South Santa Barbara County
Full Time

Title: Gardener

Classification: Full-time (40-hour work week), non-exempt

Department: Grounds & Facilities

Reports To: Director of Grounds Facilities

Salary Range: $20/hour

Schedule: This is a full-time 5 days week position with occasional work on weekends.


Ganna Walska Lotusland is a 37-acre botanical garden and historic estate located in Montecito featuring a collection of over 3,000 plant species from around the world as well as historically significant Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Since opening to the public in 1993, Ganna Walska Lotusland has grown to become one of the world’s premier botanical gardens and a center for sustainable garden practices, horticultural education, and plant conservation.

Position Summary:

Work as a member of an experienced horticultural staff responsible for all aspects of the care and maintenance of a 37-acre botanical display garden. Plant collections include bromeliads, cacti, and other succulents, cycads, palms, ferns, and water plants.

Practical experience in horticulture/landscape maintenance and a California driver’s license with a good driving record are required. Experience should include a basic knowledge of sustainable/organic horticultural practices, including the use of compost, compost tea, mulches, beneficial organisms, etc. Must be capable of strenuous physical work and working in inclement weather (50 lb. lifting requirement).

This is a full-time 5 days a week (40 hours/week) position with occasional work on weekends, and salary dependent on experience. Benefits include health insurance, vacation, and sick leave as well as a 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Watering:
    • Waters by hand and with automatic systems based on cultural requirements
    • Monitors soil moisture with a soil probe or other devices
    • Maintains irrigation system to ensure the system is operating properly
    • Installs and maintains drip irrigation and low-flow irrigation systems
  • Weeding:
    • Uses hand tools, power tools, and herbicides
    • Completes training before using restricted products
    • Mulches planting beds and open areas to control weeds
  • Fertilizing:
    • Calculates rates
    • Calibrates application equipment prior to applications
    • Prepares and applies compost tea
    • Submits detailed reports of all applications
    • Follows plant nutrition programs based on plant health care needs
    • Monitors conditions and effects
  • Pest control:
    • Follows safety precautions and wears protective clothing when applying pesticides
    • Traps gophers, moles, voles, raccoons, etc.
    • Monitors for pests, diseases, etc., and reports to plant healthcare
    • Submits detailed reports of all applications
    • Cleans up and stores pesticides (if certified)
  • Planting:
    • Follows accepted Lotusland planting procedures
    • Makes and maintains soil basins if needed
    • Stakes and ties for support when needed
  • Soil improvement
  • Provides appropriate cultural and soil improvement material as required, including compost, compost tea, mulch, beneficial inoculants, mineral/organic amendments
  • Record keeping:
    • Submits timely reports of observations and practices
    • Records all material usage
    • Maintains curatorial and display labels
    • Reports lost or damaged labels to the curator
    • Submits documentation of plant acquisition, relocation, or loss
  • Supervises volunteers and interns
  • Works independently and with other garden staff on crew projects
  • Set up for special events

Essential Requirements (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities):

  • Is proficient in the safe and proper use of gardening hand tools and garden power equipment, i.e., mowers, edgers, hedge trimmers, chain saws, chippers, rototillers, trenchers, tractors, dump trucks, electric carts, ladders, hand saws, hand pruners, loppers, shovels, rakes, hoes, etc.
  • Properly maintains and stores tools and supplies
  • Is familiar with the principles of sustainable horticulture and of cultural care in keeping with those principles. Follows Lotusland’s Plant Healthcare Guidelines and Best Management Practices as they apply to cultural requirements in areas of responsibility and throughout the garden.
  • Must be able to lift heavy objects, i.e., equipment, fertilizer, potted plants, etc. (50 lb. minimum lifting requirement)
  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license
  • The Gardener must be able to perform each requirement of the position as outlined in the job description.  Essential Requirements are representative and essential for satisfactory job performance.  The Work Environment characteristics are representative of those that may be encountered while on the job.  Lotusland will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position. Lotusland is an equal-opportunity employer.
Leave a Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top