it dies back in the winter. Patrick enjoys being outdoors whether it is hiking, backpacking, or fishing; he likes being immersed in nature so he can simply observe. Patrick hopes to start a career with a timber management organization, private not federal, after his graduation in May 2013.

Claire Bunes
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2019

My name is Claire Bunes, I am a Horticulture major in my final semester at Clemson and originally from Greenville, South Carolina. My interest in gardening began with my grandmothers, both of whom come from farming backgrounds and are very knowledgeable about plants despite having no technical or academic training in plant related fields. Paying attention to plants and growing a garden seemed like second nature to my grandmothers that they easily passed the love along to me as a child. My inspiration for growing food and ornamentals continued to grow while working in a community garden that I shared with my neighbors after moving to Connecticut, and further once I realized the high school in my new hometown offered a horticulture class. Still, I didn’t realize horticulture was a potential field of study until I was almost halfway through a degree in Anthropology and read about traditional farming practices used by Aztec civilizations. These cropping systems that I drew inspiration from involved chinampas which are raised beds built in floodplains out of dredged organic material from canal basins, and polycultural plantings using the three sisters: maize, beans/legumes, and squash.

I began work in the Sustainable Garden during the late summer months when the days were long, hot, and dry. Most of my tasks revolved around watering, pulling weeds, deadheading, and pruning back damaged plants. As the maintenance needs waned, I started focusing more of my time in the garden surveying passersby and talking with visitors about their experiences and perception of the space. This became about as educational as the hands-on gardening tasks because I learned what kinds of features stand out to people on campus, and what they are looking for in a landscape. Several conversations with those passing through the Sustainable Garden pointed to a curiosity about our goals and an interest in learning more about the environment surrounding us. This opportunity to interact with garden guests motivates me to continue considering landscapes everywhere I go, and to make mental notes about the features people appreciate most.

Following my graduation this month my new job will give me the opportunity to continue cultivating plants in tissue culture propagation. I’m excited to continue growing in this industry and exploring the diverse facets that the world of horticulture has to offer.

Jackson Burke
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Jackson is majoring in Landscape Architecture, grew up in Irmo, South Carolina and has been around the outdoors his entire life. Growing up around the rivers and mountains, he has always had an interest in plants and the landscape. Jackson weeded, trimmed, and conducted surveys around the Sustainable Garden for spring semester 2018. The most valuable thing he learned was the many applications that native plants are great for. Jackson plans on using this new knowledge of sustainable plant systems as he continues through his career in Landscape Architecture.

Guy Castles
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2014

Guy is a Horticulture student minoring in Business Management at Clemson University. He is from Columbia, South Carolina. Some of his hobbies include hunting, fishing, and other outdoor related activities. He first became interested in Horticulture when he started working on a piece of family property in 2008. From there he worked three years on a Forest Lake Club golf course, one summer for Hay Hill Services (a landscaping company), and he has been working for over a year at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. He does this work with a future goal of perhaps owning his own landscaping business.

Ashley Campbell
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080-007 Fall 2018

Ashley Campbell grew up on 140 acres of land in Sharon, South Carolina. This land was used to grow corn, clover, sorghum, apple trees, peach trees, blackberries, blueberries, and many other fruits and vegetables. The purpose of managing the land was to bring in wildlife to give animals and insects a place to call home. Ashley helped her father manage the land while growing up and she learned a lot about farming from the hands-on experience. Ashley earned her Associate Degree in Science from Tri-County Technical College, B.S in Agribusiness from Clemson University, and a minor in Horticulture from Clemson University. Ashley’s tasks in the sustainability garden were to keep the garden maintained by pruning plants, deadheading plants, mulching the soil, and pulling weeds. Ashley first found joy in working in the sustainability garden when she got approached by a professor in the Natural Resource department who thanked her for her work in the garden and he said, “I wish other areas on campus did something like this. This is awesome, what you do.” Ashley’s plans in the future are to own her own nursery and produce stand or store, in a town that has little to nowhere to shop for plants or produce that would be beneficial to the community.

Jonathan Chaney
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2017, Fall 2019

Jonathan Chaney is a horticulture major. He grew up on the coast of California on a wholesale nursery owned by his dad. Jonathan grew up around plants and started working with them when he was very young. In the Sustainable Garden Jonathan helped with the maintenance and research part of the landscape. He started out by pulling weeds and laying down mulch and moved into to having one-on-one interactions with people while conducting surveys on the effects of the landscape on people’s thoughts and feelings. Maintaining this garden helped him realize just how much work goes into proper garden maintenance and gave him a new respect for landscapers. Jonathan’s favorite part about maintaining the garden was being able to watch all the work put into the garden have a positive effect based on by-passers comments. After Jonathan graduates, he plans on going back home to work with his dad on their wholesale nursery.

Taylor Clark
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2017

Taylor is a senior horticulture major at Clemson University from Mt. Pleasant, SC. Her first interest in horticulture begin when with planting a home garden with her mom. Taylor’s favorite part of working in the Sustainable Garden is seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they walk by the garden and look at all the native plants. Her favorite activities include going to the beach, learning more about plants and exploring new wines. She has a passion for viticulture and hopes to open her own vineyard in the North Carolina Mountains.

