2018 promises to be an exciting year in the gardens. It marks the 50th anniversary of the Landscape Gardening program. In 1968 Fred Garrett was hired to develop a Landscape Gardening program at Sandhills Community College. He researched other Horticultural programs in England and Canada and developed a European-style curriculum in which students would have classroom work and hands-on experience. Also unique to this program is a residency requirement. Students graduate with a 2-year degree in Applied Science and because of the hands-on experience and quality of the instruction they are highly sought after in the workplace.
The program was cutting edge in 1968 when it began and still is today. Former students have gone on to be the Head Gardener at the White House, director of the Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, owners of nurseries both local and nationwide and many other positions in the green industry.
There have been only two coordinators of the Landscape Gardening program since its inception; Fred Garrett and currently Dee Johnson. In June of next year, we will celebrate the 50 years of success, bringing together Horticultural Society members, staff, friends of the gardens and all the alumni for a celebration in the gardens on June 9th. Save the date and watch your mail early next year for an invitation. I hope you will join us for this very special occasion.