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Manager, Landscape and Plant Collections (North Gardens)

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #692
Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Summary:  Manages a team of horticulturists in designing and maintaining 30 +/- acres of landscapes with varying themes, works with staff to build plant collections to support and integrate conservation, research, education, and display needs, implements collections priorities and policy. Ensures landscapes and plant collections are designed, maintained, and developed to the highest levels; requests and approves plants for addition to the Gardens living collections and mentors staff to do the same. Ensures excellent plant records are maintained for the living collections including recording of cultivation information. Develops work schedules and quality standards; participates in developing budgets and managing expenses. Works with staff to identify short and long-term projects to advance aesthetics, increase value of collections, and develop associated budgets and implementation plans. Manages a team of 6-12 employees and 20+ volunteers.  

  Essential Duties and Responsibilities:   

  • Manages a team of horticulturists towards the development and maintenance of multiple garden areas and collections (i.e., manage daily work assignments, coach/develop performance for success, create/maintain a work schedule, review/approve timesheets, maintain accurate attendance records, complete annual performance evaluations and goal setting sessions with assigned staff, handle all disciplinary actions, etc.)
  •      Works with staff to identify, plan, and budget for short and long-term landscape and collections development projects, developing proposals for approval by supervisor. Once approved, supports staff with implementation. 
  •       Reviews applications, identifies candidates, conducts interviews, and provides hiring recommendations to fill vacant horticulturist positions
  •      Works with staff to set and deliver yearly goals associated to the living collections, landscape, and staff development
  •      Trains and mentors horticulturists, interns, and students, working with Senior Horticulturists to provide supplemental training and oversight as appropriate.
  •      Regularly assists assigned staff in identifying projects furthering the landscape and collections value of assigned garden areas. Ensures implementation plans and schedules are in place and helps to secure resources for projects as needed
  •      Ensures the highest level of excellence in landscape design maintenance and plant care including: weed control, pruning, training, nutrient management, irrigation, soil conditions and pest and disease control.  
  •      Plans and schedules seasonal landscape and plant maintenance tasks and ensures necessary supplies and plant material are on hand to complete a task before starting 
  •      Evaluates landscapes on a regular basis provide feedback to horticulturists and ensure any necessary improvements are made 
  •      Reviews all landscape designs and renovations before requesting final approval from Director and SVP Horticulture and Living Collections 
  •      Researches and develops cultivation techniques and as needed, works with staff to modify the growing environment to support optimal plant health and maintains excellent cultivation records 
  •      Requests, reviews, and approves propagation, exchange, and purchase requests for plant material; ensures re-propagation of plant material is requested promptly to preserve valuable collections and replacement plants as needed 
  •      Takes an active leadership role in targeting plants for the living collections, curating plant collections, and supporting horticulture staff with collections focus and development in line with landscape descriptions and collections policy
  •      Considers plant selection and curation in the context of multiple assigned garden areas, continually striving to add plant diversity and increase relevance of the living collections
  •      Understands and utilizes the features of the Living Collections Management System to manage and develop the living collections, including conducting inventories and maintaining excellent plant records 
  •      Ensures minor and regular maintenance tasks are conducted on tools and equipment and submits maintenance request to General Services for large tasks
  •      Supervises staff in the use of tools and equipment storage areas, keeping them clean and tidy, and performs regular inventories of tools and equipment 
  •      Acquires and shares plant material per Gardens policies and guidelines 
  •      Ensures continuous proper operation of Gardens centrally controlled irrigation system and irrigation distribution
  •      Completes purchase orders, submits for approval, and orders materials, supplies, and tools 
  •      Assists in the preparation of division budget and continually reviews work to look for areas of efficiency and cost savings. 
  •      Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed (i.e., inform employees of safety rules and safe working practices and routinely monitor to enforce them). Adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards.  
  •      Participates in identifying funding opportunities and writes assigned grants 
  •      Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems, and implements them in daily work 
  •      Leads and/or participates in national and international travel/expeditions for plant collecting and horticulture capacity building as assigned 
  •      Maintains the highest level of expertise relating to the application of horticulture in botanical gardens, including collections curation
  •      Ability to obtain visas and vaccinations required for international travel
  •      Leads and/or participates in snow and ice removal operations, including weekend, holiday, and early morning hours as weather conditions dictate
  •      Conducts management of either Garden wide irrigation control, tree management, pesticide inventory or equipment training as assigned.
  • Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within our division and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and employees.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Varies, but generally (6-12) employees (Horticulturists) and volunteers 20 +/-. 


