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Nallies 2022 salix bed vertical

This Year's Nally Interns Settle In

May 23, 2022

A tradition at Wave Hill that goes back more than 30 years, with more than 100 “graduates,” the John Nally Internship offers an opportunity to explore a career in horticulture over the course of a growing year, roughly April into November.

This year, we welcomed a quartet of women, a lively, thoroughly engaged group. Since their arrival in early spring, they have been involved in more group projects than usual, reports Director of Horticulture Cathy Deutsch. “A big focus has been large renovations of plantings across the gardens,” explains Associate Director of Horticulture Steven Conaway, “including renovating the space where we store our tools, moving plants outside Glyndor Gallery, and putting finishing touches on the plantings at the front entrance and along the new winding walkway into the garden from the parking lot.”

Above, three of the four Nallies are shown working this spring with Wave Hill Gardener Christopher Bivens, on the far left, and Steven Conaway in the middle, pruning the salix bed on the northern edge of the Lower Lawn. From left, Shelby Radcliffe, Janine Rosario and Lisa Kellman.

Before the Nally internship, Lisa Kellman, shown here at work in the Flower Garden, was a graphic designer, and then owned and ran a mobile food restaurant—and got seriously into coffee: she is currently one of the east-coast managers of retail sales for Caffe Vita. Once the pandemic hit, time in her own garden convinced her to make a major shift, and she’s now finishing a Certificate in Horticulture at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Hands-on learning has happily exceeded what she expected, and that has also allowed her to enjoy a welcome camaraderie with fellow interns and Wave Hill Gardeners. ”This a great first step in gaining experience,” she says, hoping to make a career as a gardener.
Cathy Sohn 2022 Nally cropped
Pictured here watering plants, Cathy Sohn, a native New Yorker, worked in fashion for a long time, but has always loved gardening—Wave Hill has long been one of her favorite gardens. Once the pandemic hit, she recognized that this was the perfect moment to change directions. She enrolled in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Certificate in Horticulture, and applied for a Nally internship. and now she has added classes in landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden. What she enjoys most so far? “I particularly enjoy getting to know the [Wave Hill] gardeners. They are so knowledgeable and generous with what they know and they are all so mad for plants!”
Shelby cropped
Pictured here working in the Flower Garden, Shelby Radcliffe is originally from the southeastern U.S., and her internship has required adjusting to a new climate. After close to a decade learning to run a clothing business that has both a storefront and online presence, she has rought the confidence that ground-up experience has given her to this new “pivot” in her life, as she puts it. Determined to find a way to learn alongside experienced gardeners, her research led her to the Nally opportunity. What she has enjoyed most so far? “Coming to work each morning and feeling grateful to be outside working with plants and people who love them.”
Bronx born and raised, Janine Rosario went back to school in 2017, where her decision to study horticulture was based on intuition: “I just knew it was the right fit for me.” She had gained some experience producing vegetables at Praxis Housing. And found it very rewarding, but was eager to learn more about ornamental horticulture. This led to enrolling in the certificate program at the New York Botanical Garden, where she expects to earn her Certificate in Horticulture this June. Asked what has surprised her most: “The gardeners’ ability to visualize their garden layouts.” She is shown here working with Wave Hill Gardener Christopher Bivens in front of Glyndor Gallery.
Nallies 2022 fieldtrip
Field trips are an important component of the Nally year. Here in this photo taken by Director of Horticulture Cathy Deutsch, the crew catches lunch during an all-day trip to Otto Kiel Nursery, also known as Emma's Garden, in Huntington, NY. From left, Steven Conaway, and Nallies Lisa Kellman, Janine Rosario, Cathy Sohn and Shelby Radcliffe.

The John Nally Internship Program is generously funded by private supporters and donors. If you would like to make a gift to support this life-changing internship, click here.