Sunday, September 05, 2021

Introducing the Fall 2021 Interns

This fall, I have taken on four editorial interns. Look for their author bylines in our upcoming Washington Gardener Magazine issues and on this blog. Three are from the University of Maryland journalism school (my alma mater) and a fourth is from the Northern Virginia Community College horticulture program. As a first assignment, I asked them each to write a short introduction to our readers...

Hi, I'm Charlotte Benedetto. I'm a writer, artist, and gardener. Currently, I'm residing in the mossy area west of Washington DC, adjacent to many noisy toads. My interests in the garden include tricking deer, raising tadpoles, native perennials and shrubs, the four-season garden, edibles and perennial edibles, herbs, plants of pharmacological and folkloric significance, and indoor propagation. Personally speaking, I like classic films, military and political history, perusing damp undergrowth for fungi, charismatic skinks, and long forest hikes spent pointing out curiously contorted trees and/or animal burrows to my patient family. My work has appeared in the Baltimore City Paper, b magazine, and CATATAC.

Hi everyone! My name is Charlotte Crook and I’m one of the interns this fall at Washington Gardener Magazine. I am a senior journalism major at the University of Maryland, minoring in history. As someone who’s passionate about raising house plants (to varying degrees of success), I’m really excited to be reporting on the world of gardening, and even doing some more gardening myself! At Washington Gardener, I’ll be helping with the production of the podcast, as well as writing articles for our issues. Previously, I’ve written for the Writer’s Bloc, and I currently help manage social media and create newsletters for the University of Maryland’s Office of Transfer and Off-Campus Student Life.

Hello! My name is Melena DiNenna, and I am from Salisbury, MD. I am a fourth-year journalism student at the University of Maryland, College Park, with minors in Spanish and sustainability studies. I am currently a copy editor for the student-run publication The Diamondback. I have also published stories in the Her Campus UMD chapter and Hyattsville Life and Times. During this internship, I hope to improve my writing, interviewing, and editing skills -- and to learn new things! I’m new to gardening and magazine publishing, so I can’t wait to learn as much as I can and get to know the DC-area gardening community. I’m so excited to get started, and I hope to make a positive contribution to the magazine this fall alongside my team!

I am Melinda Thompson and I am a fall intern at the Washington Gardener. I’m a senior journalism major with a vocal performance minor and a concentration in women’s studies. Despite being a senior, I couldn’t get enough of being a Terp and I plan on taking an extra year to complete my studies. Within the last four years, I have had a wide variety of mediums I’ve published on. I have published for the campus publication, Stories Beneath the Shell, a small newspaper, The Greenbelt News Review, and broadcasted on the campus radio station WMUC on the show “Drop the Pop.” Outside of journalism, I am the social media and outreach coordinator for YogiTerps. I’ve spent every summer for as long as I can remember tending to my mother’s flower garden and digging my hands within the dirt. I’m very excited to be joining the Washington Gardener team and I look foreword to learn more about the gardening world!


  1. Go Terps! Look forward to seeing what you all contribute. Particularly interested Charlotte in your edible work, deer tricks and herbs. Good luck!

  2. Hi Elizabeth and Marcel, thanks for reading! Greater DC occasionally has great conditions for herb-lovers. Some neat edibles thrive here and are deer resistant-- hot peppers, onions, garlic and oregano are pretty mammal resistant! Annapolitan and Maryland gardeners have that "touch of sand"; I suspect the Terrapin touch may grow superior rosemary . . . As for the deer, such enchanting and beautiful creatures-- love to see them (as they run away). Happy gardening!


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