Horticulture Manager
Huntsville, AL Horticulture
Job Type

Horticulture Manager

Department: Plant Science & Conservation                          

Supervisor: Senior Director of Plant Science and Conservation

Supervises: Cultivated Areas Supervisor, Horticulture Educator, Turf & Irrigation Technician and Volunteer corps Leads.

FLSA Salary Classification: Full-Time, Exempt 

Revision Date: March 2024

Availability: Ability to work a flexible schedule. Work will require occasional evening, regular weekend, and occasional holiday hours depending on the season.

Position Summary:

Lead the installation and maintenance of display gardens, landscapes, evaluation areas, building displays. Plan and direct staff and volunteers to implement sustainable horticultural and arboricultural practices that develop and maintain gardens, greenhouses and grounds. Establish planting and maintenance priorities, collaborate with the Curator on plant selections, as well as oversee quality control of contracted horticultural and irrigation work. Manage supervisory staff and volunteer leads involved with display horticulture, lawn mowing, and large-scale horticultural care. 

Essential Functions:

  • Supervises the Cultivated Areas Supervisor, Greenhouse Propagator, Natural Areas Supervisor, Horticulture Educator, and other supervisory horticulture staff involved with maintaining the Garden’s landscapes, nursery facilities, and evaluation areas in the Plant Science and Conservation department. Provides oversight to staff who supervise volunteer leads and serves as a liaison to volunteer groups as needed. 
  • Duties include recruitment and selection, scheduling and job assignments, consistent and ongoing coaching and performance feedback, recognition and staff professional development and on-the-job training in keeping with the Garden’s policies and procedures. Coach and enforce safety procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hazard recognition skills. 
  • Collaborate with other Garden leaders to ensure alignment with HBG strategic framework, operations plan, and timing of initiatives. Participate in the development of design concepts and budgets for horticultural projects with the Landscape Designer in Residence. Conduct technical review of project construction and planting plans. Consult on site logistics related to special events at the Garden. 
  • Collaborate closely with the Curator to coordinate plant conservation initiatives, implement collections curation, and horticultural operations. Determine priorities for the care and management of plants in Garden collections. 
  • Work closely with the curatorial team to establish priorities for invasive plant species control and implement procedures that will control invasive species and assure functional and aesthetically pleasing collections and gardens. Collaborate with the Curator for exchanging plants with other institutions per collections policy as needed.
  • Plan, direct and implement sustainable horticultural and arboricultural practices that develop and maintain gardens, greenhouses and grounds. This includes irrigation, runoff management, quality tree maintenance, shrubs, herbaceous layers and turf, ensuring design intentions of themed gardens are maintained.
  • Approve plant and materials purchase orders and propagation requests to ensure fiscal responsibility for the department budget. Serve as liaison to set priorities with and monitor the horticultural work and budget adherence of contractors and vendors. 
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the sustainable horticulture program at Huntsville Botanical Garden and teach occasional classes to a variety of internal and external audiences. Serves on outside professional organizations and interacts with professional counterparts at other institutions.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in horticulture or related field from an accredited program and 5+ years of relevant experience in garden or landscape development and crew management required. Supervisory experience required. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, with emphasis on Word and spreadsheets. 

Success Factors:

  • Ability to organize and delegate work, create schedules, and problem solve. Decision making skills and the ability to prioritize. 
  • Excellent cultivated and native plant knowledge with demonstrated experience in their selection and use. High standards for sustainable horticulture, creative garden display, interest in cultivated and native plants with focus on integration of sustainable practices. Ability to identify major plant genera and species, while also possessing knowledge of names and characteristics of a wide range of cultivated, ornamental and native plants.
  • Knowledge of basic plant culture and disease/insect pest diagnostics under local northern Alabama conditions required. Practical experience with IPM, pesticides, and fertilizers and compliance with applicable laws. Experience safely operating job-related equipment and tools, including their care and maintenance.
  • Exemplifies HBG core values. Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills, including thoughtful written and verbal communication skills. Facility with translating strategy and plans into budgets and narrative. Ability to identify issues, and consider multiple solutions, with emphasis on collaborative decision making with the team and garden colleagues. 

Preferred Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in horticulture or related field from an accredited program and 7+ years of relevant experience in landscape and crew management including experience leading a team in a public garden setting preferred.

Physical Requirements: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Physical Demands: Requires significant physical activity such as occasional lifting (50 to 100-lb) with team member assistance several times each day, frequent solo lifting (up to 50-lb), bending, climbing (up to 15-ft), walking over uneven and sloping terrain. Sense of vision and hearing in the normal range with or without correction. Sense of touch and the ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment required.  
  • Work Environment: Work is performed primarily outdoors in all weather conditions. Exposure to loud, prolonged noises and/or vibrations.  

Job descriptions are guidelines that attempt to characterize major duties and responsibilities of employees, and are subject to change as needs and programs change. At Huntsville Botanical Garden they are considered neither inclusive nor exclusive. It is expected that up to 20% of your duties may change annually.

Employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the position satisfactorily and, if requested, reasonable accommodations will be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, absent undue hardship.

The Huntsville Botanical Garden supports a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Garden is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

Salary Description
$48,000 - $55,000