Elizabeth Clarkin
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2013

Elizabeth is a senior architecture major and a horticulture minor at Clemson University. Elizabeth first became interested in architecture while traveling; she was fascinated by the buildings and how they differed in color, material, and size depending on location. Her interest in nature peaked while taking Horticulture 101, when she walked through the greenhouses and learned about the broad variety and diversity the field of horticulture has to offer. Elizabeth helped with the maintenance part of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden on the Clemson campus along with communications by conducting student interviews for the Website. Elizabeth’s favorite part of being in the garden was working outside, she works mostly inside during the week due to her class schedule so just being outside pruning the plants was a very enjoyable experience for her. She liked learning from the plants; this was one of her first experiences with actual garden maintenance. Elizabeth enjoys playing outdoor sports whether it is tennis, running, or swimming in the ocean as she likes to stay active. Elizabeth hopes to get an internship or job with a landscape design firm before moving on to graduate school when she graduates in May 2013.

Corbin Clemons
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2018

I am a Senior Landscape Architecture Major with a minor in Horticulture from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Growing up I have always been intrigued with nature, design, and plants which is why I decided go into the Landscape Architecture field as I felt that it connected those three elements. When first starting my degree here at Clemson, I wanted to design spaces, but I also wanted to know more about the plants that I would be putting into those spaces, which is what led me to seek out a Horticulture minor. While taking Horticulture classes, sustainable development was always something that stood out to me and was something I felt that I could never know enough about which is why I decided to become a part of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden. Through this experience, working independently and with a few other team members, I have had a hands-on experience in the landscape and felt so enriched with information by just connecting myself physically in the garden. Also, I was able to see what I could do personally while working in the garden to make it better through conducting surveys of people on campus by asking them the strengths and weaknesses of the garden. Not only has this experience showed me what native plants work best in a sustainable landscape, it has also given me intel on how I could incorporate sustainability in my future work as a Landscape Architect and for that, I am thankful for this wonderful experience.

Kendall Cochran
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2012

Kendall is a senior in horticulture and started working at the SC Botanical Garden as a temporary worker the summer before he started college. The following fall he entered Tricounty Technical College as an Electrical Engineering major but after that one summer at the Botanical Garden he knew he wanted to work outdoors. Kendall entered Clemson University as horticulture major and has worked at the Botanical Garden for six years. He appreciates the variety and challenges that exist at the Botanical Garden. The landscape changes every day and seeing the positive results of his work is rewarding. Kendall has learned a lot from working on this native garden and enjoyed seeing every step. He hopes to see this garden grow and benefit the landscape for many years to come.

Mike Crider
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Mike is a senior architecture major and horticulture minor at Clemson University. He grew up playing outside whether it was in the woods behind his house or soccer with his friends in Germantown, Maryland. Mike became interested in gardens when he helped his mom plant and take care of the flowers and bushes around his house back in Maryland. With Mike’s background in architecture and design, he was very interested in the sustainable garden and how it could benefit not only the surrounding architecture but the people who walk through it on a regular basis. Mike now tries to design buildings with the landscape in mind, by integrating the outdoors into his designs whenever possible. He benefitted and appreciated how multiple disciplines got to work and learn together when taking care of the garden. Mike plans to graduate in the spring of 2018 and stay in the Greenville area to pursue a career as an architect or landscape architect. He plans to go back to graduate school when the time is left to pursue a masters in architecture.

Andrew Crawford
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007
Spring 2019

Andrew is a sophomore from Mount Pleasant, SC majoring in Clemson’s horticulture program. Growing up he always expressed interest in plants by growing food crops and flowers around his home. In high school he went through the horticulture program with all of his teachers being Clemson horticulture graduates, who greatly influenced and interested him in the field. In the Sustainable Garden, Andrew’s tasks consist of weeding, mulching, pruning, and keeping the area neat and clean. He also gathered surveys from people passing by the garden to document how it can affect and influence others. The Sustainable Garden taught him the importance of pruning large plants as well as mulching an area as a low maintenance tactic to keep weeds under control. After graduation he plans to move to Beaufort and work as a landscape architect or get into the industrial hemp industry that has recently taken off.

Vernon Dennis
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007
Fall 2018

Vernon-Edward Dennis is a graduating Horticulture senior at Clemson University from Gadsden, a small town located near Columbia, South Carolina. During his tenure at Clemson, he has been a Resident Assistant, Horticulture Club member, Forestry and Environmental Conservation student worker, Tiger Band manager, and a consistent Creative Inquiry participant. Vernon has had the opportunity to intern for Coastal Bloomers in St. Simons Island, Georgia and The Greenery in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He is the youngest of four by 13 years and has been ultimately blessed to have lived around family for the majority of his life. Growing up, he worked on his uncle's farm helping to take care of horses, various other animals, and crop fields. These experiences have left him with a great appreciation and fascination for nature and wildlife. While working in the Clemson University Native Sustainable Garden, his duties consisted of garden maintenance and beautification, research-based surveying, and educating visitors on the overall appearance and functionality of the native plants in the garden as well as their impact on humans, wildlife and the general environment. Vernon has thoroughly enjoyed working in the garden and interacting with passersby. He has gained a greater appreciation for the native plants of South Carolina. After December graduation, Vernon will be working as a Project Manager for Phoenix Landscaping in Columbia, South Carolina.

