Work at a Botanical Garden or Arboretum
Do you ever feel trapped in the concrete jungle of the city? Do you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle, relax in the fresh air, and learn about horticulture and botany?
One good place to do this is at botanical gardens.
Botanical gardens maintain large collections of well-tended living plants for research, conservation, display, and education. They serve both scientific and cultural purposes. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of plants call botanical gardens their home. It is a place where the botanical sciences, the horticultural exhibits, and the modern world can interact and help create environmental awareness.
North America has about 200 botanical gardens. There are over 1800 botanical gardens in 150 countries. Originally botanical gardens were places where doctors and botanists could research plants, herbs, and medicines. They have become places to see horticultural exhibits of ornamental plants, take strolls through greenhouses of tropical plants, and enjoy classical concerts amongst the world’s flora.
Botanical gardens often pick a botany theme like evolution, ecology, or taxonomy. Another option is a horticultural theme like flowerbeds, worldly plants, or ornamental designs. Every botanical garden is different and has it’s own niche. Most botanical gardens specialize in their own region’s plants. This is the easiest option because the plants are in their native habitats.
There is an extensive network of botanical gardens around the world. They exchange information, research, and plants. This means that a seed collection from the Royal Botanic Gardens in England could easily be exchanged for an exhibit on herbs from the New York Botanical Gardens. Special collections exist for every sort of plant – cacti, herbs, tropical, alpine, exotic.
Many scientists wish that botanical gardens could return to their original purpose – scientific research. They claim that landscaping and designing for the public’s use disrupts scientific processes and research – research that develops new green techniques, documents new species, and studies trees, shrubs, turf, glowers, plants, and herbs. Despite their frustrations, botanical gardens are one of the best places to research a wide variety of plants in one location. The bills must be paid and botanical gardens that are open to the public help pay those bills.
Governments and research universities fund most botanical gardens, but the public is one of the largest sources of income. Millions of visitors come to botanical gardens every year. It’s a pleasurable escape to a natural setting. People can sit back and listen to a lecture on conifers or stick their hands in the mud for a gardening workshop. It is a popular destination for screaming seven year olds on field trips and also a classy place to take a date to a restaurant. People visit for garden tours, botanical displays, horticultural exhibits, theatrical and musical performances, and especially casual strolls through the greenery.
One special type of botanical garden is an arboretum. This botanical niche is a collection of woody plants – trees and shrubs. Arboretums are home to all sorts of trees from all over the world – apples, azaleas, boxwoods, maples, dogwoods, elm, oak, and conifers. They are popular year round, but peak in autumn when the leaves change colors. They can be just a few acres in size or thousands of acres. Visiting an arboretum is a peaceful getaway to the forests of nature.
Botanical gardens are busy places and busy places usually have jobs. Botanical gardens are unique because they offer entry-level jobs and high-paying jobs in the sciences field. There are jobs waiting tables at restaurants, selling flowers, setting up exhibits, and checking tickets. Jobs are available for scientists studying taxonomy, mycology, ecology, or medicine. They are also good locations for internships. Botanical gardens are a great place to get a taste for botany and horticultural careers.
Botanical gardens and arboretums are scattered all over the world. A popular time to visit these living museums is the Friday before Mother’s Day, which is National Public Gardens Day. Botanical gardens are always changing and there is always new information to soak in, plus it’s a wonderful place to escape into nature.