      Leadership: Leadership competency incorporates a cluster of knowledge, skills and abilities required for management of people, budgets and assigned business functions/operations

·           Communication: Combines listening skills, verbal and written communication skills, and visitor relation skills.

·           Collaboration: Incorporates teamwork, mutual respect, active engagement, cooperation, and visitor focus.

·           Accountability: Initiative to take ownership of responsibilities, the ability to prioritize, and the working knowledge and skills to take action.

·           Problem Solving: Blends problem-solving skills, judgment, and decision-making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.

·          Stewardship:  Merges the practical application of the Garden values and supports for a positive organizational climate.   


  •      Minimum of (7) years of relevant practical experience
  •      Minimum (3- 5) years’ experience in personnel management including demonstrated abilities in staff support, coaching and development, and conflict resolution.
  •      Knowledge of living collections curation and development a plus
  •      Strong knowledge of horticulture operations management and all related equipment and plants, plant materials (i.e., fertilizers, herbicides, etc.), and general landscape maintenance techniques and equipment. 
  •      Demonstrated experience in managing multiple landscaping operations. 
  •      Working knowledge of safe operating procedures for various types of landscape maintenance equipment. 
  •      Thorough understanding of different components and basic design requirements of automatic irrigation systems. 
  •      Working knowledge of budget development/management and forecasting. 
  •      Ability to read and understand construction blueprints. 
  •      Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  •      Must be able to secure pesticide applicator’s license. 
  •      Proven ability to lead and direct the work of others to complete general projects, including staff and volunteers, is required. 
  •      Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must enjoy and feel comfortable interacting and working near the general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture collection. 
  •      Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays as needed. 
  •      Knowledge of and adherence to all health and safety guidelines.
  • The Garden is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers and guests.  All staff are strongly encouraged to receive all vaccinations as recommended by your healthcare provider prior to hire date.  The Garden reserves the right to require future proof of current vaccination status, based on local health department guidelines.  When international travel is necessary for Garden business, staff must be able to obtain required travel clearances, driving permits, and vaccinations for all countries where travel is required.
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.


  •      B.S. degree in Horticulture, Biology, Botany, and/or related field required. 
  •      M.S. degree preferred
  •      An equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience may be considered.

Computer Skills: 

  •      Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook).
  •      Solid Internet research skills.
  •      Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff to answer questions and service their needs. 

Other Skills and Abilities: N/A 

Language Skills:  

  •      Ability to communicate effectively in English (verbal and written). 
  •      Ability to read and understand pesticide labels.   

Mathematical Skills: 

  • ·    Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; calculate percentages and decimals.           

Reasoning Ability:  

  • Requires ability to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:  

  •      Ability to possess and maintain valid driver’s and chauffeur’s licenses and a pesticide applicator’s license. 
  •      Other related certifications are a plus.

Physical Demands:  

  •      Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavyweight tools and equipment). 
  •      Must be able to work in high heat and humidity. 
  •      Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping, and reaching for extended periods -- 50% or more of the workday is standing on feet. 
  •      Ability to transport cumbersome potted plants and trays of varying weights. 
  •      Ability to safely navigate narrow greenhouse aisles. 
  •      Ability to wear Garden-issued Personal Protective Equipment.
  •      May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.).  
  •      Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing).

Work Environment:  

  •      Ability to work indoors in all weather conditions (i.e., humid conditions, temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in the rain, snow, and other inclement weather conditions as needed). 
  •      Wet conditions much of the time as watering is frequent. 
  •      Comfortable working in immediate proximity to the general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering general questions regarding the Garden’s operations, events, facilities, etc.

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden: 

  •      Frequently works with green industry representatives, professional organizations, colleges, and universities 
  •      Garden Employees, Volunteers, Guests 
  •      Occasional tour groups, media.


Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
Location on Google Maps
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America