Casey Dickerson
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2015

Casey is a senior Horticulture major from Iva, South Carolina. In the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden I maintained the plants so that they would be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, while still being good for the wildlife in the area. Also, through the use of in personal reference surveys I conducted research. Working in the garden showed me how native plants can benefit the environment. In the future I plan to pursue a career in either landscaping or nursery production. I hope to one day own my own company in one of these fields and use the knowledge I gained in the garden in my own company.

John Robert Dinkins
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2014

John is a rising senior Horticulture student at Clemson. Ever since he was small he valued visiting many different types of natural environments in SC and loved seeing things grow in their untouched settings. I’ve enjoyed working in the Clemson Sustainable Garden because of the emphasis that is placed on using native plants and teaching the public about the plants that are all around them. Working in this garden has helped him develop career goals towards garden interpretation and sustainable design. He sees himself using plants to educate and enhance people’s lives whether here in South Carolina or elsewhere after college.

Abbey Fesler
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2016

Abbey is a Sociology major from Charleston, SC. Abbey was drawn to the Sustainable Garden because it was a creative inquiry and allowed her the opportunity to explore her interests outside of her major/discipline. During her first semester in the garden, she worked in a team with two others and spent three hours in the garden each week. She and her team worked on weeding, applying compost and coarse mulch, dividing perennials, and learning techniques for professional garden maintenance. This semester was her second semester in the garden and she was really grateful to be able to take the course for a second time and to be able to work in the garden again. This semester she had the opportunity to train another student on how the garden works and what maintenance techniques she had learned from Dr. Vincent. Following graduation, Abbey will be working as a Teaching Fellow at Meeting Street Elementary at Brentwood, a Title 1 school in North Charleston, SC. Long-term, she would love to get her master’s in counseling or open a non-profit for under resourced youth in an urban area that specializes in building leadership and giving them skills to take into the real world.

Cy Gettliffe
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2019

Cy Gettliffe is a junior year horticulture major and a Clemson native. His hobbies include backpacking, building neo-tropic inspired bioactive vivariums, working with fellow froggers in the U.S. and South America toward the conservation of poison dart frog species, experimenting with LED plant lighting and hydroponics, and playing with his dogs. He recently changed majors from engineering to horticulture due to his concern for the environment and its sustainability. In the Spring semester of 2019, he worked in the Sustainable Demonstration Garden at Clemson University where his tasks included mulching, weeding, defining boundaries between plants, and surveying people to find ways to improve the gardens aesthetics. Cy surveyed passersby about the garden space and has learned that the garden holds value for people from all walks of life and provides enjoyment and tranquility to many.

Marissa Gigis
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2019

My name is Marissa Gigis and I am a senior landscape architecture major. I’ve lived in Charleston, SC my entire life and I truly believe that’s where my love for design and landscapes took root. Charleston is known for its historic gardens, plantations, and successful downtown. Being within this environment sparked my desire to contribute. Since enrolling in Clemson’s L.A. program, I have interned for two summers at HLA, Inc., a multidisciplinary, commercial firm and most recently, one summer at a high-end residential design firm, Carolina Landscape. These internships provided me hands on experience with install and design; Clemson’s Sustainable Landscape Garden has helped me cultivate these skills even further! Pruning, weeding, mulching, watering, and more helped me gain insight on what it takes to keep a garden beautiful. Being aware of each plants’ needs along with the instant gratification of cutting a plant back were my favorite things about maintaining the garden. I plan to return to Charleston upon receiving my bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. I hope to continue with residential design work as well as gain my licensure as an official landscape architect.

Kiana Gilchrist
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2016

Kiana is a Senior Agricultural Education major, Horticulture minor from Calhoun Falls, SC. Kiana found her love for plants in her high school FFA program, through assisting in building and maintaining the school greenhouse. After learning about gardening and greenhouses at school, she took her knowledge home with her where she helped her family create a backyard vegetable garden. Kiana helped with the installation, maintenance, and removal of the plants in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden at Clemson. She finds that her favorite part of working with the Sustainable Garden was getting to learn new techniques and being able to take those skills home to use in her container garden. Kiana enjoys bringing people and nature together, and making a positive impact in the lives of others, and because of the sustainable garden, she was able to do these things on a regular basis. After graduation, Kiana hopes to bring her agricultural skills and philanthropic desires overseas to better the lives of those in third world countries by helping to improve the food and fiber systems.

Alora Grimes
Garden Maintenance/Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2019

Alora Grimes a Horticulture major from Greenville, South Carolina. She developed an interest in plants and landscape maintenance when she was young. Her grandmother would always be planting tulips and she had a jungle of house plants on her screened in porch that would always make Alora feel safe and at peace. When she grew up and it was ready to plan for a career she would find herself walking around a nature park every day, and it dawned on her that her destiny was working with plants because they are so interesting and aesthetically pleasing.

Working in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden was such a pleasure because she got to work outside with plants for three hours a week! That is her dream job, so being able to do it for class credits was a lot of fun. She loved working in the dirt and being able to upkeep the look of the plants to make the garden look nice for all the people passing through. Talking to the people passing by was also fun because sometimes they would have questions and she could educate them about what the garden was and how it helps the environment around them.

