Horticulture

May 2, 2020

The horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their annual Spring Plant Sale on May 8 from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm in the greenhouse located on the north side of campus. All proceeds from the plant sale will support the Kishwaukee College Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund to help students facing financial challenges due to the pandemic. Patrons must secure a 20-minute timeslot reservation by making a donation via Eventbrite to shop in the greenhouse.

The Kish Foundation launched a COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund on April 20 with $50,000 from the Foundation. The Fund provides scholarship support to students impacted by the pandemic. Proceeds from the plant sale will go to the COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund to support more students. To date, 88 students have applied, and the Foundation anticipates the number of applications to increase the longer the stay-at-home order is in effect.

All plant material was grown in the College greenhouse by students, under the direction of the horticulture faculty, until the stay-at-home order was enacted. “It is so cool – they literally grew scholarships,” remarks Chase Budziak, dean of instruction. Rich Alde, assistant professor of horticulture, reports this is the best crop he has seen in all of his time at Kish.

The plant sale will include annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs. There are also hanging baskets and large bags of quality potting mix (2.8 cu. ft.) for sale.

Timeslots must be purchased to shop the plant sale. There is no general admission. Social distancing measures and face masks will be enforced for safety. Four timeslots are available for reservation for each 20-minute interval. One patron per timeslot reservation will be allowed in the greenhouse. Additional guests will be asked to remain in their vehicles or outside and follow social distancing guidelines.

Individuals may purchase more than one timeslot at adjacent times to extend their shopping time. The cost of timeslots decreases throughout the day as inventory decreases. Payment for plant material can be made by check or exact cash only. No change will be given.

Horticulture staff will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions. Members of the horticulture program can assist with plant selection to suit specific needs or wants.

Individuals who purchase timeslots should enter campus using the north (B) entrance on Malta Road and turn right. Directional signs will be posted. Arriving early is encouraged for prompt entrance. Patrons will only be permitted in the greenhouse during their reservation time.

To purchase a 20-minute timeslot for the Kish spring plant sale, visit https://kcfplantsale2020.eventbrite.com/

For more information about the annual plant sale benefitting COVID-19 Student Scholarships, contact Kayte Hamel, executive director of the Kish Foundation, at khamel@kish.edu.

February 24, 2020

The Kishwaukee College Floral Design department hosted a guest designer as part of the Artist In Residence (AIR) program offered through the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) on Wednesday, February 19 at the College. Students in Janet Gallagher’s Floral Design class welcomed Pete Samek, AIFD certified floral designer, for a morning lecture followed by an afternoon of design.

Pete Samek is a freelance designer, a 30-year veteran in the floral industry and is currently serving as an elected representative on the AIFD National Board. He was assistant director at the American Floral Art School for 14 years and taught floral design in Chicago, Taipei, Taiwan and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A former board member of AIFD’s North Central Chapter, Samek has been an active member with the organization since 1991. Samek along with designer J. Keith White decorated the VIP entries at the 2017 Rose Parade. Currently, Samek works in quality assurance in the floral department at FTD LLC and helped organize the 2019 Interflora World Cup competition at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Samek works as a freelance designer and resides in Naperville.

While at the College, Samek lectured on formalinear design style, a European style that arranges plant materials in groups to emphasize clean lines and bold forms. Students learned about intentional and strong use of negative space to accentuate individual flowers, stem angles, color and textures, radial stem placement and asymmetrical balance. Samek also covered foliage techniques such as weaving and other leaf manipulations. Following the lecture, students created individual centerpieces in formalinear style.

The AIR program is offered through the AIFD to bring together industry professionals and floral design students at colleges and universities that have Student AIFD chapters. Kishwaukee College is one of only 14 colleges in the nation with a SAIFD chapter. 

For more information on the Floral Design Program at Kishwaukee College, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture.  For more information on the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), visit http://aifd.org/


Photo Caption: Pete Samek, AIFD CFD, was the guest Artist In Residence at Kishwaukee College on February 19. Samek presented on formalinear design and foliage techniques for the Floral Design class at the College. Students then worked with Samek to create centerpieces in the design style. Photo 1: Kish floral design student. Photo 2: Pete Samek, American Institute of Floral Designers, certified floral designer.

Categories: Horticulture
August 28, 2019

The Horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their Fall Plant Sale on September 13 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. The Fall Plant Sale includes fall mums, asters, cold hardy perennials, fall wreaths, fall décor, and mixed containers. Custom planters will also be available. Patrons can choose a container or bring their own. 

Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions. Staff and students can assist with plant selection to suit specific needs or wants.

Patrons should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but a loading area will be available by the Greenhouse for assistance with loading purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash, and credit (Discover, Visa, and MasterCard).

