Director of Horticulture, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL
Brendan Huggins applied to UDBG’s summer internship in 2008 after discovering a passion for horticulture through several of his courses at the University of Delaware. During his internship, he helped to implement the design of the Lepidoptera Trail, a native garden with plants to attract butterflies, moths, and skippers. He also enjoyed the diversity of tasks during the internship that helped him learn the basics of horticulture at a public garden. Following graduation, Brendan worked at Longwood Gardens as their Nursery Management Intern, then moved to Hawai’i for an internship with the National Tropical Botanic Gardens. Brendan then returned to the east coast to work as a horticulturist at Greenwood Gardens, a public garden on a historic property in northern New Jersey.
After Greenwood Gardens, Brendan became Director of Horticulture at the Moore Farms Botanical Garden in South Carolina. He oversaw a wide variety of distinct garden areas inhabited by outstanding plants including collections of Pinus palustris, Magnolia grandiflora, and Taxodium. With the garden’s green roof research and exhibit and city beautification program, Brendan helped to promote sustainable horticulture for visitors and the surrounding community.
In the summer of 2019, Brendan accepted the position of Director of Horticulture at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, the highest point in Florida. Brendan’s responsibilities include direction and management of the gardens and grounds, natural areas, nursery operation, arboriculture, and Integrated Pest Management. The recently opened Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden inspires discovery in a new generation of budding gardeners that lasts a lifetime. As Brendan says of Bok Tower Garden, “It is an artistic, awe-inspiring garden that can both excite an old gardener’s passion and ignite a young gardener’s desire to learn about horticulture. It’s where horticulture and art meet.” Brendan’s initial passion for public gardens started here at UDBG, and we are so pleased he has continued to share that passion with so many institutions around the country.