Herb Garden Internship 2024

The application period for the 2024 internship season has closed.

The National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum is the largest designed herb garden in the United States, containing over 900 taxa including a collection of antique roses. Herbal plants include those used for medicine, flavoring food, industrial use, dyeing, fragrance, and historical uses. Horticulture interns work in one or more of the Arboretum’s gardens or collections. A required internship project is presented to staff, volunteers, and stakeholders at the end of the internship. Interns also participate in professional development opportunities and educational field trips.

An intern working in the National Herb Garden


The successful applicant will be supervised by the National Herb Garden’s curator and gardener. This internship is approximately six months in length and will begin in May/June and conclude in October/November. The position is generally full-time but part-time may be considered on a case-by-case basis (e.g., the intern is enrolled in classes). This internship is payed by stipend through The Herb Society of America (approximately $18/hr). Housing is not provided.

An aerial view of the Herb Garden's entrance garden


Applicants must be U.S. citizens and need to have either completed course work or have acquired practical experience in horticulture or a related field (plant sciences, environmental science, biology, herbal science, etc.). Basic understanding of gardening skills is extremely helpful. Good “people skills” and the ability to work independently are essential. Interest in herbs as “useful” plants is required.

Duties & Working Conditions

The intern will be responsible for the typical duties of working in a public garden by assisting staff in the development and maintenance of the garden. Duties include general gardening tasks that provide proper environmental conditions, including planting, watering, mowing, mulching, weeding, and pruning; greenhouse work, including potting and plant propagation; and working alongside volunteers. Intern will assist staff with mapping and updating records and labels of plants in the collections. Incumbent will also assist with educational programming in the garden. This position involves heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, and exposure to extreme heat and humidity. Intern also interacts with the Arboretum’s many visitors by providing guidance and informal information. The schedule is Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter indicating availability and interest areas, a resume, a list of references, and transcripts, if applicable, (unofficial are acceptable) via email to USNA.Internships@usda.gov.

DEADLINE: January 15, 2024

Questions? Contact the internship office at (202) 245-4563 or USNA.Internships@usda.gov.

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