For more information about the Horticulture program at Kish, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture. For more information on the plant sale, contact Greenhouse Grounds Specialist Kim Rotella at krotella@kish.edu or 815-825-9597. 


Photo Caption: The Kishwaukee College Fall Plant Sale will be held on Friday, September 13 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. Pictured: Kish students in the Greenhouse Management class prepare for the upcoming Fall Plant Sale on September 13.

Categories: Horticulture
August 15, 2019

Students and faculty from the floral design program in the Kishwaukee College horticulture department attended the American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) National Symposium held in Las Vegas last month. Each year, floral designers, design instructors, and design students from across the U.S. and Canada attend the AIFD Symposium. Kish floral design instructor and AIFD chapter advisor Janet Gallagher attended the symposium with students Hayley Krull, DeKalb; Peyton Lamps, La Salle; and Abby Martin, Oregon.

The Kish students participated in various competitions. Students worked within a time constraint to complete design pieces utilizing fresh flowers and a toolbox of limited, contest-specific items. Lamps placed fifth for her wedding bouquet and Krull received seventh for the interpretation design. Overall, the Kish team placed sixth in the competition.

The 3 students received support through the Ruth Ashelford Pollock Horticulture Internship Scholarship via the Kishwaukee College Foundation to offset the cost of travel to the event.

“I am so proud of our students,” Gallagher comments. “They competed at a high-level and created unique designs that utilized the elements and principles they’ve learned. It was a great networking opportunity for all of us, and our students were enthusiastic to represent Kish.”

The annual AIFD symposium features the only national student design competition for colleges and universities that have floral design programs. Kish’s floral design students form one of only 16 student floral design organizations in the U.S sanctioned by AIFD.

For more information on the floral design program at Kishwaukee College, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture. For more information on the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), visit http://aifd.org/

Categories: Horticulture
April 26, 2019

The Horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their Spring Plant Sale on May 10 from 7:30 am – 2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. The Spring Plant Sale includes annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, zonal geraniums and large specialty annuals. There are also pre-planted containers of various sizes, hanging baskets, and large bags of quality potting mix (2.8 cu. ft.) for sale.

Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions. Staff and students can assist with plant selection to suit specific needs or wants.

Patrons should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but a loading area will be available by the Greenhouse for assistant with loading purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash, and credit (Discover, Visa, and Mastercard).

Save the date. Fall mums, asters, cold hardy perennials, fall wreaths, fall décor, and mixed containers will be available September 13 at the Kish Fall Plant Sale.

For more information about the Horticulture program at Kish, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture. For more information on the plant sale, contact Greenhouse Grounds Specialist Kim Rotella at krotella@kish.edu or 815-825-9597. 


Photo Caption: The Kishwaukee College Annual Horticulture Plant Sale will be held on Friday, May 10 from 7:30 am – 2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. Pictured: Plants for sale in the Kishwaukee College Greenhouse.

Categories: Horticulture
April 2, 2019

Kishwaukee College welcomed 37 businesses on campus March 5 for Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture Interview Day and Business Etiquette Luncheon. Approximately 43 students participated to practice interviewing skills, obtain an internship job, and learn the proper way to eat and present themselves in a business environment. Employers completed evaluation forms on students after the 20 minute interview.

“We’re really looking for someone outgoing and very personable with knowledge of Microsoft Office,” says Amanda Weides, Maintenance Account Manager at Winters Landscape in Sycamore. Weides interviewed students this year but is an alumna of the Horticulture program at Kish and attended Interview Day as a student in the past.

Former students in both Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture have been successful in securing employment through the Interview Day process. Mike McElmeel, President of Bobcat of Rockford and Janesville, says the company currently has three employees from Kishwaukee College and he came to interview day to see what other candidates are available. “If they are interviewing you,” McElmeel says, “there’s a likelihood they will find a spot for you.” 

In preparation for Interview Day, instructors taught students how to write a cover letter, resume, and create a portfolio showcasing accomplishments. Several employers even visited the campus prior to Interview Day for a discussion panel so students could learn about companies prior to the event.

“Diesel Technicians are in high demand and the industry is struggling to find reliable, well-trained replacements for its retirees. Kish Diesel program is working with employers to ensure our students are trained properly to be entry-level ready,” says Mark Engel, Assistant Professor of Diesel Power Technology at the College. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a $46,360 median yearly salary for diesel service technicians and mechanics in 2017.

Businesses were invited to stay for the Etiquette Luncheon where they shared a meal with faculty, staff, and students at the College. Students practiced customary behaviors such as appropriate introductions, how to eat, and polite conversation.  

