The Conservatory Horticulturist is responsible for planning, coordinating, and assisting with the development, management, and daily care of the plant displays and thematic collections in the Conservatory and nearby grounds. Individuals should have a strong understanding of horticulture, display mastery of the skills necessary to perform horticulture tasks, and be familiar with the identification and cultivation of a wide variety of tropical and subtropical plants. She / he will be able to design creative and aesthetically pleasing displays and be familiar with the principals of glasshouse operation and management. The ideal candidate will be detail oriented and will have a strong eye for design. This position works under the general supervision of the Director of Horticulture and reports to the Horticulture Manager for the coordination of daily activities, attendance, and other operational procedures.
• Coordinate, oversee, and assist with the daily care and maintenance of Conservatory displays and plant collections in a manner consistent with the horticultural standards of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
• Physically work in all aspects of Conservatory maintenance and development including soil preparation, planting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, sweeping, and blowing.
• Inspect the Conservatory and nearby grounds regularly and identify tasks that need to be performed.
• Prioritize horticultural tasks, develop work schedules, and coordinate their implementation.
• Supervise daily activities of Gardeners, seasonal staff, and volunteers; provide training, as needed.
• Monitor Conservatory environment using Argus climate control system.
• Monitor operation of Conservatory mechanical systems.
• Monitor the quality and health of Conservatory collections and displays.
• Control pests and diseases using cultural methods, biological controls, and pesticides according to IPM protocols; maintain treatment records.
• Apply fertilizers in accordance with best management guidelines.
• Conceive and design displays; develop plans, select plants, and locate plant sources.
• Develop strategies for the renovation and rejuvenation of the permanent plant collections.
• Coordinate Conservatory work tasks with Horticulture Manager.
• Assist with the curation of the Conservatory collections; report plant additions and removals to the Plant Recorder, perform periodic plant inventories, and request accession tags and display labels.
• Troubleshoot and report problems with mechanical and climate control systems.
• Propagate tropical plants for renewal or enhancement; coordinate propagation activities with greenhouse staff.
• An Associate’s degree in Horticulture, Botany, Plant Science, or a related field; a Bachelor’s degree is desirable.
• Three years of professional experience managing and maintaining tropical and subtropical plant collections under glass.
• One year experience supervising staff in the care of greenhouse collections.
• Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office applications required; familiarity with Argus Controls climate control system and IrisBG collections management software helpful.
• Virginia Pesticide Applicator’s License (or the ability to obtain one within six months of hire).
For a complete position description and application instructions, please visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden website at lewisginter.org.