United States-bound Pippa Lucas at work at Chatsford
Retirement Village, in Mosgiel. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
A Mosgiel gardener is pulling roots for an adventure in
the United States.
Dunedin Botanic Garden amenity horticulture graduate Pippa
Lucas has won a nine-month placement at Longwood Gardens, in
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
''I'm very excited. I've been passionate about plants and
horticulture since I was a kid. I grew up on a farm in
Patearoa,'' Miss Lucas (22), who works full-time at Chatsford
Retirement Village, said.
''I found out about the international internship in June,
when I got an email in the middle of the night on my
cellphone. I didn't sleep for the rest of the night.''
The internship includes free accommodation, and Miss Lucas
expected it would be a steep learning curve.
''I don't think the plants will be much different to here,
but they do things on a much bigger scale over there.
"They have a lot of events and the garden is more than 1000
Dunedin Botanic Garden collections supervisor Barbara Wheeler
said Dunedin had a long tradition of training
''The garden has had an apprenticeship going since the late
"We currently have nine apprentices doing a three-year
"It's pretty full-on, because it's a 40-hour week and
part-time study,'' she said.
Apprentices learned every aspect of gardening, from pruning,
mulching and managing the plant collection, to record-keeping
and garden design.
''It's always been popular. It's based outside, which a lot
of people like, and you get stuck in and get your hands
dirty. It's also very creative.''
Miss Lucas leaves on August 28.