Five weeks have already gone by since I started working at Adams! I’ve learned so many things so far like new techniques, how to use new tools and equipment, and the names of some of the flowers and trees at the park. This week, Bob taught Laxmi and me how to prune the boxwood hedge. I got the chance to trim the hedge with both the hedge trimmers and the hedge shears. The hedge trimmers are electric and they get the job done a lot more quickly than the hedge shears. However, the trimmers can be difficult to carry and maneuver for shorter people since they are pretty long. The shears are shaped like a large pair of scissors and need to be used manually. When using the shears, it is helpful to have gloves on to prevent blisters. I also learned that there are specific measurements for height and width to which the hedge needs to be cut. In order to keep to these measurements, Bob put in stakes on both ends of each hedge and tied a string to the stakes which served as a reference line for the cutting. Yesterday morning, Bob also showed us how we should treat dead boxwood. He told us that we should cut out the dead patches of boxwood to allow space for new growth and to allow more sunlight to penetrate the empty patch. Yesterday, we also took soil samples from each flower bed in the garden, which we will dry out and send to a lab for analysis.
Looking back on the past five weeks, I think I have been steadily working through the original goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the internship. I had wanted to be able to identify some flowers and trees and learn about some of the equipment used in maintenance. Looking forward, I want to focus a little more on tree identification because I am still unable to identify a lot of the trees at Adams. I think once Laxmi and I start to work on the tree condition assessment in the orchard, we will have the opportunity to learn more about different trees and how they develop. Besides my learning goals, this internship has been really amazing in terms of the people I work with and the experiences I’ve had so far. I’m looking forward to the travel project next week and the rest of the internship this summer!