All Hallows Guild sponsors two or three garden interns each summer for a double mission: their young and energetic work helps our staff during the intensive growing (and weeding) season, and they receive both practical experience at our gardens and education through field trips to local public gardens and at horticulture symposia.
This summer we welcomed three interns who, collectively and individually, have been of great benefit to our grounds. Nathan Wade, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a rising Junior at University of Delaware studying Environmental Science and Music. Alex Anthony, from Severn, Maryland, will enter his junior year at Iowa State University, and studies Horticulture and Chemistry. Dana de los Santos grew up near the cathedral and studies Environmental Science and Policy at University of Maryland, where she will be a Senior.
All three students have valued the practical exposure to plant identification and were especially pleased to be introduced to garden design, learning why plants are chosen for certain locations with different moisture, soil, and sunlight, and what plant care is all about. Blossom colors and blooming seasons are key elements in the cathedral gardens and our interns are becoming aware of their importance. Dana is happy to blend her theoretical background with gardening basics and learning about the challenges of an urban garden. All three have worked in the Beauvoir vegetable garden and would like to spend more time in the five-acre Olmsted Woods
The interns were assigned a pollinator project, to select plants and design an area to be especially friendly to pollinators. It must be low maintenance and planned to attract bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. They are actively collaborating on plant choices and layout and listed a number of plants they favor, including echinacea, red-twig dogwood, redbud, butterfly weed, hosta, Joe Pye weed, sea holly, and grasses. If their plan is approved, we could see it installed on the close to welcome our beneficial insects and do our bit for the planet.
We are so pleased to be able to support this cooperative and congenial group of interns and hope they return to college in the fall armed with new knowledge of gardens and plants and an understanding of the out-and-out hard work required to keep our urban landscape a haven of peace and beauty.