Please see below an article from our August newsletter:
My Internship Experience at The Greenery, Inc.
I am a student studying horticulture at Clemson University entering my senior year. This will be my second internship completed while in college. I decided to do an internship with The Greenery, located on Hilton Head Island because I have always enjoyed the coastline and beach, along with landscaping. So I figured why not work for the largest landscape company in South Carolina and Georgia located on the coastline? The other reason I chose The Greenery over all the other landscape companies on the coast is because The Greenery’s internship program provides housing for all of its interns. No other landscape company that I investigated provided housing, and finding affordable housing can be very difficult on a limited budget. The other reason for choosing The Greenery is that I wanted to learn what it meant for a company to be 100% employee owned.
Everything discussed in the internship agreement form with my supervisor Jerry Ashmore regarding rotation of duties has been done and nothing less. I am very satisfied with the internship program of The Greenery, and they have gone above and beyond my expectations this summer.
I came across many classroom experiences this summer while working at The Greenery. The Creative Inquiry class Hort 408 Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden was a very useful class to teach me about proper planting practices in the field. While working with a construction crew in Hardeeville, I was told to plant multiple shrubs around a hotel that had just been built. In Hort 408 I was taught the proper way to plant a shrub and water it in such as: don’t plant it too deep and water slowly and deeply. PES 202 Soils was also a useful course. While working in Savannah, I spent a few days working with chemicals and fertilizers. In Soils class I was taught how to properly read and understand a label on a chemical or fertilizer product. Spanish 101 also became useful due to the fact that most of the labor force speaks Spanish and this class helped me to successfully communicate with many of my coworkers.
The best experience I had this summer with The Greenery would have to be when I spent the week with Hilton Head construction. They were all glad to be at work and also cared about their work. They also had good attitudes and worked as a team which made the day go by fast. The Hilton Head construction group accepted me onto their team as a friend and wished I could stay with them much longer than a week. Often times I would see them around the landscape yard and they would ask me when I am coming back to work with them.
One of my favorite experiences at The Greenery was working with Mr. Jim van Dijk. He was once in my shoes and was the perfect role model for me. Jim was once a student at Clemson University and also completed the internship program at The Greenery. Jim has been with the company for 19 years and oversees Hilton Head construction and Hilton Head commercial maintenance. Jim leads about 50 employees and always has a smile on his face. Jim knows how to communicate with his crews and get them to listen, be productive, and have his employees respect him as their boss.
I took part in many activities happening on and around the Island. In Beaufort I attended festivals such as Taste of Beaufort and The Water Festival. Beaufort also has a nice downtown to visit with nice shops and restaurants to enjoy. Visiting Savannah was quite pleasant and it has a lot of history and character with many shops and restaurants. I also had the opportunity to go deep sea fishing in Charleston with friends and family for a weekend.
- Some traits that one will need to succeed at this internship include the following:
One must not be afraid of the heat. Hilton Head Island can get to be 100 degrees many days and for some people it is hard to deal with.
- The ability to wake up early in the morning to be at work at 6:45 a.m. is also an important trait to have for this job.
- Being able to understand and communicate in Spanish is also important because Spanish is commonly spoken in the landscape industry.
- Being able to get along with others is a strong skill to have in the landscape industry as well.
- A strong eye for detail is a must in the landscape industry as well because the little things in a landscape stand out.
– Dalton Holzheimer, Clemson University Horticulture Student