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Episode 122: Imelda Ramos                                  

New York Botanical Garden Summer Intensives + Giveaway

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the New York Botanical Garden Adult Education Program today – and, more specifically, their accelerated Summer Intensives. If you’re looking for a career change or just want to further your education in Landscape Design, Gardening, or Floral Design, you’ll want to check out the possibilities at NYBG. And don’t miss the giveaway and discount code at the end of the post! Thank you to our friends at NYBG for your generosity!

A student works on a floral arrangement at one of NYBG's summer intensives

Corbin Gurkin Photography

“You can turn your life around very quickly, which is exactly what I wanted to do.” Amy Roberts laughed as she described how the New York Botanical Garden’s Floral Design Summer Intensive reshaped her career. “I used to work in the art world, and I wasn’t happy. I had an epiphany that I wanted to be a floral designer, and I wanted to do that as quickly as possible. In April, I had never taken a floral course. By the end of the year, I was working as a full-fledged designer and wedding consultant for Starbright Floral Designs! Where else can you do that?”

Roberts is one of many students who changed their life’s course by taking one of NYBG’s Summer Intensives – in Floral Design, Landscape Design, Gardening, Horticultural Therapy, or Botanical Art & Illustration. Each program gives students the opportunity to accelerate their progress toward an NYBG Certificate, a well-known and respected credential that helps students stand out as they embark on new careers.

At one of NYBG's summer Intensives, two attendees work on a large floral arrangement

NYBG’s Summer Intensive Programs are immersive experiences that equip students with practical skills they need to succeed. Over the course of the five-week Floral Intensive, students create 40 arrangements in diverse styles, from Ikebana to grand scale arrangements for special events. Roberts emphasized that the botanical knowledge and industry know-how she gained at NYBG helps distinguish her from her peers. “Flowers A to Z taught me the names and needs of a huge variety of flowers, while Shopping the Market meant that I started my new job knowing not only where to go for which flowers, but also who to talk to for the best service.

Similar to Roberts, Jamie Miller took a Summer Intensive in Landscape Design because she wanted to change her life’s direction. She was a stay at home mom and former Assistant Director in the film industry who wanted to take the fast track to a new profession. She is now the proud owner of J Miller Design Associates with her first official client. I’m currently designing two different areas on a large property, including a small Japanese garden. It’s very exciting!”

The Landscape Design Intensive is an immersive five-week experience in which students learn history, drafting, plant identification, and design. “The growth that I see over the course of a few weeks is astounding.  Student arrive, often not knowing how to draw, knowing little about the design process or landscape design history and leave the Intensive bursting with skills and knowledge,” enthused instructor Nancy Gerlach-Spriggs.

Miller is also quick to mention the caliber of the instructors, all experienced professionals with impressive credentials. She singled out Bill Einhorn, NYBG’s beloved graphics teacher. “Bill is extraordinary. He really cares about his students, and is always available for our questions. He helped me to realize that the more precise you are when drawing your plans, the better you will be able to execute them. Every corner has to be perfect!”

Both Miller and Roberts spoke of how they bonded with their fellow students. Miller said she is grateful to her classmates, who are all open to sharing ideas, concepts, concerns, and issues about their fledgling landscape design businesses, something they continue to do on weekly phone calls. Roberts echoes the importance of this camaraderie:Five of us have a text thread constantly going in which we discuss our business challenges and successes. We’re all burgeoning florists who are very supportive of each other. We’ve made important contacts for life!”

For more information about NYBG’s Floral Design Summer Intensive, call 718.817.8720.


Save $50 when you register for a NYBG Summer Intensive in Floral Design, Gardening, or Landscape Design. Use the code BB50 at check out. The code expires June 15, 2019.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a pair of “All Garden Pass” tickets to the New York Botanical Garden. Each ticket is valid through September 28, 2019 and grants you access to all exhibitions and gardens on NYBG’s 250 acres. The passes are not valid for special evening events. A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, April 19, 2019 at noon (CST) and announced on Botanical Brouhaha later that day.



  1. Wow! Such an incredible gift to receive and such a wonderful opportunity for designers. As I read this post I thought to myself I have never felt so closely connected to something other than flowers. As a third generation florist, I truly feel it’s in my blood and lately there has been a lot of conversation about work-life balance and how to set boundaries for yourself and your career. I realized that this business is my identity and there isn’t a question of how I can balance both-they are my life and even in my spare time I just want to keep learning, growing and blooming. I had an opportunity to visit NYBG once and the roses were my favorite part. Rows and rows of varieties so beautifully cultivated and fragrant, such a treat to have in the city! Thank you for sharing about the summer intensives! Warmly, Eve

  2. June says:

    Just visted the NYBG for the first time a few weeks ago during the Orchid Show. It was simply incredible!!!
    Highly recommend it! It will become an annual event for me.
    Would love to go back during the summer months when the outside gardens are in full bloom.
    The summer Intensives sound like a day spent in paradise for a plant/flower lover!

    • Amy McGee says:

      Bet that Orchid Show was incredible!Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you get back to the NYBG this summer!

      • June Dunn says:

        Who won the tickets to NYBG?

        • Amy McGee says:

          Hi June,

          Oh no! Your comment was filtered out and we just discovered it. So sorry! We contacted the winner (Evelyn) and announced it on our IG and FB pages on April 19th. Thanks for participating. Hope you’ll enter again in the future. Thanks so much for reading BB!

          Amy x


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