New Seasonal Gardeners: Jaimie Woll & Brad Heath
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden wants to introduce two new seasonal gardeners to our horticulture team. Welcome, Jaimie Woll & Brad Heath. Our seasonal gardeners assist horticulturists and are responsible for the daily maintenance of the Garden. Their tasks include weeding, watering, pruning plants and many more tasks that help our Garden look immaculate. If you see them while you are visiting, please stop and say hello!
Jaimie Woll grew up in Northern Virginia with her military family. She has two sisters and a dachshund named Fiona. Woll loves being outside and when she’s not working in the Garden, she enjoys going on hikes with Fiona, visiting her family in Northern Virginia, and working on her own garden at home.
Inspired by her biology class while attending community college, Woll filled her schedule with science classes. Later, she was ecstatic to learn that she could earn a degree in horticulture. Her passion for nature and her love for the flora and fauna lead her to receive a degree in horticulture from New Mexico State University.
After graduating, Woll worked as a groundskeeper, in nurseries, and as an intern at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. where she discovered her passion for gardening.
Woll works with a variety of plants across the Garden. She says that her favorite plant to work with so far has been the roses because it is a plant she has almost no experience or knowledge of. She currently lists the Flagler Garden, Asian Valley, and West Island Garden at the top of her list of favorite places to spend time at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Furthermore, Woll says she loves the atmosphere of the Garden and appreciates how positive and nice the other horticulturists are. She explains that seasonal gardeners start their day by checking in with their assigned horticulturists. After meeting up, they discuss the various jobs that they need to complete throughout the day. As they work throughout the Garden, Woll also cooperates with the volunteers to work on assignments and answer visitor questions. Woll explains that while some would say that the difference between a horticulturist and a gardener is the amount of experience and degree, she believes that the difference lies in responsibility.
“Horticulturists are the ones making the decisions about the gardens, what they want the beds to look like, what plants they want to feature,” Woll says. “Gardeners help execute all those ideas for the horticulturist, and are someone who can offer a sense of relief in the workload of the Garden.”
Woll hopes to learn as much about horticulture as she can during her time at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She would like to master the knowledge of caring for roses, shrubs, and trees and continue to hone her plant pathology and diagnosing skills.
Along with Woll, we hired garden enthusiast, Brad Heath, as a seasonal gardener.
Brad Heath is an entrepreneur who has worked in the horticulture field for nearly a decade. Although he did not originally start as a horticulturist, his interests in entrepreneurship and horticulture merged and are a natural fit. With beginnings in the air-brushing and screen printing industry, Heath is now the owner/operator of Leafy Lanes, an urban farm located in Richmond, VA. He also works with CropSwap, an app that connects farmers directly to customers through an online network.
Working as a seasonal gardener
As a neighbor to the Garden, Heath says that he enjoys walking to and from his work at Lewis Ginter. He and his wife, Nota, have been Garden members for more than 10 years.
“I just always thought it would be a cool job to do. So when I saw the opening this summer I was like, well that’s pretty convenient, it’s right in my backyard and I kind of felt like I had spare time. I really just wanted the experience of working in a botanical garden of this level,” Heath explains.
Heath says his favorite spot in the Garden is the Conservatory because of his love for tropical plants and fruits (Did you know you can see everything from cocoa, to coffee to pineapples and bananas growing in the Conservatory?) As a plant enthusiast, you can be sure he is learning all he can about the new and exotic plants he comes across here at the Garden.
Currently, Heath says he is enjoying his time working alongside other gardeners and making new connections. Through horticulture, Heath wants to show people that even the smallest plot of land in their yard has the potential to grow something beautiful.
“I’m really hoping to bring attention to people about the power that is in their own yards. You can grow food in your yard, or you can grow native plants or whatever plants you like. Any little piece of land that you are spending time on, you can transform it into something more than just pointless grass,” Heath says.