Monday, January 18, 2010

We've Moved!

Our Department website has moved to a new hosting site. Our new updated site is Please take note of this change. This blog will no longer be updated.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Missouri Botanical Garden Internship

2010 Summer Internship
Deadline for Application: February 15, 2010
Information on the Internship Opportunity: Duties:
Application Procedure:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Devon Wilson - Vista Landscapes

Devon Wilson is the co-owner and founder of Vista Landscapes located in Boise, Idaho. He graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2007 and started up this new business last July. Through his seminar he discussed what he did to get to where he is today. First he talked about scholarships. "Who doesn't want free money!?" Scholarships are wonderful things to put on resumes and can be what separates you from other applicants. Once you put hard work into one scholarship, others usually have similar requirements. (You can find scholarship information on the scholarships tab above or on our website) Next, he discussed the importance of networking and interviews. You can't just rely on one resource (or job offer); see what you can get and always have a Plan B. In interviews, he suggested to interview the employer; ask them smart open-ended questions that gives you the information you need to make a good choice. Then, Wilson talked about how hard work says a lot. You need to earn your respect from customers and employers. Step out of your comfort zone and show them what you are worth; remember to charge what you're worth as well. The old adage still holds true, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Have a great portfolio that looks professional and document everything! You never know what a customer may ask for. Next, he talked about running your business, your way. Build your image and challenge yourself (you'll be surprised what you can do). Also, use common sense in all your business decisions. The next topic was education and beyond. He talked about how graduation is only the beginning. There are licenses, certifications, seminars and classes. You must learn to roll with the punches because everyday will be different and you can't control everything. Another thing that he said that I thought was interesting was to keep your textbooks. He said that he looks at them all the time. Finally, rely on the Lord. When you show forth your faith, you will receive blessings. Overall, this was a great way to end Seminar this semester. He summed up a lot of the things that the other seminar speakers talked about. If you are interested in contacting Devon Wilson, his email is and his office number is 208-954-0671.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In the process of moving...

Please bear with us as we move our blog to a new hosting site and try to reorganize everything.
Our new web address will be

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ann Bates - Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association

This week in seminar we had the privilege of having Ann Bates come and talk to us. She is the executive director of the Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association. She talked about the association (INLA) and then she gave us a good overall look of what the INLA is doing now and the green industry as a whole, what some hot trends are, what skills we need to develop and what we need to do to prepare for the future.

There are many good things happening at INLA. Their website says, "The Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association is an organization of professionals including retail nurseries and garden centers, wholesale, growers, landscape contractors and maintenance firms, arborist and allied trades. It is a resource for increasing professionalism in the Green Industry." Bates really hit this last point hard. One long-term return she gets from coming out to talk to students is the increased professionalism that the next generation (us) will bring to the industry. INLA is a part of PLANET and members of BuyIdaho along with many other organizations. They work hard to help their members get the newest, up-to-date information on the market during their yearly Horticulture Expo as well as great opportunities to network.

The current economic downturn has definitely affected the green industry as well as the rest of the nation. When the housing market crashed, many people lost their homes and many others quit adding landscapes or started maintaining themselves. This really hurt the Design/Build/Maintain firms. When the gas prices rose, the growers were hit extra hard. Their business is shipping to their buyers and when the gas prices go up, their prices do too which diminished their sales. When the credit market lost all trust, loans were harder to get and interest went up.
The recent trends Bates has noticed within the past few years were very interesting to note. She mentioned that many homeowners and business owners are starting to prefer gardening in containers. Also, there has been an increased interest in outdoor "living spaces." Many people have vacationed less and stayed home so they have wanted a comfortable outdoor area. This leads us to the next trend which has helped keep the industry alive recently. People have been rethinking their landscapes and redoing them or changing parts of them. They have wanted smaller trees, more edible plants (like veggie gardens or fruit trees), and more annuals in their landscapes.

The skills Bates listed as essetial for us to develop as students to become good employees in the future include:
  • Mathematical & analytical skills
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving skills
  • Environmental awareness
  • Technology
  • Enthusiasm for design
  • Love the outdoors
  • Anxious to work with your hands
  • Aspiration to help people

To prepare for the future, one of the best things you can do in this industry is to get certified. Certification is huge! If you are the only applicant that is certified, you will be the one hired, hands-down. One of the many great benefits from being a member of INLA is the help and support you get in receiving your certification. Students get free membership into INLA and this helps to push you onto the next step. They offer three different certifications which are the Certified Nursery Professional, the Certified Plant Diagnostician and the Landscape Nursery Certified. If you are interested in getting certified, you can check out their website for more information on each certification.

If you have any questions for Ann Bates about the Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association, you can contact her via email at

Job Postings

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Susan Hanley - Signature Landscapes

This was a much anticipated seminar by all students. Signature Landscapes has done more for our program than any company in the Horticulture industry. They need interns and we need internships. They love our program and the hands-on emphasis we have. They also love the energy and good ideas our students have. Susan Hanley is the head of Human Resources at Signature, and is in charge of hiring.
The first thing she talked about during her presentation was the phenomenon of the Teflon grad. These graduates find a company to work at and quickly move on to the next one for an unknown reason. They are coated with a non-stick material.

The reasons she has found for the Teflon grad:
  • Too high of expectations when starting a job (They think they will be a project manager in 3 weeks and they don't become one.)
  • Sticker Shock (They didn't do their homework in looking at the price of a bag of groceries, gallon of gas, and the cost of living. Now they can't afford to have that job in that location.)
  • Home sick blues (They miss their mom and call every day.)