Her future plan is to graduate Clemson this spring and find a job working in a botanical garden. She loves working with plants and educating people about everything they can do for the environment around us. She wants to look for a garden in the South Carolina region first, but eventually she wants to move out to Arizona to learn more about the native plants they have in their deserts.

Colby Hice
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2014

Colby is a senior horticulture student from Fort Mill, SC. He completed a summer internship with Shamrock Landscaping out of Fort Mill, SC, and intends to take an advanced internship this summer in Charlotte, NC with Schneider Tree Care. After graduation in December 2014 he plans to either pursue a career in tree and plant health, or landscape construction/installation.

Kathy Hollifield
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Summer 2015; HORT 4080_003 Summer 2016

Kathy is a senior horticulture major at Clemson University. She grew up helping her parents and grandparents care for their flower and vegetable gardens in Ohio. Kathy loves learning as much as she can about plants. She loves nature and finds working with plants to be very soothing. She performed weekly maintenance in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden two summers in a row. She applied mulch, weeded, picked up trash and watered (only when necessary).  She also collected plant tissue and submitted it to a lab for analysis. Kathy enjoyed educating passersby regarding the types of plants in the garden, finding out their garden preferences via anonymous surveys and listening to them describe the joy that the garden brought to their lives. This experience has taught her that caring for a public garden is quite different from caring for a private garden. Kathy works full-time at Greenville Technical College and hopes to bring much of what she has learned at Clemson University to her job.

Mikaela Holt
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2016

Mikaela is a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management with minors in Forestry and Horticulture. Her hometown is Woburn, Massachusetts. The summer after her first year of college, she was hired to do landscape maintenance full-time on a college campus in New Mexico. This is where she discovered her passion for working with plants and maintaining an attractive landscape for others to enjoy. This is what sparked her interest in the gardens. What she likes most about the sustainable garden work is doing her part to make this green space beautiful through weeding, mulching and pruning. She claims it is rewarding to see the outcome of her work in the garden. Her favorite activities in life include hiking, camping, visiting botanical gardens, doing volunteer work for others, painting, sewing, baking, yoga, biking and taking care of my dog. Upon graduation in May, she plans to move back to New Mexico and resume her job doing landscape maintenance for the college there. While working out there, she will continue to pursue a career in natural resource management or in landscaping within the state of New Mexico.

Dalton Holzheimer
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2016

Dalton is a Horticulture major and Urban Forestry minor from Gilbert, South Carolina. He was first exposed to gardening by his grandfather when he was eight years old. They had a vegetable garden and grew annuals in pots to sell at the local flea markets and plant sales. His interest in horticulture has grown dramatically since then. What he likes most about the Sustainable Garden work is that he has the freedom to work in the garden as well as interact with people that are passing by. The tasks he performed in the garden included weeding, manure incorporation, mulching, and planting. He contributed to research by gathering people’s opinions on the garden through surveys. His favorite activities in life are hunting, fishing, boating, along with anything to do with the outdoors. His future plans in life are to climb the ladder of a large commercial landscape operation and become a branch manager one day.

Phil Huff
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2015

Phil is a senior horticulture major at Clemson University. Phil first became interested in horticulture while spending time in his grandmother’s home garden as a child. He would help his grandmother and family with their gardens while also beginning to start and maintain a garden of his own. Phil helped with the maintenance process (as well as plant installation/removal) in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden on Clemson campus and says that his favorite part of the process is engaging with passersby who were passing through the garden while en route to their daily activities. He was able to inform them on what was happening within the garden, both aesthetically and functionally. Phil was pleased to finally see real world application of the sustainable techniques he had learned throughout his studies at Clemson University. Phil is moving to Washington State in order to pursue a possible career in the hops breeding/quality control industry, among other endeavors. Phil will undoubtedly continue to learn, and implement the various sustainable methods that he has learned while at Clemson.

Jonathan Jones
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2019

Jonathan is a junior turfgrass management major from Anderson, South Carolina. His grandfather sparked his interest in gardening at a very young age by planting a vegetable garden. His main tasks in the Sustainable Garden included weed pulling, mulching, and pruning. His favorite part about working in the garden was creating a sustainable landscape to be enjoyed by fellow students and setting an example that can be carried on throughout the careers and home landscapes of others. His plans after college are to find a management position at a golf course or sports complex.

Jelsie Kerr
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2017

Jelsie is a senior from Walhalla, SC. She is studying Environmental and Natural Resources with a concentration in Conservation Biology. After taking a plant taxonomy class, she became interested in working with and learning more about plants. Her favorite part of working in the Sustainable Garden is having the opportunity to bring life into the garden she walks by on the way to class everyday. Outside of school, she loves hiking, kayaking, and spending time with friends. After graduation, she plans to gain experience working in the environmental field before attending graduate school.

