Saturday, July 27, 2013
Two students from the National Landscape School of Versailles in Paris are interns this summer at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Sophie Bertrand and Ana Morales are working in the gardens with Magnolia’s staff in the mornings, and in the afternoons they are pursuing their areas of interest. They also will tour gardens in Charleston and elsewhere in the South.
This is the fourth year Magnolia has participated in the exchange program with the French Heritage Society in Paris and New York with assistance from the Alliance Francaise in Charleston.
Since 1985, the French Heritage Society has sponsored an educational exchange program for American and French students in the fields of preservation, cultural management, architecture, art history, horticultural and other areas related to historic preservation.
American students have been selected for internships in decorative arts, history, art history, gardening and museums while French students have been selected for internships in research, art history, gardening and museums.
“We are now in our fourth year participating in this program,” Tom Johnson, Magnolia’s executive director, said. “We enjoy working with the French students because having them here matches our long-term mission to use horticulture to bridge the gap between Europe and America.”
After graduating from Versailles, Bertrand wants to design gardens for an urban design company or an architect. She is a native of Moulins Sur Allier, a small town in central France.
A native of Paris, Morales wants to start a landscape design company.
Bertrand’s and Morales’ internships end on Aug. 9.
Seven other French students have interned at Magnolia since 2010.
Magnolia’s representative this summer in the program, Dana Reynolds, is currently in France. She is a graduate of the horticulture program at North Carolina State University. Follow Reynolds’ blog about her visit to French gardens at: http://frenchgardenadventure.blogspot.fr.