Meet the Interns!

Things have been heating up in the garden, and we are so grateful for our summer interns who, in spite of the soaring temperatures, have been buzzing around like worker bees for nearly two weeks.  This summer, our interns will help to maintain the garden by creating signage, grading and mulching paths, sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings, pulling weeds, fending off groundhogs, and, perhaps what’s most important while the summer sun blazes, watering our thirsty plants!

We gladly welcome back Erica Thatcher, this year’s graduate student intern, who worked hard last spring to design and advocate for the TJ Demo Garden. Erica is a newly capped Master of Landscape Architecture originally from Salem, Massachusetts who has thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail!

Erica’s graduate studies explored the ways in which people define spaces and spaces define people while also considering rhythm, asymmetry, and texture; registering the presence of the ground; moments of realization, discovery and wonder; and the physical interactions that occur within constructed spaces—between people, materials, and other beings.

In addition to her studies, Erica has gained experience in the field through an internship with Walker Macy in Portland, Oregon, and externships with Landworks, Inc., located in Boston, and Richard Burke Associates, in Somerville, Massachusetts.  Beyond this, Erica has participated in the School of Architecture’s Vicenza Program, and the Hanover Summer School Program held in the Altes Land region near Hamburg, Germany.

When asked to name a favorite plant, Erica refused to choose just one: “Oh—there are so many!!!!  I am very excited to see the Salsify and Marshmallow mature in the garden, two plants that I was not previously familiar with.  I also have a soft spot for milkweed, so I can’t wait to see that come up.  The native herbs (wild ginger, black cohosh, Indian Physic, etc.) are also very exciting!”  The TJDG will certainly benefit from the skills and knowledge of this plant enthusiast!

We are pleased to introduce Hannah Mangum, a Charlottesville transplant from Tucson, Arizona. Hannah will begin her 4th year in the College this fall, where she is majoring in Biology with a minor in Sustainability.

During the school year, Hannah assists with student outreach for Sustainability at U.Va., and she is currently organizing the Sustainability Advocacy Program, a student-run initiative that encourages sustainable living habits on grounds.  Hannah will serve as a resident advisor to Hereford students this fall.

In her spare time, Hannah enjoys knitting, especially blankets: “I am currently working on a huge wool blanket made of different colors of squares.  I also tried knitting with plarn (yarn made out of plastic grocery bags), which was fun.”

Hannah’s favorite plant is lavender, and she has devoted a great deal of time cultivating a beautiful lavender plant from seed.  Indeed, our plants seem to smile when Hannah is around!

Stop by the garden and say hello to these lovely worker bees, who would happily let you join in on the fun!

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