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United States Botanic Garden-Horticulturist (Gardener Supervisor GARDENS AND GROUNDS)-Fri, 04/24/2020 - 10:27am

Horticulturist (Gardener Supervisor GARDENS AND GROUNDS)


United States Botanic Garden
245 First Street SW Washington
Washington , DC 20024

Employment Type

Job Categories

Job Details

Job Description 

Pay scale & grade
GS 11

$72,030 to $93,638 per year

The selectee will serve as the USBG's Horticulturist-Gardener Supervisor leading the Gardens and Grounds Section, supporting the USBG mission by overseeing planning, development and maintenance of the outdoor areas and is a working supervisor of a team of employees assigned to the Section.

The U.S. Botanic Garden is comprised of approximately 70 positions organized into Administrative Services Division, Public Programs Division, Horticulture Division and an Operations Division. The USBG is dedicated to demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humans. To meet this mission, the USBG provides memorable, educational experiences to over 1 million visitors annually, strives to break down barriers of inclusion, and hosts numerous congressional events each year.

Tour of duty is other than Monday through Friday Flexible schedule includes weekends, evenings and Holidays on a regular basis.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Major Duties


Exercises the full range of supervisory responsibilities for a team of gardeners assigned to the Gardens and Grounds Section. Establishes guidelines and performance expectations for employees, which are communicated through the formal employee performance management system. Provides advice and counsel to employees related to work and administrative matters. Develops performance improvement plans (PIPs), recommending personnel actions as necessary. Initiates disciplinary measures as appropriate to the authority delegated in this area. Provides for employee skills enrichment and development through identification of opportunities for coaching, mentoring and training.
Is responsible for furthering the goals of equal employment opportunity (EEO) by taking positive steps to ensure the accomplishment of EEO objectives.
Is responsible for utilizing a thorough knowledge of and compliance with applicable AOC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety rules and regulations to ensure that work progresses in a safe manner.
Garden Evaluation, Planning and Design

Performs evaluation, planning and design of specialized areas of horticulture. These areas include, but are not limited to, mixed hardy plantings, native plants, lawns, edible plants, sustainable landscapes, seasonal plantings and decorations and outdoor exhibits. Critically evaluates outdoor horticulture gardens and displays for aesthetic, education, health, safety, efficiency and sustainability features and considerations.
Prepares and plans projects for both the short and long-term as they relate to USBG priorities and master plans. Project planning includes all aspects of overseeing garden renovation and installation including plants, hardscape, labels, irrigation, aesthetic elements, equipment and labor.
Designs gardens, exhibits and displays for maximum effect for aesthetics, education, safety and sustainability. Works with Curator to ensure gardens are relevant to the USBG mission and compliant with the Collections Management Plan and Curatorial Policy.
Works with Botanist, Plant Records Specialist and Gardeners to properly accession and label plants and maintain detailed accession records in accordance with the Collections Management Plan and Curatorial Policy.
Garden Maintenance

Manages and participates in all aspects of gardens and grounds maintenance for optimal plant health and aesthetics. Determines and implements schedules for routine, seasonal and specialized maintenance of all gardens, lawns and outdoor areas.
Works with arborist to cultivate and ensure safe and healthy trees and woody shrubs.
Works with Plant Health Care Specialist to oversee plant health and an integrated pest management program for all outdoor areas. Monitors pest populations and life cycles; determines threshold levels and applies the appropriate physical, cultural, biological or chemical controls.
Manages service yards, tools and equipment inventory for outdoor gardens.
Collaborates with other Divisions and sections of the USBG to develop, execute and maintain educational horticultural exhibits.
Removes snow and ice from sidewalks and steps in inclement weather. Directs other USBG employees in these efforts.
Operates a wide variety of motor vehicles in accomplishing garden maintenance and snow removal.
Plant Cultivation

Oversees and coordinates the propagation and maintenance of a wide variety of plants for outdoor gardens and seasonal displays. These include, but are not limited to woody, herbaceous perennial, aquatic, bog, annual and vegetable plants. Propagation is conducted in greenhouse, nursery and garden settings.
Explores methods to improve planting, cultivating, fertilizing and insect and disease control to achieve optimal plant quality in garden and nursery situations. Recommends priorities and strategies for optimal growth of outdoor garden plants.

Coordinates employee schedules to ensure daily coverage. Approves schedules, leave and premium pay through an electronic system.
Contacts vendors, obtains quotes and prepares orders of plants and hard goods for supervisor’s review and authorization.

Education and Experience 

Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen.
You must be able to pass a drug test.
You must meet the definition of specialized experience.
You must meet education requirements at the time of application.
You must possess a valid, unexpired state motor vehicle driver's license.

Specialized Experience:

One (1) year of specialized experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled.

To be creditable, candidates must have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in Federal service.

Examples of specialized experience include the following: (1) Evaluating and diagnosing structural and horticultural issues in plant materials and trees to determine the proper corrective action; (2) Installing new plant materials following plans and approved horticultural practices and procedures; (3) Preparing and maintaining special beds including pruning, weeding, mulching, fertilizing, spraying plant materials, and applying pesticides; (4) Supplying and arranging special foliage for events, and promoting knowledge and understanding of plants. (5) Coordinating the production of standard and non-standard plant specimens, such as temperate plants, tropical and subtropical plants, and display crops; and (6) Leading or supervising employees in the performance of horticultural work.


You may substitute education for specialized experience. In order to substitute education for specialized experience, you must have three (3) years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or equivalent doctoral degree in a field of study related to the duties of the position.

Degree: Horticulture; or a related discipline of basic plant science that included at least 30 semester hours in the basic plant sciences, of which at least 16 semester hours were in horticultural subjects such as those dealing with the breeding, care, management, production, and post-harvest handling of horticultural crops.


Combination of education and experience: courses equivalent to a major in horticulture or a related discipline of basic plant science that included course work as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Courses in botany, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, genetics, agronomy, horticulture, and similar courses may be used to meet the 30-semester-hour requirement in basic plant sciences.

The 16-semester-hour requirement in horticulture includes course work in basic horticulture and course work related to any of the recognized subject-matter fields of horticulture, i.e., fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, nursery work, seed production, or course work in related areas of science, such as micro-biology, entomology, plant pathology, plant physiology, or genetics that is directly related to horticultural work.

Application Instructions 

For more information and to apply see:

Full Name 
Ray T Mims