Randalls Island Park Alliance

Meet our Horticulture Crew Member: Dianne Crary

In What's in Bloom on April 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

By Dianne Crary

Weeds and bees were my introduction to horticulture.  The house that my parent’s purchased in the 50’s had a garden with great bones, but neither one was interested in gardening.  The beds were neglected and every now and then when the weeds were towering over everything, I would get inspired to pull them out, re-edge the border, pull up grass that was hiding the stepping stones, and take up loppers to prune the rhododendrons.

Ignorance is bliss.  It wasn’t until the following summer that the grass gracefully fell back over the stepping stones, the new growth of the rhododendrons hid the ugly sharp ends of my pruning, and sadly the mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) was doubled in strength.  Decades later, beekeeping became a hobby and one rainy spring season the honey crop had a minty taste which came from the nectar of the basswood tree (Tilia Americana).  This then made me notice what other plants the bees were visiting in order to incorporate bee friendly plants in the garden.

Years later a Continuing Education brochure from the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) came in the post.  I went to the open house thinking that it would be fun to take a few landscape design courses.  Again, ignorance is bliss because I had never heard of the phrase ” the right plant for the right place” and all that entailed.  Well, NYBG immediately corrected this lack of knowledge in their presentation on sustainable land management.

I signed up for a few courses, liked them and signed up for a few more.  The courses were very interesting so I started volunteering at NYBG in the Rock Garden and  as part of the Grounds Management Team.  I was in seventh heaven.  Working with plants was fun, interesting, challenging, and gardening was becoming more than a hobby.

I wanted this to be my career and to eventually renovate urban landscapes.  Thus, I entered the NYBG School of Professional Horticulture and am presently half way through the program.  Two years ago, I heard another student’s presentation on his internship at Randall’s Island and since then I have hoped to have a summer internship there.  Therefore, I am very excited to be part of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance and their horticultural team this summer.


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