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This two-year, tuition-free program is offered every year to approximately eight individuals who have obtained at least a high school diploma and have one year of horticultural experience.
Students work in all horticultural areas of the garden and receive classroom instruction from Longwood staff and outside instructors. Graduates are sought by public gardens, commercial horticultural enterprises and estate gardens.
Professional Gardener Students (PGs) spend about half of their time in horticultural work rotations throughout the Gardens. Students work directly under the supervision of Longwood's expert staff through a series of ten different concentration areas.
Students enrolled in the Professional Gardener Program spend about half of their time in classes taught by Longwood staff and local experts who bring years of education, experience, knowledge and professional training to their courses. Students are also able to participate in occasional field learning activities, including field trips, lectures and/or self-guided study. Students must successfully complete all courses, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in order to graduate from the program.
Field trips permit behind-the-scenes visits to public display gardens and private estates as well as to nurseries, garden centers and greenhouses. These experiences emphasize plants, design, maintenance and business philosophy, and point out the diversity of the horticultural industry. In addition, students have access to Longwood’s 35,000-volume library, which provides extensive resource material.
Students receive a taxable biweekly stipend of $548.00 (approximately $14,255 annually).
While enrolled, students can live rent-free (a taxable benefit) on the grounds of the former estate of industrialist Pierre S. du Pont. The student houses are furnished and include kitchen utensils, dishes, laundry facilities, a computer with internet access, WI-FI, and nearby garden space. Students have their own bedrooms and share common living spaces. They are responsible for cooking, cleaning, landscape maintenance and personal supplies.
Upon completion of the program, students receive a diploma from Longwood Gardens. Since the program’s beginning in 1970, approximately 85% of all graduates have pursued careers in horticultural industries such as nurseries and garden centers, floriculture enterprises, park and grounds management, landscape contracting, residential and public garden management and self-employment.
Download the application (in Microsoft Word format).
The Selection Committee will review only completed applications and will interview up to 20 candidates. Interviews will take place in early September. The program begins in January and ends in December.
For more information and specific starting dates, contact Domestic & International Studies
at 610-388-5401 or e-mail EDU-Studies@longwoodgardens.org
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The Gardens are the perfect place to expand young guests' horizons with a variety of fun and innovative programs.
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Registration now open! Join horticulture professionals from around the globe as they converge to discuss current research and trialing techniques.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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