Holden Forests & Gardens seeks a Glasshouse Horticulturist.

Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G) is made up of two of Northeast Ohio’s most important environmental and cultural institutions — Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden — whose mission is to connect people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities.  The 14th largest public garden in the country, HF&G has close to 15,000 member households and more than 380,000 annual visitors who enjoy inspirational and educational experiences. HF&G is making a positive impact in the region and beyond through urban greening and forestry initiatives, environmental research, nature-based educational programs, and world-class visitor experiences at its two campuses.   

Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G) is entering a new phase of garden enhancement and investment as we roll out the five-year strategic plan.  Master planning with Nelson Byrd Woltz is in progress and this position will play a pivotal role in analyzing the needs of the Costa Rica and Madagascar biomes. The future is exciting as Horticulture & Collections teams expand! Come and join HF&G and make your mark as together we elevate and enhance our gardens, glasshouses, and natural landscapes.


The Horticulture & Collections department seeks a professional who will use sound horticultural principles to enhance, maintain and improve the plant collections housed within the Costa Rica and Madagascar Glasshouses, ensuring plants are grown and cared for under optimal conditions.  Responsibilities will include design, maintenance, and implementation of current and new glasshouse plant projects, with sensitivity to the animal, insect, and reptile collections, participation in short and long-range planning activities, and taking the lead in planning, developing, and implementing improvements for glasshouses. The Glasshouse Horticulturist will share knowledge with colleagues and guests through tours, classes and social media and work collaboratively with HF&G colleagues in other departments, particularly with Exhibits to ensure high impact shows. We are seeking a professional who will present a positive attitude that leads to successful teamwork, superb customer service and a high-quality aesthetic.

Key Responsibilities: Key responsibilities of the Glasshouse Horticulturist include, but are not limited to: 

  • Performs various tasks in maintenance and improvement of Glasshouses, working glasshouse and interior plant collections including but not limited to, planting, watering, fertilizing, bed renovation, mulching, pruning, staking, transplanting, thinning, and weed control.
  • Works with and guides gardeners, volunteers, interns and students, providing appropriate direction in horticultural practices that meet or surpass the horticultural standards of the Garden.
  • Selects the most appropriate plants for the Glasshouses to meet mission strategies, aesthetic, environmental conditions, and conservation objectives and educational messages, in collaboration with the Director of Gardens and Glasshouses and Curator of Living Collections.
  • Maintains and orders supplies, and plants as needed and keeps operational and pesticide records.
  • Arranges and works with outside contractors and consultants as needed.
  • Adopts and promotes sustainable management practices for glasshouses. 
  • Identifies, monitors and controls pests using indoor IPM practices.
  • Assists with the design, installation and maintenance of interior and exterior exhibits associated with special shows and events. 
  • Works with Curator of Plant Collections to coordinate glasshouse plant accessions/de-accessions and to maintain an accurate Collections of tropical and succulent plants according to the Collections Management Policy.
  • Safely operates a variety of machinery and equipment including trucks, utility vehicles, sprayers, ladders, saw, shears and pruners. 
  • Inspects and maintains small equipment in safe operating condition including sharpening and storage.
  • Monitors and makes small repairs to glasshouse irrigation system.
  • Assists with the basic care of animals, insects and reptiles in the absence of animal caretakers. 
  • Shares horticulture expertise with other professionals and patrons through classes, workshops, public tours, educational displays, printed publications, participation in conferences and relevant organizational meetings.
  • Works within and across departments to articulate key stories in Glasshouses for both casual and deeply knowledgeable guests, helping ensure that interpretive content is scientifically accurate.
  • Participate in ice and snow removal as needed.
  • Performs other duties as required by supervisor.

 Qualifications and Skills: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, (tropical) biology or related field is preferred.  
  • Significant practical horticulture experience in a garden of merit and deep plant knowledge will be considered in lieu of a horticulture degree.
  • A minimum of five years of experience in horticulture, gardening or tropical plant care related field; previous work experience in public horticulture gardens, specifically care of plants in a glasshouse, greenhouse or conservatory settings, a plus.
  • Tropical and succulent plant knowledge including nomenclature, husbandry, pruning, required conditions, preferred.
  • Possess a strong sense of design aesthetics; experience in glass/greenhouse planting design preferred 
  • Ability to plan and communicate requests to a team.
  • Work independently as well as on a team.
  • Possess strong oral and written communication skills and proficiency with computer software (Word and Excel required).
  • Collaborative team player.
  • An observant initiator.
  • Excellent communicator.
  • Self-starter.
  • Demonstrates interpersonal flexibility. 
  • Possessing a pesticide applicator’s license or the ability to obtain is preferred.
  • Must pass a criminal background check.

Physical Requirements: Must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodation:

  • Working primarily indoors where the ambient temperature spans 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Transporting oneself by foot over a variety of terrain that may be wet, slippery, uneven and/or rocky.
  • Standing, bending, kneeling, climbing, reaching, pulling, pushing, sitting, grabbing and lifting and carrying (up to 50 lbs.)

Salary range: Compensation commensurate with experience between $40,000-$60,000

Job classification: Full-time

To apply: Review of applications with begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  

Qualified applicants should submit résumé, cover letter and 3 professional references. https://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=db704977-d8c5-4be2-a36a-23f4002eddc0&ccId=19000101_000001&jobId=425679&source=CC2&lang=en_US

Holden Forests & Gardens (Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. We seek skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals to join our staff and enhance our reputation as one of the country’s foremost public gardens.

When you join HF&G, you join a team of professionals who are passionate about improving Northeast Ohio’s communities through our mission-driven programs. By joining HF&G, you will not only have the opportunity to work in a beautiful setting, but you will also have the opportunity to contribute to our fulfilling and groundbreaking work. 

Posted: August 18, 2021

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