Christopher Lerew
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2014

Chris is a freshman horticulture major at Clemson University. He has been involved with the maintenance of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden. Some of the tasks he has taken part in are soil testing, insect identification, disease management, and weeding and pruning. His passion for loving to work outdoors comes from growing up and working on his family’s orchards in the fruit belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania. He finds caring for the garden to be relaxing and a reminder of his home. His favorite part in working in the garden has been watching the different stages of growth. He has also met many new interesting people in the survey collection task assigned to him. He especially enjoys hearing their opinions and comments. After graduation, he hopes to return to his family’s orchard to utilize all the knowledge about diseases, insects, sustainability, and plant maintenance that he has learned from working in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden.

Jeremy Loadholdt
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2014

Jeremy is a senior Horticulture major at Clemson University. His love for nature and the outdoors was learned from his grandfather. He has been working in the landscape profession since before he could drive. He enjoys the before and after aesthetics of the enhancement jobs he works on. Seeing the client happy and satisfied always makes the hard work worthwhile for him. Working on the sustainable garden his senior year gave him the opportunity to talk to several people about what the garden was trying to show. He also enjoyed being able to leave a footprint on campus before he leaves. Jeremy has accepted a job back in his home town in Columbia, South Carolina, where he is going to run the pesticide and maintenance divisions for an expanding landscape company.

Inman Love
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2014

Inman is a senior horticulture major at Clemson University from Gaffney SC. His duties in the sustainable garden were to maintain the garden, keeping it free of debris, weeds, and trash. He frequently dead headed the various flowers in the garden, but made sure to leave as many of the seeds as possible for the various birds and animals which consume them as food. He also watered the garden only when needed in times of extreme heat and dry days. He conducted surveys which allowed him to see how students, faculty and staff perceived the sustainable garden. While working in the sustainable garden, he learned many aspects of sustainability such as weed management, watering and selective pruning. What changed for him was his perception of a sustainable landscape. Before working in the sustainable garden, he perceived many sustainable landscapes as being messy or un-kept. Now, he embraces the natural look of sustainable landscapes, and is truly appreciative of the natural beauty sustainability exudes. In the future, he plans to work in the landscape design and maintenance industry, and hopes to one day own his own landscape design and maintenance company. When working for another company or himself, he will always look back to the knowledge acquired while working in the sustainable garden, and implement that knowledge in his future career.

Madison MacInnis
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2017

Madison is a senior Horticulture student at Clemson University. He is from Gilbert, SC. Madison’s interest for nature and plants began in high school where he spent most of his time camping and being outside with his friends. Madison grows perennials with his older brother and works at Head-Lee Nursery when he is not in school. In the Sustainable Garden, he spent his time caring for the plants and conducting surveys. His favorite part of working in the garden was being able to talk to people walking by and hearing what they thought of the garden, as this was his first time being part of a public garden. After graduation, he hopes to start his own nursery business and will keep the ideas of sustainability close with him throughout his career.

Kerrie McCaffrey
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2019

Kerrie is a Horticulture major from East Hampton, New York. She first became interested in plants when she was younger and helped her family work in their garden and visited plant shops. Kerrie did daily maintenance tasks like weeding, pruning, mulching, and watering in the Sustainable Garden, as well as conducting surveys and interacting with passersby. Kerrie’s favorite part about working in the garden was getting to talk to people, answer their questions and see their reactions to the garden. In the future, she hopes to graduate and get a job in a public garden and educate more people on sustainability and horticulture.

Ben McElrath
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_006 Spring 2014

Ben is a senior Horticulture student at Clemson University. He has always had a love for being outdoors and working in the landscaping industry. Since his tenth grade year in high school he has been employed at a Carolina Beautiful Landscaping in Clinton, SC. So needless to say, landscaping is pretty much all he knows, and for the most part, all he wants to do. There is absolutely nothing about the entire landscape installation process that he doesn’t like, which is why he is so certain that he is following the left career path. His favorite part about working in the garden was when he got to install plants. In his free time he really enjoys hanging out with friends, hunting, and playing ice hockey. Basically anything that can keep him moving and active is what makes him happy. When finally finished with his degree at Clemson University he hopes to move back and take over Carolina Beautiful Landscaping.

Kieran McKinney
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2019

Kieran is a Horticulture major, minoring in Art. He grew up on the east coast before finally settling in Beaufort, SC at the age of 18. Kieran has been interested in plants for as long as he can remember because they are beautiful, and he is a lover of all things beautiful and natural. He worked in the Sustainable Garden helping educate passersby on the environmental and maintenance benefits of a sustainable garden. He also tended to the garden by pulling weeds, mulching and pruning, as well as taking surveys so the garden can be improved upon. His future plans include designing landscapes and working on city sustainability through artful plant design.

Klaire McLane
Garden Maintenance/ Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subject Behavioral Research
HORT 4080 Fall 2018

My name is Klaire McLane. I am from Columbia, South Carolina and I am majoring in Landscape Architecture and minoring in Horticulture. In high school, I got my first job working in a greenhouse called Seven Oaks Plant Shop. After working for a year, I decided I wanted to go into the green industry. Working in the garden was such a pleasure, it is so peaceful to have a class to escape to gardening. While working in the garden I got to pull invasive weeds, prune back herbaceous plants, conduct surveys, put out mulch and much more! Working in the garden helped me realize how much people actually enjoy gardens and nature. While working in the garden random people would tell me the garden looked good and would ask for some information. My future plans are to become a landscape architect and focus specifically in variation of plants.

