2012 Intern Blog - Reiman Gardens
2012 Intern Blog
Posted on Aug 6, 2012
at 9:27 AM
This is my final week as an intern, and I’ve been reflecting about the never ending list of what I have learned here during these short 14 weeks. One of my favorite highlights throughout the summer was planning and running the Kid’s Story Time program. I was able to get a lot of experience planning activities that were age appropriate, and as an education major that has given me a lot of practice for my future career.
We have Kid’s Story Time every other week and read 2 to 3 picture books relating to the garden in some way then follow with a fun, related craft that the kids can take home. Some of the books we have read this summer include books about caterpillars and butterflies, insects, flowers, and garden animals. With admissions, Kid’s Story Time is a free program that anybody can come to even though pre-registration is recommended since it fills up fast! We usually have around 60 kids who have been pre-registered between the ages of 2 and 7 who come with an adult to help them with the craft.
It has been a lot of fun for me to pick the books and plan the activities each week. The last Story Time that I planned will be on Tuesday (8/7) at 10:00am.
By Carly Lepic
Posted on Aug 3, 2012
at 9:07 AM
As I prepare to enter my last year at Iowa State University and begin to search for employment post-graduation, I am very thankful for all of the things this internship has allowed me to experience. When I started in May, I was hoping to improve my sketches and computer design skills, start using unfamiliar colors, and overall strengthen my portfolio of work. What I was not expecting was to be a part of the design process from the very beginning to actual event.
The design for the Garden Quilt Show (which takes place this Friday - Sunday) began with looking at the event files. Here, I can see what materials have been needed for previous years including the illustrations, photos, and color palette used. After that, I begin sketching on paper and then move a few ideas to the computer. When a design is ready to go, my supervisor and the events coordinator review and proof everything.
From here, signs, nametags, etc. are printed and I assemble them on sandwich boards or easels. At the same time, set-up for the event begins. This is my favorite part when the tables and chairs are rearranged and the rooms are prepared. It is exciting to see the final design and all of the staff working together to produce events!
By Lauren Ehlers
Posted on Aug 3, 2012
at 8:19 AM
Those of you who regularly visit Reiman Gardens know of the Stafford Garden. It’s the area in the far north that is much more loosely designed than the rest of the Gardens, and it contains tall, natural plants and the rabbit head statues. We often get a split response from visitors upon seeing the Stafford Garden. Half of them really like that we’re encouraging native Iowa plants to flourish. The other half thinks it looks too untamed. I agree with the former. I love to walk down in Stafford Garden, especially now with the Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) and Coneflower (Echinacea purpureum) in bloom. There’s something very refreshing and natural about walking among tall flowers in tight paths. Our crew spends a lot of time maintaining the natural balance in the Stafford Garden. Every Wednesday, 15 gardeners spend between 2 and 4 hours in this wild haven. Next time you visit, make sure to visit the Stafford Garden, and enjoy the color and beauty of our natural plants!
By Lindsey Smith
Posted on Jul 27, 2012
at 8:18 AM
Displays at Reiman Gardens are constantly changing, either because the plants grow or because we change them out for the themes and seasons. Outdoor changes are probably noticed sooner than any changes in the Conservatory or Butterfly Wing, but they do happen! Every winter, poinsettias are placed in the Conservatory, but this year a new plant is being introduced - Anigozanthos, otherwise known as Kangaroo Paws. These cute plants are only naturally found in Western Australia. As Carrington mentioned in the previous blog, all of the interns have a project to complete for the internship, and I chose to do mine over these rare plants that will become part of the Conservatory soon. Watching these grow from a small plug into these towering flowers was a rare treat! Be sure to walk around the Conservatory before they are replaced with something else!
By Kathleen Miller
Posted on Jul 24, 2012
at 8:46 AM
Being an intern at Reiman Gardens comes with many different tasks, but one of the most interesting that we get to deal with is our summer project. We each get a project that forces us to take a deeper look into our fields of study and give back to the Gardens. The project I’ve been given this summer is one that is quite exciting. I’ve been trying to locate and list all of the different variety releases throughout the years that have come from Iowa State University. I’ve taken the route to focus on just ornamental plants instead of the field crops as well because let’s be honest. We live in Iowa, and there’s a lot of corn and soybeans!
This project has proven to be really challenging, considering not every person kept records of their new plant creations, or some took their information along with them. Keeping in contact with the University has been my biggest help as well as contacting anyone who could possibly have any information. Everyone loves the Dr. Griffith Buck roses when they visit the Gardens, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Iowa State University born plants. In addition to learning more than I ever thought possible, hopefully I can contribute to the Gardens and the University by finally having a complete list for generations to come!
