This Horticulturist

Planting the Seed

I’ve always loved nature. I’ve always loved plants, dirt, and especially moving water. I loved running through my mom’s hosta’s and popping the heads of any flowers that were in the Asteraceae family (of course I didn’t know that then, but the joy received was similar to popping the head of a dandelion. Admit it. You’ve popped the head off a flower before. And besides, I didn’t say I was proud of it! :D) The part I find most amusing about my evil early adventures in flower destruction is that now that I’m ‘all grown up’ I don’t care all that much about the flowers themselves; instead I love love love the textures and intricacies of foliage. My favorite plants are typically tree’s, woody shrubs, and other foliage focused organisms like Agave.

(Although my mother lovingly created this page for her scrapbook as a way to benchmark my foray into the wonderful world of horticulture, my innocent yet mischievous grin and proven childhood track record give proof that the mum I’m holding doesn’t stand a chance!)

I was also scarred horticulturally as a child. In some ways I think I can thank the experience for the clarity it provided when choosing a career path (a path chosen at age 12 – I told everyone I wanted to be an Ornamental Horticulturalist while all my friends wanted to be nurses…) I love my dear mother, I do. But I must share this scaring annual event with you. My childhood was spent in Upstate NY, where we had about 5 glorious acres of land. It was on a hill and was primarily all a woodland area (LOVE). Between the house and the road there was a lovely stand of tree’s (probably almost 100). It was a beautiful space, full of native undergrowth plants as well as many spring bulbs my mother bought every year (from my school fundraising :D). Lots of moles ate the bulbs though and when I was reaching early teen age she began to get discouraged because all the money was going to waste.

So one day, she drove down to a craft store to examine the silk floral options. (Can you sense where this disaster is going now?) Yes… my mother, the one who I am a spawn of, would stick clumps of silk bulb flowers out in that wooded area every spring. Its probably still a mystery to our neighbors how the Pack residence was able to get their tulips to bloom a full month before they even could spot a bud on their own crocuses.

(evil silk flowers….)

So I suppose I’m out to save my family, horticulturally speaking. They need it…

horticulture by heart

(Me… hugging a tree at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Plenty of Water and Sunlight

So who am I now? Well, I’m still working on that. I’ve had many opportunities that have shaped my interests and my abilities, but I still feel I have a lot of growing to do. Thankfully I’ve been given those opportunities to continue to grow. After I graduated with a Bachelors of Technology in Horticulture from Andrews University, I went on to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for a seasonal internship with the Public Programs and Curatorial Support Systems Department. When I returned from glorious England I took a job with Plant Specialists, a company serving the lucky roof top and terrace owners in Manhattan, as a Landscape Designer and project manager. Over the last year, I’ve been participating in my current opportunity; an internship focused on creating a web based interactive collections display application at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. What does the future hold? I’m excited to say that I was accepted into the Longwood Graduate Program through the University of Delaware for the Class of 2012. So there’s a lot more work ahead, but more importantly, lots of learning headed my way! :)

(Making a tree topper for the 2009 Longwood Christmas Extravaganza)

(Caught with my camera!)


3 Responses to This Horticulturist

  1. Barnabas says:

    Hey Aubree! I saw your post on the LGP Blog and found your own… Just wanted to say I think it’s great! See you around.

  2. Carolyn Stanko says:

    I am putting together an informational sign to highlight some of the native species that live on campus. I saw your Ilex verticillata picture on one of your blog pages. Would you consider providing permission for me to use that picture as a small part of the sign? The sign has a number of species on it with small pictures so viewers can try to spot the plants. It is for a school and no profit of any sort will be gained from it. It is simply to educate the students on campus. Thank you for your consideration.

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    Of course! Please feel free to use the Ilex verticillata for any signage you’d like. Thank you for asking! ~Aubree Cherie

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