Friday, July 15, 2016

Dream in Horticulture: New York Botanical Garden Hosts 4th Annual NYC-Area Green Industry Intern Field Day

Green Industry Intern Field Day BBQ Celebration & Networking at event's conclusion, photo courtesy NYBG

Affectionately referred to as the Hortie Hoopla, I’ve attended and covered the groundbreaking event for Garden Glamour since its premiere: The New York Botanical Garden Hosts 'Hortie Hoopla' Premiere because I passionately believed in its mission and genuinely wanted these plant wizards to succeed in a profession/career/calling that becomes ever more critical to our world’s art, health, and sustainable food supply. Hortie Hoopla is a fun way to learn and network with a community of talented green industry professionals. 

Tri-state - or “road-warrior” horticultural interns are invited to attend the New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG)  School of Professional Horticulture for its Fourth Annual NYC-Area Green Industry Intern Field Day on Wednesday, July 20 from 11 a.m. to dusk.

This free annual event for horticultural interns features remarks from top horticulturists and garden designers, the chance to visit The New York Botanical Garden's outdoor plant collections, and speak with horticultural curators, participate in a challenging but fun plant ID contest, a BBQ, plus perhaps most importantly, the time to network and create industry contacts with the pros, along with more than a hundred attendees.  Here, interns discover career avenues and opportunities that many didn't know existed or was possible.  If you can dream it in horticulture, working with plants; you can do it…Learn how.


11 a.m.
Check-In and On-Site Registration, Ross Gallery
Self-guided viewing of exhibition Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas

Lunch On Your Own (Pine Tree Café is open all afternoon, or venture to nearby Arthur Avenue for some unforgettable Italian fare, or bring your own)

12:30–3 p.m.
Presentations in Ross Hall by Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ken Druse, Karen Washington, and Quill Teal-Sullivan
Keynote Speaker: Kelly Norris, Director of Horticulture, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
3–4 p.m.
Visit with NYBG Horticulture Curators at: Native Plant Garden, Thain Family Forest, and Azalea Garden
Plant ID Contest
4–5 p.m
Visit with NYBG Horticulture Curators at: The Judy and Michael Steinhardt Maple Collection and The Burn Family Lilac Collection
Plant ID Contest
5 p.m.
BBQ in Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden with prizes for Plant ID Contest, and more.


Ken Druse 
Ken Druse, photo courtesy NYBG
Ken Druse is an internationally recognized author, award-winning photographer, and acknowledged founder of the natural gardening movement. The New York Times calls his books "bibles for serious gardeners." A popular speaker, Ken can also be heard on his podcast and public radio show Ken Druse Real Dirt.

Ken is one of my personal, hort heros; arguably, he’s singlehandedly dazzled and delighted the intern audience at Hortie Hoopla since the launch of the program he helped give birth to with his insight and vision.

Karen Washington 
Karen Washington, photo courtesy NYBG
Karen Washington is a community gardener and board member of The New York Botanical Garden. As a community activist once called "urban farming's de facto godmother" by The New York Times, Karen has been instrumental in advocating for community gardening and expanding access to food in the Bronx. She is the founder of Black Urban Growers and Rise & Root Farm, and a board member of Just Food and the New York City Community Garden Coalition. I’ve been inspired to hear Karen speak and attended some of her instructional classes -- believe me, she’s a force of nature -- a hort and community treasure.

Quill Teal-Sullivan 
Quill Teal-Sullivan, photo courtesy NYBG
Quill Teal-Sullivan is the garden manager at Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, New Jersey. A lifelong gardener, she played a key role in rehabilitating the historic Helena Rutherfurd Ely Garden at Meadowburn and currently oversees its care.

Kelly D. Norris 
Kelly D. Norris, photo courtesy of NYBG
Kelly D. Norris is a nurseryman and the first Director of Horticulture at the newly revitalized Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. A compelling speaker, Kelly is also the award-winning author of Timber Press publication: A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts and Plants with Style.

Called "one of the rising stars of American horticulture," he was one of the young horticulturists featured in Ken Druse's 2013 article, “The New Generation,” for Organic Life Magazine. Kelly is an expert on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics.

Sponsors who generously donate to the BBQ so that the food and drink is free to attendees deserve a shout out!  These green supporters include:
  • Mario Bulfamante & Sons
  • Landcraft Environments, Ltd.
  • NY State Arborists Association 
  • Trees New York
  • The Bronx Brewery 
  • Bartlett Tree Experts
  • Riverside Park Conservancy
  • Floral Landscape Services

To register for the Green Industry Field Day, Hortie Hoopla, email Eric Lieberman with the name and email address of each attendee and your organization at or
call 718.817.8580.



  1. Thanks, Leeann! You're a terrific blogger!

    1. Thank you, Charles. Blushing… When I have such great content, events, and discoveries to share, it makes blogging all that more rewarding for Garden Glamour readers. Thank you for your support. Cheers to a terrific Hortie Hoopla on July 20th.