Trent Miller
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2014

Trent is a senior in Horticulture. He grew up exploring the woods around his hometowns of Lexington, SC and Okatie, SC. He grew up being taught to love plants, nature, and design. Working in the Sustainable Garden really brought all of those things together and was a great learning experience. He spent much time working in the garden, watching the plant and animal relationships, watching and understanding the growth cycles of the plants, and investigating what roles they play in nature. Working in the garden has allowed him to understand the delicate balance between the modern human world and nature, and it has shown him that the landscape is truly the interface between these two seemingly opposite things. It has also shown him that it is necessary to think outside of the box and to have an open mind to effectively manage the interactions between the natural and developed worlds. He hopes to use this understanding in his future work in either graduate school, professional work, or both. He will take his knowledge of these human/nature interactions and implement them to have a positive effect in both the human and natural worlds.

T.J. Mings
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2015

T. J. is a senior horticulture major from Spartanburg, SC. He performed weekly maintenance in the sustainable garden to ensure a very high standard that would be pleasing to anybody passing by through the garden. He weeded weekly and pruned in the late winter/early spring and helped apply mulch at various times throughout the semester. He took some soil samples to test for organic matter and available nutrients in the soil so that we knew what was readily available for the plants when we were ready to start planting. He also surveyed people to collect data on how they viewed the sustainable garden. This experience changed my views on how valuable gardens can be to an environment and how much it can benefit human health by creating a serene environment for people to just relax. After graduation he plans to work for Austin Outdoor as an account manager with future hopes of becoming a branch manager.

Ryan Ponder
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Summer 2018

My name is Ryan Ponder and I am majoring in Turfgrass Management. I am from Charleston, South Carolina which is where I developed my interest in gardening and plants in general. I have always grown plants in recycled containers then transplanted them to small gardens around my parents’ house. I started doing that at a very young age, around the time of third grade. In the Sustainable Garden on campus my responsibilities were to maintain the overall health of the existing plants and to continuously perform weed control. I also would help to educate people that were interested in a specific plant or the entire garden in general. Most of my days were spent weeding the garden and surveying people who would walk by. Some other tasks I performed were pruning and planting new plants. This experience has really opened my eyes to what it takes to upkeep a large scale plant garden. I really enjoyed being able to learn how to balance the health, aesthetics, and educational purposes of the garden. In my future I plan on going into the golf course or baseball industry and being a superintendent.

Paulina Peña
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2015

Paulina is a senior horticulture major at Clemson University from Greenville,SC. Paulina’s interest in gardens began when she was very young. Paulina has always had a strong passion for the outdoors, and gardening is way she gets to get closer to the environment. Paulina helped with the maintenance part of the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden, as well as research by conducting in-person landscape preference surveys. Paulina learned how to properly maintain a garden, lay mulch, conduct surveys, conduct a soil test, and about the plants in the garden. Maintaining this garden changed my appreciation towards the gardens and landscapes on Clemson campus. There is much more work that goes into these gardens than one would think. It made her appreciate the work and effort that goes into these gardens so much more! Paulina’s favorite part about the sustainable garden work was being able to be out in the garden taking care of the plants and getting to learn about them. Paulina spends the majority of her time outdoors. She is a competitive rock climber, surfs, snowboards, swims and loves to hike. Her main passion is photography. Paulina will be going to the Rocky Mountain School of Photography when she graduates. One day she hopes to create her own herbal tea company and go into herbal medicine.

Logan Shelton
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
Hort 4080 Summer 2019

Logan Shelton is a Senior Turfgrass Management major from Chapin, South Carolina. He first developed a love for plants at a very young age when he would visit his grandparents and help his grandmother in her home garden. Logan’s main tasks in the garden consisted of pruning, weeding, mulching, and applying adequate water to the plants. His favorite part about working in the garden were his interactions with people, giving him the opportunity to educate them on the native plants and sustainability in the garden. Logan plans to continue working with plants either as a full-time profession or a hobby at his own home.

Caroline Sherbert
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Excerpts from Webpage essay assignment: This Creative Inquiry is really quite valuable because it brings together a really well-rounded, diverse collection of students from many different majors. All of us are attending Clemson University, but we aren’t all learning the same ideas, concepts, and principles. I think interdisciplinary CI groups, quite frankly, create better results than CI’s of primarily one major, especially in regard to a sustainable future because there is no one single answer or approach to the problem of sustainability.

In the future, I can definitely envision myself working in interdisciplinary groups because I love being exposed to new ideas. Additionally, this project (and a previous landscapes and health course) has made me more inspired than ever before in deciding to learn more in depth about the relationship between human health and the environment.

Justin Shirley
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2015

Justin is a senior from Pendleton, SC, majoring in Horticulture. He has been performing landscape installation for 18 years with Green World Inc., a company his father started in 1979. He also did a six year tour in the United States Coast Guard before coming back to school at Clemson University. He grew up enjoying working outdoors and creating new landscapes with his father. While working in the sustainable garden, he conducted surveys on how other people viewed the garden, and he maintained the plants in the garden. He learned from conducting surveys just how much a flower or how neat and clean a garden looks can help put a smile on someone's face as well as how valuable these gardens are for human health. After graduation, he plans on continuing to work and take over the family business of Green World Inc. and continue to expand the business.