By Carrington Flatness
Posted on Jul 24, 2012
at 8:45 AM
Each year Reiman Gardens has a theme, and this year’s theme is Some Assembly Required. In the Campanile Garden we are currently displaying "Building Blocks of Life", which feature giant sized double helixes and protein chains. The structures were created by one of our full time employees and built by our amazing volunteers.
The building blocks are DNA and RNA structures, which represent carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The connection between this exhibit in the Gardens and our mission is educating the public on how life is built. Molecules are what create life by providing DNA to humans, plants, and all other living things. It is important to recognize the structures because they are the key to how our plants are formed. The bright blue and green sculptures in the Campanile Garden always brighten my day because they are fun with the surrounding plants. If you get the chance make sure to stop by and check them out!
By Carleigh Rose
Posted on Jul 16, 2012
at 3:51 PM
This year, I was blessed with the opportunity to learn more about entomology during my internship. Coming into this summer I only knew basic information about entomology, such as different life stages of butterflies, the basic characteristics of insects, nothing too in depth. It is going to be my third year as an Animal Science student here at Iowa State University, and I am more used to dealing with livestock production animals or our four legged furry friends. Since I started my internship, I have learned a great deal of information on invertebrates. Surprisingly, I have found that insects share some common characteristics with the animals I am used to studying, such as the way some insects can be territorial. Since my major requires me to take an ample amount of biology courses, it was fun getting to put my skills to the test while working in the lab. One of my favorite days of the internship was visiting the Omaha Zoo where we were able to go behind the scenes. I saw where veterinary procedures were performed and even got to hold some crazy creatures while I was there! That visit really coupled my newfound interest of invertebrates and my love for vertebrates.
By Kelsey Carlson
Posted on Jul 16, 2012
at 3:49 PM
Vertical gardening can be a great option for occupying additional space in a smaller garden, but those who have a lot of space shouldn’t feel left out of this interesting gardening opportunity. There are many perks to growing a vertical garden from which any garden, or gardener, can benefit. Since vertical gardening usually involves the use of tall outside structures, plants are often at eye level making it easier for any gardener to prune, fertilize, or harvest fruits and vegetables. You can also choose a climbing or vining variety of your favorite plants to hide an unattractive area in your yard.
A simplistic form of vertical gardening has been around since 600 B.C. and adds a whole new dimension to your landscape by creating different focal points. It goes beyond the common trellis and hanging basket and allows gardeners to expand their list of planters. In the Pattern Garden at Reiman Gardens, we have incorporated tall, columnar structures sporting an assortment of plants, and living walls filled with succulents to show just how unique and distinctive vertical gardening can be.
So, the next time you are wondering what to add to your garden, think vertical, and grow “up”.
By Carly Lepic
Posted on Jul 9, 2012
at 4:10 PM
The Home Production Garden is intended to inspire home gardeners with ideas for growing techniques and new fruits and vegetables. With beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and much more, this garden is filling quickly with fresh produce. As these plants continue to grow, many people are left wondering what happens to all of the extra produce.
At Reiman Gardens, produce is collected and contributed to Plant a Row for the Hungry. For nearly a decade, volunteers in Story County have supported Plant a Row in an effort to provide vegetables and fruit to area shelters and food pantries. The initiative, like its name, asks for gardeners to plant one extra row of produce each year to donate. With nearly 70 million gardeners in the United States, this simple gesture can provide a lot of nutritious food for people in need. During the summer, fresh, quality produce can be dropped off at Reiman Gardens from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. each Monday. Here, produce is collected, weighed, and distributed to shelters and food pantries.
When you visit the Home Production Garden, hopefully you will be inspired to grow new fruits and vegetables for your family and for others.
By Lauren Ehlers
Posted on Jul 6, 2012
at 4:47 PM
The Gift Shop can change every week and even daily depending on the time of the year. This summer has been no exception with the current theme “Some Assembly Required”. New inventory has been coming in daily, which is perfect for avid shoppers in the area and for those who have been visiting the Gardens.
Getting new merchandise in is just one aspect of the Gift Shop. Another key part of receiving new items is to figure out where to display them, which can be a daily task depending on the week. Finding a spot for an item is always fun because there is usually a perfect location for everything. All of the merchandise in the Shop is special and deserves to be shown in an outstanding location. With each holiday season the Gift Shop tries to carry specific merchandise to set the mood of the various holidays.
The buzz this past week has been all about celebrating America's Independence. The 4th of July is an important part of the year for the U.S.A. and Reiman Gardens. In the Gift Shop we decorated the front entrance with red, white, and blue items to celebrate the holiday. The items on display ranged from various sized flags, felt birds, stickers, flowers, vases, clothing, cookbooks, and food items. Just looking at the display can remind you it is summer!
By Carleigh Rose