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125 Arborwary
Boston, MA 02130


Rachel Lawlor

I was first introduced to horticulture while attending Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, Massachusetts. I decided to become a “plant” major there. I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Aggie internship, a six-week program at the Arnold Arboretum, my junior year. From there, it was clear horticulture was my calling in life. I quickly found my first industry job at a local florist and garden center.

After high school, I attended UMass Amherst for my Bachelor’s in Horticultural Science. There I gained interest in more specific topics such as plant identification, plant pathology, nematology, plant physiology, and entomology. During my freshman year, I started to work in the Nematology lab. This led to a project that allowed me to visit the Arboretum once again. I conducted a survey of the nematode populations found in the Lilac collection. In the summer of 2017, I became a Isabella Welles Hunnewell Horticulture Intern at the Arnold Arboretum, and during this time I truly fell in love with public horticulture. Throughout my time in college, I also worked as an assistant manager of a garden center, and as a teaching assistant for the Plant Pathology course.

I graduated from UMass in 2019, and started working as a seasonal term employee at the Arnold Arboretum, alongside horticulture staff, predominantly in the Leventritt Garden, Bradley Rosaceous Collection, and Weld Hill.  In 2020, I became a full-time Gardener at the Arnold Arboretum and you will still find me most of the time in the Leventritt or at Weld Hill, as I generally assist Horticulturalist Greg LaPlume with his zone work. Every day, I learn something new while caring for the collections. I get to appreciate, and contribute to, the astounding beauty of a place I’ve grown up in, and has inspired my life’s path. I feel truly blessed and honored to work here.


BS in Horticultural Science
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Pesticide Applicators License