Wesley Skidmore
Garden Maintenance/ Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Wesley is from Columbia, South Carolina and is a Communications major with French and Sustainability minors. While her history with plants is limited, she has always had an interest in learning how to cultivate and maintain plants of all types. In the Sustainable Garden, Wesley mostly weeded and removed dead plant material. When the garden began to bloom in the warmer weeks, she also conducted surveys of passing students and faculty to gauge their attitudes toward the native plants. In this garden, she gained valuable hands on experience with native plants and did constructive work in augmenting her plant knowledge base. These skills will help in her hopeful future endeavors working in forestry and conservation, ideally in state or national parks.

Chris Smith
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2015

Chris is a senior from Pelion, South Carolina and a horticulture major at Clemson University. Chris knew he wanted to be in Horticulture working with plants ever since high school. He was drawn to landscaping because he loves being outside and wants to share beautiful landscapes with everyone. While working at the sustainable garden, I worked in maintenance and Installation. He learned many different things about the Sustainable Garden including which plants work well in the garden, how to apply mulch, and how to conduct anonymous surveys to be used for data. Since working in the garden his view on sustainability has been changed. He now plans to incorporate sustainability into his future career. He sees himself working as a landscape designer for a company that believes in sustainability.

Alex Smolka
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2012

Alex is a senior at Clemson University, his major is biological science and his minor is horticulture. Alex really enjoys being outside and all that the outdoors has to offer including hiking, camping, and the plants. Alex said that “the outdoors fits his personality”, he enjoys examining plants in their natural environment instead of in a lab. Alex was involved with the garden installation process and his favorite part of participating in the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden was the interaction with people and talking about the plants. He enjoyed when someone would ask him a question because it not only offered a break in the work but it also allowed him to teach people about plants. Alex is on the rock climbing and sailing teams at Clemson and almost all of his hobbies involve being outside. Alex holds strong interests in plant breeding and research and he worked in the USDA vegetable lab during the past three summers. He is graduating in May and just accepted a post-graduate position with Amy’s Kitchen, an organic foods company based in California who is moving into the southeast production market.

Talena Stewart
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2014

Talena is a horticulture senior at Clemson University. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio and moved to South Carolina in 1999. She first became interested in plants in high school in her agriculture education course. Talena was heavily involved in agricultural competitions through her school's FFA (Future Farmer of America) chapter. After her first competition in floriculture she began working for a local greenhouse that expanded her love of plants. As she worked her way into college, she experienced landscape maintenance through an internship working in a gated community. Talena eventually became employed at the South Carolina Botanical Garden working as a nursery assistant. She has used her skills that she has learned in her past and current employment to successfully help maintain the Sustainable Demonstration Garden. Some of her duties included weeding, pruning, taking soils samples to be sent off to a lab and blowing the leaves around the sustainable garden to prevent hazardous situations. During her time maintaining the Sustainable Demonstration Garden, she has learned that many people love having an aesthetically pleasing, vegetative area to sit around and gaze upon as they are walking to and from their destinations. She has also learned that people are curious about how to maintain gardens and where to even start. It was a great experience to be able to explain and show people just how simple it is to have a beautiful sustainable garden of their own. She loves to teach her fellow students and colleagues so she is interesting in working as an Extension Agent at a University to teach the public more about sustainable practices. Talena is also interested in working for the City of Greenville, as they work with the newest sustainable practices and have a wonderful working environment.

Jennifer Strickland
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2017

Jennifer is a senior horticulture major from Charleston, SC. Jennifer has always been interested in plants ever since she was a child helping her mother in the garden. Since high school it has been her dream to design landscapes for the public. What Jennifer enjoyed most about her experience in the Sustainable Garden was being able to educate people walking by who were curious about the plants and the design. She loved knowing and understanding why these plants are sustainable and why they belong in the garden. Jennifer will receive her bachelor’s degree in horticulture with a minor in wildlife and fisheries biology and plans to master in agricultural education. Jennifer enjoys spending her free time outside and hopes to use her knowledge and love of plants and animals to design and maintain animal enclosures in the future to educate the public of their native habitats.

Mary Vargo
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2017

Mary Vargo is from Piedmont, SC where she was born and raised. She is currently a Horticulture major with a Biology minor at Clemson University and is set to graduate in May 2018. She has always been a gardener ever since her mom would catch her eating worms when she was a baby and old enough to crawl around the garden by herself. She grew up learning how to garden from her mother, an accomplished gardener herself; and how tend to vegetables and flowers to get the best yield possible. When she was old enough (around 12 years old) her mother let her take the reins in planning, designing, and planting and tending to the garden all by herself. She was proud of the zucchini that grew in her garden that would make it into her mom’s delicious zucchini bread, and the tomatoes that her dad used as the perfect topping on grilled out hamburgers on hot summer nights. The flowers on the kitchen table were the same ones she planted from seed and watched them progress into the beautiful display that everyone who saw them marveled at. She has always taken pride in her work, and enjoyed sharing her harvest with others.