Then she suggested ways to help us as generation Y to avoid being the Teflon grad. First of all, we need to disprove the stigma given to generation Y. We need to be hard workers, lack entitlement, and use our techno savvy skills for good and improving the companies we work for. We can avoid the 3 reasons she gave for the Teflon grad by asking the company we are interviewing with important, relevant questions. She said to ask, "Where will this company be in five years? What promotions will I have access to? Will you pay for any certification I complete? How often do you get together with employees outside of work? What associations are you a part of and are you active in those?" This will help you to realize your potential growth in the company and prepare you for the company culture and expectations.

Next she talked about Signature's culture. Their unofficial slogan is, "We work hard and have fun doing it." The interns they take on during the year hop around to every part of the company to get a good feel about each aspect. They do expect hard workers and a good number of hours every week, but you are not giving your life for your job. She said they realize that you need a life outside of work. Signature is involved in the community, in PLANET and in Career Days at many universities. Some of the skills Signature is drawn towards include critical thinking, leadership, flexibility, patience, humility, honesty, and integrity.

Finally, she talked about Mike Ethington who is an alumni of our program who has been working at Signature since his internship there about 3 years ago. Susan suggested that if we really wanted to know the reality of a company we should talk to a new hire (like Mike), not a recruiter (like her). New hires are more likely to be honest and not sugar coat reality. Mike and other successful employees grow their division, love their job, work hard and are honest.

If you are interested in Signature, contact Susan Hanley at or call her phone at 425-868-5885.

Christmas Tree Lane 2009

Christmas Tree Lane is one of the most anticipated events of the year! Various departments and societies around campus enter a tree into the contest. Each year there is an overall theme that all trees are to follow. The dates are December 4 through the 14th. Anyone in the Horticulture society interested in helping decorate our tree is welcome. Three people will be appointed to head up the project and they would welcome any help. Contact Sister Bass at if you are interested so she can get a head count of volunteers. We do really well every year and it is always a fun, creative experience to get ready for Christmas!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

President's Club

The girls who are enrolled in Flower Center this semester participated in making the corsages and boutonnieres for the honored guests who are members of President's Club. Members help to contribute financially to the growth and heritage of BYU-Idaho. Last Saturday, there was the President's Club banquet which is an annual banquet, hosted by President Clark, where he gives his annual report on how their donations have been helping the school and the students.

As part of the preparation for the banquet, the Flower Center girls learned how to pin on corsages and boutonnieres (a very important skill) and the basic construction of those. The girls as a whole needed to provide about 150-200 of each for the banquet guests, as well as a few design pieces for the room to show off the skills our department is developing.
The students were also there during the reception of the guests before the banquet to pin on the corsages and boutonnieres they made earlier. This was definitely a success and a great chance to give back a little to the school and the many people who have invested in our school. We thank you.
"The seeds we are planting today will grow and become mighty oaks,
and their branches will run over the earth."
—Jacob Spori, at the dedication of the Bannock Stake Academy, November 12, 1888

"You never can foretell the consequences of a dollar invested in
education. It goes on multiplying itself. It becomes not an expenditure, but
an investment which pays returns far and wide and through generations to
—President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Lighting the Way" public announcement, April 4, 1996

Spraying Fungicide in the Greenhouse!

Our department is known for teaching and learning through hands-on experiences. We thrive on this fact. These students had the opportunity to participate in learning from Brother Barnes the techniques of applying fungicide in the greenhouse. Yes they look goofy, but it is definitely for a good cause! :)

From left to right: Spencer, Stacey, Breanne, Beth, and Joslyn

Hot mamas!

Having a good time doing it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Horticulture Opening Social

Our Horticulture Social was a success as always. We wanted to thank all those that helped with cooking and preparing the food, setting up and taking down the headhouse, and making this the event we all enjoy.
Here Bro. Dewey, Barnes and Romney cook the "charred animal flesh" for us on the amazing grills.So much wonderful meat!Bro. Dewey was so proud of the perfect pinkness in this steak and how good it tasted! I was surprised that they were only seasoned with garlic salt. They were just good cuts of meat.Thanks Evan and Tim for cooking the scones! They were delicious! Mitzi's boy only ate the scones! :)Thanks to the Flower Center girls for the wonderful topiary arrangements on the tables!

It was fun to have the representatives for Heads Up Landscape there to enjoy all the steak with. We definitely had a full house, headhouse that is. It was fun, as always, to see our fellow students' spouses and kids. We get to know them at a much better level.You can see Bro. Nelson heading back with his bowl to grab more steak. This section of the headhouse ate the most because every time Bro. Nelson brought in more steak he stopped at each person at these tables to get rid of most of it. They were stuffed! This is such a fun tradition for our department. We get to met casually and enjoy really great food. Thanks again for all those who participated in making this happen. Can't wait for the next one!

TOCA Scholarship

The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) Scholarship Program

In 2010 TOCA will award one $2,500 scholarship. College students pursuing a degree in green industry communications, or a related field, (e.g., horticulture, turf management) are encouraged to apply.

TOCA is composed of editors, writers, photographers, public relations/advertising practitioners and others involved in green industry communications. The TOCA Publisher’s Scholarship is sponsored by GIE Media, Inc., Turf Magazine, Questex Media Group, M2MEDIA360 and Golfweek’s SuperNEWS.

The application deadline is March 1, 2010.

If you are interested in this scholarship, please email for the application process and materials.

For other scholarships, see our school website where scholarships are frequently updated and added.