Section Gardener I – Tier I

South Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara
Full Time
Ganna Walska Lotusland

Title:                               Section Gardener I – Tier I 

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

Department:               Gardens 

Reports To:                  Grounds Supervisor 

Compensation:           $19.00 – $24.00 

Schedule:                      Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 3:30pm, with occasional weekends and evenings.  


About Lotusland: 

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.    


Mission Statement:  

Our mission is to preserve and enhance the distinctive botanical gardens of Madame Ganna Walska. Lotusland educates and inspires visitors with its collections, sustainable horticulture practices 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, palm, ferns, and water plants. 

 Practical experience in horticulture/landscape maintenance and a California driver 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). 


Key Responsibilities: 

  • Provide maintenance of gardens and grounds in assigned section(s). 
  • Plans and implements team projects with Grounds Supervisor and works independently. 
  • Learn and practice proper cultural conditions for all plants in assigned section. 
  • Shows ability and desire to learn scientific names of ½ of the plants in assigned section. 
  • Assist in the installation and provides the maintenance, operation and repairs of irrigation system and hand watering. 
  • Monitors soil moisture with a soil probe or other devices 
  • Operate mechanical power tools such as chain saws, blowers, line trimmers, electric carts, tractor, chipper and manual vehicles. 
  • Operate and maintain non-mechanical tools, such as shovels, rakes, shears, saws, wheelbarrows. 
  • 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 health care   
  • Provides appropriate cultural and soil improvement material as required, including compost, compost tea, mulch, beneficial inoculants, mineral/organic amendments 
  • Follows PHC programs and monitors conditions and effects. 
  • Prepare and submit reports of PHC applications to Manager of Sustainability. 
  • Maintains curatorial and display labels  
  • Consults with Curation prior to plant acquisition, relocation and plant loss and submits documentation. Reports lost or damaged labels to Curation. 
  • Organizes and works with volunteers and interns 
  • Set up for special events  


Knowledge and Abilities: 

  • Is proficient in the safe and proper use of gardening hand tools and garden power equipment, i.e., mowers, edger’s, hedge trimmers, chain saws, chippers, rototillers, trenchers, tractor, dump truck, electric carts, ladders, hand saws, hand pruners, loppers, shovels, rakes, hoes, etc. 
  • Practices the highest level of Horticultural care and Plant Healthcare Guidelines and Best Management Practices as they apply to cultural requirements throughout the garden for Lotusland’s globally important plant collections. 
  • Demonstrate a strong work and personal ethic for the care of horticultural and facilities tools and supplies, the care of personal safety during horticultural practices in accordance with the Lotusland’s safety procedures and trainings. 
  • Maintain a positive and professional working relationship with all staff, volunteers, and visitors. Assist visitors in answering questions and wayfinding as needed to ensure positive customer experience. 
  • 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 


Work Environment:  

  • Lotusland’s administrative offices are on a historic 2-story estate in a 37-acre garden.   
  • 90% of the day will be spent outside on the grounds. 
  • Frequent walking, kneeling, bending, lifting (50 lbs.). 
  • Will need to drive a cart. 
  • Breaks and lunch are taking altogether with the team. 

The responsibilities and deliverables listed above are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the individual in the position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities and/or skills. Other tasks will be assigned as needed.  


  • Health, dental, vision and life insurance.   
  • 403(b) Retirement plans.   
  • Paid vacation and sick leave.   
  • Paid holidays.  

 Additional Information 

  • Employment background/criminal check is required. 


Lotusland Core Values:  

Accountability: We take ownership of the commitments we make, holding ourselves accountable for our actions and decisions, both to ourselves and those we lead.  

Teamwork and Collaboration: Our roles are interdependent, requiring intentional collaboration within teams to consistently achieve our mission.  

Communication: Effective communication is crucial for building trust among our staff, board, and the larger community. We strive to share information clearly, consistently, and in a timely manner to foster understanding and commitment across our organization.  

Trust: We aim to cultivate mutual respect and open communication throughout the organization. Employees are encouraged to openly share their perspectives and feel secure in taking risks to enhance our effectiveness.  

Integrity: Aligned with our guiding principles of honesty, fairness, and decency, we promote a strong ethic of integrity among individuals and leaders.  


Lotusland is an equal opportunity employer. We acknowledge that equal employment opportunity for all persons is a fundamental human value. Each employee will be considered based on individual ability and merit, without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or marital status.  


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