The Buzz

Summer Internship by Anna Armour


My first summer at the Memphis Botanic Garden is coming to a fast close! My name is Anna and I am a horticulture intern from Mississippi State University.  My major is in environmental science with a minor in horticulture. I have been exploring the grounds of MBG since childhood. I credit the Garden with sparking my interest in plants and learning how to care for them. When I was told to find an internship, MBG was the first place I wanted to apply. I was so elated when I was offered the position and am very thankful for the Little Garden Club sponsoring my internship. This summer I have been working in My Big Backyard primarily and have taken on a few projects to bring the area to its fullest potential. 

My Big Backyard is the most playful and hands on garden at MBG. That being said, I can have a lot of fun with my projects. I have completed two projects this summer and am currently finishing my third and largest project. At the start of summer, I created a pizza garden bed. The purpose of the bed is to show kids how many ingredients on a pizza come from the ground and how they can grow these ingredients at home. The pizza is located in the picnic area of My Big Backyard. I enjoyed putting together this bed and have seen many children stop to smell and look at the plants. 

The second project I completed was potting six large hanging baskets. This project has been the most fun for me. When I was told about the baskets, I had no clue what to put in them, or how to choose the plants. After finishing one basket, I wanted to do something creative. Kacie, the other intern put together the next basket and it was purely black and white. It was then that I came up with the idea of making each basket themed with a different children’s movie. The movies are Tangled, Pirates of the Caribbean, 101 Dalmatians, Dr. Suess, Moana, and Monsters Inc. My favorite baskets would have to be Dr. Suess because it looks like I pulled the plants straight out of one of his books.  A close second would be my Monsters Inc. basket because I feel like the flowers I chose match Sully and Mike’s coloring perfectly. Hanging the baskets was difficult, but with the help of some coworkers we were able to safely hang them at the entrance to My Big Backyard. 

As part of my internship at MBG, I was asked to come up with a project of my own and finish it by the end of summer. I decided to work in the Welcome Wildlife garden. The area has many beautiful butterfly flowers and I have seen on occasion rabbits in the area. I chose to do my project there because not many people stop to look at the garden due to it being in the sun most of the day. My idea was to create a pathway through all these plants that would allow the children to run through the garden and provide a little shade from the sun. I am also adding in fairy themed houses and trinkets in the garden. I plan on using the saying “every time a bell rings, a fairy gets her wings” by putting little bells for children to touch while they walk through the pathway. I will also put toad stools on the ground to add to the garden’s theme. I am hoping that children will want to go through this area of the garden if there is an attraction and something for them to enjoy. The plants will still draw butterflies to the garden, but I hope to put some permanent shrubs in there so that it is easy to maintain. As of now, I have finished clearing the garden and am gearing up to begin establishing the pathway. I am planning on finishing the project in early August if not sooner. 

This summer I have learned how to distinguish a variety of plants and many gardening techniques. My coworkers have been great teachers and provided me with lots of new knowledge. The experiences I have had at the Memphis Botanic Gardens will help me in my career and everyday life. This internship has broadened my knowledge on plants and opened me up to many new ideas. 

By Anna Armour 

Posted by Memphis Botanic Garden at 10:42 AM


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