Public Garden Career Center - View Job

Return to Job listing

Horticulture Manager
Category: Horticulture

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Des Moines, IA

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2012


The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a nearly 14-acre urban garden along the Des Moines River, is preparing for a notable transformation.  The Garden first opened in 1979 as the Des Moines Botanical Center, part of the Des Moines Parks & Recreation Department, with its iconic Geodesic domed conservatory. Starting in 2013 the Garden will be transformed through the 501(c)3’s leadership and fundraising with a $11.6 investment in the first phase of the garden’s master plan.

The master plan designed by Doug Hoerr of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects in Chicago includes a water garden, shade tree allee, and a variety of specialty gardens. This position provides a unique opportunity to be to be part of a dynamic team during an exciting point in the garden’s history.

Horticulture Manager Job Description

Reports to:             President and CEO

Function:               Leads the horticultural team in creating and maintaining horticultural displays to drive year round attendance and further the Garden’s mission. Develops and monitors departmental structure and responsibilities to accomplish short-term and long-term goals.

Status:                   Exempt

Schedule:               Full-time, with mandatory weekend and holiday rotation and occasional evening hours

Revision Date: September 2012


Primary Responsibilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily and performs other duties as assigned.


The Horticulturist’s primary functions include:

·         Establishes and maintains high horticultural standards and practices; providing direction, training and motivation for the horticultural staff, interns and volunteers

·         Is a hands-on leader, actively working in the daily horticultural tasks in the interior and exterior gardens and growing ranges.

·         Serves as and assigns departmental liaisons to one of our partner horticulture groups i.e. Bonsai Society, Master Gardeners, Orchid Group, Herb Study, or other group

·         Manages and supports overall plant health and soil nutrition strategies for the Gardens, to include sustainable gardening practices and integrated pest management in the outdoor and indoor gardens

·         Establishes and oversees a systematic plant records policy, including direction of the plant collection policy and design aesthetic in coordination with the GDMBG master plan, mission, and strategies

·         Maintains the heating, cooling (building, conservatory and greenhouses), water (irrigation, fountains, and ponds), and horticultural equipment through GDMBG staff and external contractors

·         Serves as part of the Garden’s management team and is responsible for the operational and capital department budgets, budget monitoring, strategic planning, horticultural capital projects, and facility maintenance as related to horticultural services

·         Works as part of a cross-departmental team which identifies, solicits, and cultivates funding sources for the Garden, including grants, individual, and corporate donors

·         Serves as part of a cross-departmental team that creates and executes mission driven events and exhibits at the Garden

·         Collaborates with the Education and Outreach Manager to identify opportunities for programming and interpretation for the gardens and collections

·         Works with the Guest Services and Facility Manager to identify opportunities to attract attendees throughout the year by promoting the garden to the public

·         Maintains inventory of propagation and growing equipment and supplies, and orders additional materials as needed

·         Arranges purchase, sale, or exchange of plants with representatives of similar institutions

·         Develops, maintains, and promotes positive and professional relationships with internal staff, volunteers, members, vendors, contractors, media, and the general public.


Supervisory Responsibilities                       

·         Directly supervises 3-5 non-supervisory employees.

·         Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws.

·         Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.



The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required for this position.


Education and Experience

·         Bachelors degree in horticulture, botany, natural sciences or a related field

·         Minimum of four years experience as a professional horticulturist

·         Minimum of two years experience in management position


Licenses and Certifications

·         Must have a State of Iowa Pesticide Applicators License for turf, ornamentals, greenhouse and aquatic pest management (or obtain within 3 months)

·         Must possess a valid State of Iowa Driver’s License (or obtain within 1 month)

·         Maintains insurability under the company auto liability policy


Language Skills

·         Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations written in the English language

·         Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals

·         Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.


Mathematical Skills

·         Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. 

·         Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.

·          Ability to perform these operations using units of American money and weight measurement, volume, and distance.


Cognitive and Reasoning Ability

·         Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.

·         Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is frequently required to walk; sit and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; talk or hear and taste or smell. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 60 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include color vision and depth perception.


Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly exposed to wet and/or humid conditions. The employee is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


To apply for the position

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to

Return to Job listing