Job Listing: Horticulture Section Leader

Job Postings,

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Richmond, VA

Closes - open until filled

Position Title - Horticulture Section Leader

Compensation - $22.00 - $27.00 per hour  

Job Type - full-time; exempt

Apply - To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to

Summary - The Horticulture Section Leader reports to the Vice President (VP) of Horticulture as part of a team who support departmental administration, finance, and planning. Under the VP’s guidance, they develop all implementation measures and schedules and execute horticultural aspirations, goals, and objectives for the Garden and the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. They develop a strong team of horticultural professionals by investing in the training, support, and development of their staff and volunteers while acknowledging the integrity of the gardens presented is directly connected to the passion of the team maintaining them. This specific position provides leadership for dynamic spaces within the Garden including the conservatory and greenhouses, formal outdoor gardens, outdoor nursery space, and the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden. 

Job Responsibilities 


  • Oversees designated Horticulture Section and its assigned staff, volunteers, and workforce development participants while ensuring work aligns with organizational goals and core values.
  • Supports daily work in the Garden section by leading a diverse team. This includes interviewing, hiring, training, supervising, and performance assessment, with the ability to, coach, counsel, and transition staff.
  • Oversees the ongoing maintenance of and capital improvements for the conservatory and greenhouses
  • Promote, celebrate, and model professional development for Department members.
  • Serve as a member of the Horticulture Departmental Leadership Team.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Volunteers for volunteer engagement and collaboration with Annual Plant Sales and organizing corporate volunteer groups.
  • Schedules, plans, and implements strategies for the short-term and long-term evolution of the Garden section to reflect dynamic programming within the Garden, advancement of collections, and aesthetic beauty.
  • Collaborate across departments within the Garden and serve on relevant committees.
  • Assists VP of Horticulture with planning, budgeting, coordinating, and purchasing for staffing and resources for respective Garden Section. 

Horticulture, Collections, Design and Display

  • Works daily to support and maintain a diverse planting of annuals, perennials, tropical, woody and edible plants through pruning, grooming, weeding, mulching, watering, fertilizing, and scouting.
  • Monitors conservatory and greenhouse control systems and ensures suitable growing conditions are maintained
  • Develops and maintains core collections of the Garden, focusing on orchids, aroids, palms and other tropical plants in the conservatory and greenhouse
  • Coordinates the purchase and or production and staging of seasonal plant orders for the Horticulture Department
  • Diligently leads in sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies including biological, mechanical, and cultural controls. Coordinate scouting and control treatments with IPM Horticulturist.
  • Represents Garden interest with green industry partners by participating in shows, meetings, conferences, symposia etc.
  • Interacts with the public on an informal basis by answering questions, providing directions, etc. 
  • Models safe and correct use of Garden tools and equipment.
    • Utilize shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools to complete assigned tasks.
    • Operate push mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATVs, pallet jacks, bucket lifts, tractors, pickup trucks, and other power equipment in accordance with LGBG safety protocols and regulatory standards (training will be provided).
  • Works collaboratively with a dynamic team to achieve horticultural standards of excellence.
    • Participate in weekly group maintenance tasks such as blowing walkways, filling gas cans, and caring for tools and equipment.
    • Participate in group projects and meetings with other horticulture staff and in crossdepartmental projects.
  • Must be available to work evenings, weekends, and occasional holidays, ensuring coverage for Horticulture outside the traditional work week/day.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the VP of Horticulture or their designee.

Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of and experience with landscape practices and plant care appropriate to the region.
  • Strong work ethic, keen interest in Horticulture, and an enthusiasm for physical work outdoors.
  • Proficiency in conservatory and greenhouse management control technology and relevant systems including venting, shading, irrigation, sanitization
  • A demonstrated understanding of the horticultural practices and procedures required for soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, mowing, raking, sweeping & blowing, and tree & brush cutting.
  • The ability to use shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools effectively.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and managing irrigation technologies.
  • The ability to operate scissor and articulating lifts, push mowers, riding mowers, string trimmers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden UTVs, pickup trucks, chainsaws, and other power equipment safely and effectively.
  • The ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

Physical Demands / Working Conditions

  • The physical strength, dexterity, and coordination sufficient to perform the above functions.
  • Must be able to bend, squat, kneel, stand, and walk for extended periods of time
  • Must be able to work out-of-doors in Central Virginia seasonal extremes.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds repeatedly. Note: Duties described above, other duties, and physical demands have been identified as essential functions as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Education and Experience

  • A degree or professional certification in Horticulture, Botany, Plant Science, or a related field.
  • Five years of experience working in public gardens, parks or arboreta.
  • Conservatory experience mandatory
  • Virginia Pesticide Applicator’s License (or the ability to obtain one within six months of hire).
  • Possession of a valid driver's license.
  • Other combinations of education/experience appropriate to the job will be considered.
  • Proficiency in conversational Spanish desired.

Each employee of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • Must comply with provisions of the current Employee handbook, all published personnel policies and the requirements of their individual job descriptions.
  • Must perform all duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving multigenerational and multicultural individuals, families, and in accordance with directed practices and procedures.
  • Must be aware of surroundings and vigilant to threats to the safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff or to the security of their property, ensuring that all concerns are reported promptly.
  • Must report all injuries and incidents immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor(s) and to Human Resources.
  • Must ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Must perform other duties as assigned by supervisor. 

About Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Founded in 1984, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a non-profit garden located in Richmond, Virginia’s Lakeside neighborhood. The Garden encompasses 82 acres, four lakes, 5,500 unique taxa of plants within 15 distinct outdoor gardens, 11 major buildings including a conservatory and greenhouse, plus an 80-acre branch site, the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. Annually, Lewis Ginter engages over 17,000 students in innovative and exciting education programs and more than 400,000 annual visitors to the Garden. In recent years, the Garden has been honored with inclusion in several top ten lists for botanical gardens in North America.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin in the hiring, retention, or promotion of employees. We support the diversity and inclusion policy adopted by The American Public Gardens Association: to create an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture where the contributions of all community members are valued, respected and appreciated.

We are committed to elevating diverse backgrounds and experiences that aren’t currently represented amongst our Horticulture Team. We value the opportunity to work with individuals from different cultures and understand that like diverse ecosystems, diverse workplaces are needed for success. Our Horticulture staff exhibits a tireless commitment to creating new innovative gardens and displays that delight and inspire visitors of all ages and from all backgrounds. We are committed to demonstrating the use and cultivation of a wide palette of native and exotic plants suitable for use in Central Virginia and strive to maintain our collections to the highest standards in an environmentally responsible way. We think independently, work collaboratively, and are unified in our passion for horticulture. We come from diverse backgrounds and celebrate different ways of being, in ourselves and in others.