Carl Bower, Jr.

  • Landscape/Plant Production

Sit in one of Carl’s classes or ask him a question about landscaping. You’ll quickly learn why students say his knowledge and passion are infectious. Carl genuinely loves what he does. He lives for growth. Cultivates endless opportunities. And empowers students to chase their dreams.

Carl Bower, Jr.

Q&A with Carl


As an alumnus who only recently became a faculty member, I sit in the office used by one of my former instructors: Master Teacher Richard J. Weilminster. There are so many things that I find myself sharing with students that Rich told me and my classmates. Some are stories, others are bits of wisdom, and some are plant- or landscape-related anecdotes. I guess one of the things that I remember most is that there are so many opportunities in this industry and things that you might not think you are qualified for, but you have a very good start coming from this program.  Don’t think that you are not qualified or prepared just because you have a two-year degree; you are much more prepared than you think.  Be confident, work hard, don’t be afraid to learn and be open to ideas, because those qualities – and a good attitude – will take you far.


I think because of the exposure I have had with many great landscapes over the years, I’ve seen the impact that these spaces have on people and that they have had on me, and I want to give that feeling to others. I love when I do something in my landscape that gets people saying, “I never thought of doing that.” It excites me to create a space that can show others what can be done; it’s not only teaching in the classroom, but it’s teaching friends and visitors what can be done in a residential landscape.  When I visit some of the great public gardens we have at our disposal, it usually will get me thinking of four rather-dangerous words, “I can do that.”  Couple that with the fact there are many plants that I haven’t grown yet and want to for the experience … and finally, I guess, because it just looks pretty!


One of the great things about what we do it that we get to create spaces for people to enjoy outside.  Someone once said that our industry sells “pretty,” and that really is what we do to the landscape. Yes, we most likely solve a problem, but with an artistic flair.  People like it when there is a landscape that they can enjoy, trees to give shade, and flowers to look at.  I guess the projects that I have enjoyed the most have been ones where kids are involved.  The playground garden at St. John Neumann Academy and the Callie Cares Garden are my favorites.  Both involved children, but in different ways. The Neumann garden is a place that the students can come out to learn, play, and be with nature. I want them to realize that green spaces are important to living, learning, and playing.  The Callie Cares Garden is more of a healing space; it offers visitors a beautiful, contemplative space where they can be with their thoughts and think of others.


I encourage all the students to take advantage of any and all of the extracurricular activities. Because they can help them realize that school is more than academics.  What we do can have an effect on others. Whether that is doing a community or college service project or seeing how gardens are enjoyed by the public.  Many students have not visited any public gardens. When they see that option as a career path or just as a place that is nice to visit, it is eye-opening.


“I always tell my students to never be afraid to shake someone’s hand, introduce themselves and say they are a Penn College horticulture student. Because that can take you far.”

Carl Bower Jr.

Field trips offer networking opportunities

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Take a Tour

Join Assistant Professor Carl Bower on a tour of the extensive facilities for Penn College's Landscape/Plant Production program.

Real-World Ready
Nationally recognized for excellence

Nationally recognized for excellence

In the Spring of 2019, Carl traveled with a group of students to Colorado State University for the 43rd annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition. The students showed off their skills and placed in the top 10 in four different contests against almost 800 students.

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Guaranteed Momentum
Gaining skills and giving back

Gaining skills and giving back

On a regular basis, Carl's students gain real-world experience by lending their landscape expertise to benefit area organizations. In the summer of 2019, a team of students including Drew Marsh (pictured with Carl) transformed an outdoor space at St. John Neumann Regional Academy to include a beautiful garden where students can learn, play, and connect with nature.

Real-World Ready
Thriving outdoor showcase

Thriving outdoor showcase

Carl truly loves what he does. In fact, his home garden is a horticultural showcase and an occasional stop for garden clubs and other sightseers. Whether it's testing out a new plant species or executing an inspired design, Carl is always looking for fresh ways to beautify his backyard.



Pursue a career in horticulture at Penn College and you’ll be at home in our living labs, cultivating real-world experience and nurturing the in-demand skills to thrive.

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