Making the transition from home gardening to a student run sustainable landscape garden, was quite the learning experience! Here, she learned how to take soil samples and conduct research surveys that would better the experience of future visitors to the garden and enhance the feeling of safety and well-being. Mary’s favorite moments and experiences while working in the garden is how easily integrated sustainable techniques can be applied while gardening. She intends to practice these techniques and implement these in her own future gardens to come. After graduation, Mary has accepted a post grad internship at Metrolina Greenhouses in Charlotte, NC. She is excited about this opportunity where she can learn how a big scale greenhouse performs to the industry’s highest standards.

Rob Wells
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2015

Rob is a senior architecture major and horticulture minor at Clemson University. He grew up running through the woods of Raleigh, North Carolina. An Eagle Scout, he always loved the outdoors- hiking, fishing, camping, and anything else outdoors was what he would be doing any given weekend growing up. With a background in design, Rob was very interested in the layout of the sustainable garden and how people perceived the design of the area. Rob learned how to conduct surveys on this subject as well as how to maintain the garden, how to decide if plants were working well or not in the garden, and acquired general information about plants in the garden. Through working in the garden, Rob gained an appreciation for the communication needed between the different groups associated with a project. The design team, installation team, and maintenance teams all need to work together for a project to be successful. That is something Rob plans to take note of and remember in his career with Primus Builders, located in Atlanta, Georgia, after his graduation in the spring of 2016.

Douglas S Walker
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2020

Douglas Walker is a Horticulture major from Lancaster, South Carolina. He first developed his interest in gardens, landscapes and plants by working for his father’s landscape business. In the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden, he carried out many different tasks which included pulling out weeds, cutting back dead plant material, and interacting with students or faculty that passed by. His favorite part of working in the garden was how changes to the landscape affected the moods of the people that passed by. Douglas plans to eventually start his own landscape business and greenhouse nursery.

Tyler Walker
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Tyler Walker is a landscape architecture major minoring in horticulture. He was raised just outside of Columbia in Lexington, South Carolina, where he fell in love with the outdoors through his father’s shared appreciation for the landscape and scouting. In the garden, Tyler helped with weekly maintenance tasks that shaped the appearance of the garden throughout the spring season. He enjoyed observing which plants fell out of appearance as others began to sprout and flower, and hopes to use this knowledge when designing public or private landscapes and spaces with year round interactivity.

Blake Ware
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2018

Blake is a senior turfgrass major who is originally from Winston-Salem, NC. He realized his love for turf from plant biology courses and playing golf growing up. Working for three years at The Walker Course at Clemson University as well as completing two internships at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Quail Hollow Club helped Blake realize that golf course maintenance was his calling in the turf industry. He enjoys working in the sustainable garden because it allows him to get hands-on experience and experience working with other students. His favorite thing about working in the garden is observing it outside of class and seeing fellow classmates enjoy the garden. During his free time, Blake enjoys golfing and relaxing with friends. Blake will graduate from Clemson in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Turfgrass. After graduation, Blake has accepted a job working on the Green and Grounds staff at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC with the ultimate goal of becoming a golf course superintendent.

Angel Werth
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Fall 2019

Angel is a senior horticulture and Spanish dual degree student from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her interest in gardening began when she helped my grandmothers in their respective gardens as a child. When it came time to choose a major, she realized that she always felt at peace when surrounded by plants, and though she had a lot to learn, the idea excited her. Her classes and internships since have only served to increase her fascination for plants and gardens.

At the beginning of the semester there were a few plants suffering from pests or diseases, so she helped cut those back. Additionally, it was very hot and dry, so watering was a frequent task. Later in the semester, the focus turned to weeding and pruning as flowers finished for the season. Throughout the semester, she also conducted surveys of passersby, to determine their opinions of the garden and receive feedback. Working in the garden was always a soothingly tranquil spot in her otherwise hectic weeks, but speaking with one staff member who told Angel she comes out there for a break when work got stressful made her realize that it was a source of peace for others too. That conversation made her feel connected to the others who work in the garden and those who come visit it, and it was probably her greatest take away. However, it’s also worth noting that she greatly enjoyed observing the wildlife (mostly insects but also other small animals like lizards, and once a cat) that lived in or visited the garden.

This experience fits nicely with her career goals; after graduation, she’d like to work in a botanic garden, with the eventual goal of directing one. Her experiences at Clemson, including this one, have only continued to encourage this goal.

Alex Williams
Garden Maintenance/Survey Research
CITI Certified in Human Subjects Behavioral Research
HORT 4080_007 Spring 2015, Spring 2018

Alex is a junior landscape architecture major with a minor in horticulture from Anderson South Carolina. Alex first became interested in gardening when he was young and helped his grandparents with their vegetable garden. His love for the outdoors and interest in design led him to landscape an area at his church for his Eagle Scout project and his interest in design and landscaping have grown immensely since. What Alex enjoyed most about his experience with the sustainable garden was being able to see how native plants can be used as practical, aesthetically pleasing alternatives to other more commonly used landscape plants. Alex enjoys being outside whenever possible, getting his hands dirty and watching things grow. Alex plans to work for a multidisciplinary firm designing public spaces that bring out the best in people. He is also considering seminary for post graduate education and working with an earth care ministry.

His second time taking the creative inquiry he enjoyed being back in the garden and working with others to accomplish goals and continue the work of the sustainable garden.