Local horticulture student getting 'Old World' education

Local horticulture student getting "Old World" education
Published: Jun. 9, 2015 at 1:47 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2015 at 11:41 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Magnolia Plantation is home to some of the oldest gardens in America. But even at 300 years old, they pale in comparison to some of the grand gardens in Europe. To study these gardens and incorporate old world practices here, Magnolia Plantation sends aspiring horticulturists abroad. Tripp Odom, a second-year horticulture science student at Trident Tech landed an internship to spend his summer learning to garden, French style.

Odom has already spent his life studying the ground and what grows in it. He says he grew up working for his father's landscape company and on his father's farm. After graduation from the College of Charleston and working with Lowcountry Local First, Odom decided to study horticulture locally.

"Working outside I find very therapeutic," Odom said. "It's not only for your own enjoyment, but it's for everyone around you."

Odom jumped at the opportunity to study gardening abroad.

"They're some of the most renowned gardeners over there and so it's going to be an amazing opportunity to really learn from the best of the best," Odom said.

He will spend June in Normandy, interning at the Chateau de Brecy. The area features gardens dating back to the 1600s. Odom will move to Jardin Botanique de Vauville near Cherbourg in July and then to Chateau de la Bourdaisiere near Tours in August.

One person very familiar with Odom's path is the current garden designer at Magnolia Plantation, Katherine White. She was Magnolia's first intern to France in 2011. She was also studying at Trident Tech at the time.

"A lot of the techniques I learned (over there) I've used here already," White said.

Odom will also have the opportunity to create his own legacy once this unique education is over.

"I'll absorb as much information as I can and to bring it back here and apply it to garden design here or, who knows where I'll end up," Odom said.

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