Mallory Smith, Grounds & Horticulture Intern Summer 2012

Grounds & Horticulture Intern Summer 2012

I feel very fortunate to have had an internship at Betty Ford Gardens this past summer. I first gained a true appreciation for alpine plants and rock gardening from a previous internship at Denver Botanic Gardens in 2010. Since then I had been eager to return to Colorado. Naturally, I was ecstatic when I was invited to work in Vail for the summer.

During my time at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, I was able to further my knowledge of alpine plants and the special microclimates in which they thrive, and continue to grow my skills as a horticulturist. I really enjoyed assisting in designing new garden areas and having creative freedom in placing plants. One of my favorite projects was working with fellow intern Manuela to place collected Argentinean plants that she helped identify in the International Crevice Garden. I also took care to ensure that visitors gained the most of the gardens by answering questions and sharing unique plant facts.

Beyond the mountains and native flora, what made my time in Vail most special were the incredible people that I had the privilege of working with. The staff and volunteers I met and grew close with this past summer are some of the warmest people I have ever met. We were able to have a great time while accomplishing tasks greater than we had originally planned. I am forever thankful for such a wonderful experience.

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