Hamilton Horticulture Apprenticeship

The Hamilton Horticulture Apprenticeship provides an immersive, educational, hands-on working experience in the unparalleled setting of Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. During this two-year residential program, Apprentices acquire specialized skills and practical knowledge that benefit them in pursuit of careers in the fields of horticulture, botany, biology, and environmental resource management. Keep reading and follow links below to dig deeper into this unique opportunity.

Ready to apply? Click here to download an application and read the full position description. Our 2024 Apprentice positions have been filled, and we are no longer accepting applications.

Apprentice Duties:
The primary goal of the Hamilton Apprenticeship is to train the next generation of horticulturists in Jenkins’ unique style of ecological gardening. Apprentices spend the bulk of their time working alongside our horticulture staff out in the gardens doing everything required to grow and maintain our landscape including weeding, pruning, mowing, watering, planting, and more.

In addition to working in the garden, Hamilton Apprentices have opportunities to share their developing skills and expertise with the public through tours, lectures, volunteer management, social media takeovers, and writing articles. Click the links below to see resources and articles from our former Apprentices.

Educational videos featuring Hamilton Apprentices:
Identifying Trees in Winter
Fruits of the Autumn Season
Spring Wildflowers

Articles written by Hamilton Apprentices:
Planting for Pollinators
Small but Mighty: Plant Native Shrubs as an Alternative to Trees in Small Landscapes
Rare and Endangered Species to Add to Your Home Landscape

“The goal of the Apprenticeship is to provide a diverse experience that allows emerging horticulturists an opportunity to develop their skills and discover their passions.”
– Steve Wright, Director of Horticulture and Curator at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens (Hamilton Apprentice, 2009-2011)

Apprentice Projects:
A key part of the Hamilton Horticulture Apprenticeship is the design and completion of a unique project that furthers Jenkins’ mission and enhances the gardens for years to come.

Projects include:
• Studying erosion in the Jenkins floodplain
• Redesigning the Upper Wildflower Garden as a pollinator-friendly garden
• Designing the Holly Springs Legacy Garden on Azalea Hill
• Restoring the Browning Hillside

“[My project] was a really great exercise in learning to adapt and to keep things moving in this process, move under a time crunch, and get creative with solutions. Just a great learning experience for me.” – Nicki Achor, (Hamilton Apprentice, 2021-2023)

Nicki Achor overseeing volunteers in the planting of pollinator plants for her Apprentice project

Where are they now?
Apprentices have taken the knowledge, skills, and inspiration they gain at Jenkins into the world in various roles including:
• Community Forester at a community greening organization
• Project Coordinator at a landscape architecture firm specializing in native plants
• Horticulturist at a native plant landscaping company
• Urban Forestry Technician for a consulting arborist
• Head Gardener at a private estate
• Director of Horticulture at a public garden

“You’re on-site [at Jenkins] and you’re in it. Being in America’s Garden Capital, with so many resources and such a large network around you, is really great for creating your own network and your own personal connections with people to see where you want to go after the [Apprenticeship].” – Heather Titanich (Hamilton Apprentice, 2019-2021)

Jenkins’ Apprentices and Interns at the 2023 Regional Intern Outreach Day visiting Stoneleigh (Villanova, PA)

Learn more about the Hamilton Horticulture Apprenticeship Program:
2023 Symposium
2022 Symposium
2021 Symposium

Ready to apply? Click here to download an application and read the full position description. Our 2024 Apprentice positions have been filled, and we are no longer accepting applications.

About the Name Change:
In November 2023, Jenkins formally changed the name of our program from “Hamilton Educational Fellowship” to “Hamilton Horticulture Apprenticeship.” In making this change, we feel we will more accurately describe the duties and experiences outlined in the job position. The name is the only thing that will be changing; the content of the program will remain the same.

Jenkins’ Apprentices and Interns repairing the deer fence and clearing out stream debris after a storm