For information on the Horticulture or Diesel Power Technology programs, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture or www.kish.edu/dpt.

For information on Interview Day, contact Diesel Power Technology Assistant Professor Mark Engel at mengel1@kish.edu or 815-825-9787.


Photo: Kishwaukee College Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture students interviewed with local employers then had a Business Luncheon at the College. Pictured: Kish student Alberto Cacique interviews with employers at Diesel Power Technology and Horticulture Interview Day.

February 27, 2019

The Kishwaukee College Floral Design department hosted a guest designer as part of the Artist In Residence (AIR) program offered through the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) on Wednesday, February 20 at the College. Students in Janet Gallagher’s Floral Design class welcomed Polly Klein AIFD Certified Floral Designer, for a morning lecture followed by an afternoon of collaborative design.

Polly Klein is owner of Polly’s Petals & Particulars, a full-service floral company in Libertyville, Illinois that has specialized in floral and event styling for the past 19 years. They received Wedding Wire’s Couples Choice Award for 8 years in a row. For the past 4 years, Klein has been a floral designer for the Rose Parade. This year, her team constructed 4 floats and 3 received awards for outstanding floral design. Klein is an elected representative on the North Central Chapter AIFD. 

While at the College, Klein lectured on design aspects of the Rose Parade. Students gained insight into the special considerations of constructing large-scale floats including color blocking, ensuring a mechanically sound and secure float, and dynamics of designing with a team. Following the lecture, students worked as a class to create a floral piece in the spirit of Rose Parade float designs. Their design was on display in the Conference Center on campus, allowing students, staff, and faculty to enjoy the beautiful and impressive design.

The AIR program is offered through the AIFD to bring together industry professionals and floral design students at colleges and universities that have Student AIFD chapters. Kishwaukee College is one of only 16 colleges in the nation with an SAIFD chapter. 

For more information on the Floral Design Program at Kishwaukee College, visit www.kish.edu/horticulture.  For more information on the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), visit http://aifd.org/


Photo Caption: Polly Klein, AIFD CFD, was the guest Artist In Residence at Kishwaukee College on February 20. Klein presented on the Rose Parade for the Floral Design class at the College. Students then worked with Klein to create a large piece stylized after Rose Parade floats. Pictured: Polly Klein.

Categories: Horticulture
August 29, 2018

The Horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, September 15 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. Plant Sale will be in conjunction with the College’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming event. The Fall Plant Sale includes fall mums, asters, cold hardy perennials, fall wreaths, fall décor, and mixed containers. Custom planters will also be available; choose a container or bring your own.

The Kishwaukee College Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions and will also assist with choosing plants suited to specific needs or wants.

Plant Sale participants should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but there will be a loading area available by the Greenhouse and horticulture students and staff to assist patrons with loading their purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash or credit card (Discover, Visa and Mastercard). For more information, contact Horticulture Instructor Rich Alde at 815-825-9519 or at ralde@kish.edu.

May 8, 2018

The Horticulture department will be holding their Annual Plant Sale on May 11 from 7:30 am–2:00 pm in the Greenhouse located on the north side of campus. The Plant Sale includes annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, zonal geraniums and large specialty annuals. There are also pre-planted containers of various sizes, hanging baskets and large bags of quality potting mix (2.8 cu. ft.) for sale.

The Kishwaukee College Horticulture staff and students will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions and will also assist with choosing plants suited to specific needs or wants.

Plant Sale participants should enter campus using the North (B) Entrance on Malta Road. Parking is limited but there will be a loading area available by the Greenhouse and horticulture students and staff to assist patrons with loading their purchases. Payment can be made by check, cash or credit card (Discover, Visa, American Express and Mastercard). For more information, contact Horticulture instructor Rich Alde at 815-825-9519 or at ralde@kish.edu.

Save the date for the Horticulture department Fall Plant Sale on September 15. Plant sale will be in conjunction with the College’s 50th Anniversary Homecoming event.

April 23, 2018

Two students in the Floral Design program at Kishwaukee College placed in the Illinois State Florists’ Association 113th Annual Floral Design Show held in Decatur on March 16-18. The convention includes hands-on classes, stage programs and opportunities for the students to network. Each year, floral design students from across the state compete in designing an arrangement; this year’s theme was Start with Color and the task was to create a centerpiece. Kish students Kira Bensinger, Genoa, and Matheu Poust, DeKalb, took First and Second Place, respectively. They are pictured with their centerpiece creations that utilized a monochromatic design. Poust is also wearing the floral neckpiece he created in the Flowers to Wear mini-competition. For more information on the Floral Design program at Kishwaukee College, contact Janet Gallagher at 815-825-9504 or jgallagher@kish.edu.

Categories: Horticulture
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