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Gardener at pergola

Director of Horticulture

Building on a world-class reputation

The gardens at Wave Hill, often described as breathtaking, daring and innovative, demonstrate exemplary plantsmanship, imaginative design and meticulous maintenance. The Director of Horticulture is responsible for maintaining and furthering this reputation with a mindful use of resources both natural and fiscal. The person in this position is the public face of horticulture for Wave Hill.

Reporting to the President and Executive Director, the Director of Horticulture is responsible for managing the Horticulture Department, including supervision of the Horticultural Assistant and the Assistant Director of Horticulture, who in turn supervises union staff consisting of six full-time gardeners and one Assistant Gardener, and directs seasonal employees, interns and outside contractors.

How to Apply

Email resume, cover letter with salary expectation and writing samples in a single PDF document, stating "Director of Horticulture" in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and only those receiving an interview will be contacted.


  • Working with the horticultural team, Director controls the overall aesthetic of the gardens and grounds with respect to historical context, overall design and seasonal horticultural displays.
  • Directs all maintenance, improvements and enhancements.
  • Plays a key leadership role in planning and implementation of all outdoor capital projects at Wave Hill.
  • Creates and manages the department’s annual operating budget and all policies and procedures for gardening staff in conjunction with the Assistant Director.
  • Advises and sets standards for the protection of the gardens and grounds for outdoor events, film and photo shoots, art installations and other programmatic activities.
  • Demonstrates ‘best practices’ and hands-on skills in horticulture. Advises and mentors gardeners and interns on history, guidelines, rules and inter-department protocols.
  • Interacts closely with horticultural leaders and groups, the Wave Hill Board of Directors and donors
  • Co-manages with the Development Department the Friends of Horticulture, a volunteer fundraising group, and its related special events, namely an annual Gardener’s Party and, together with the Public Programs, the Wave Hill Horticultural Lecture Series.
  • Works with Department of Arts to advise and collaborate on art experiences on the grounds, and interfaces with the artist residency program. Sets standards for horticultural needs and protection of gardens.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices and skills in ornamental horticulture with significant experience in a supervisory role. Experience in a public garden is preferred.
  • Exceptional plantsmanship with broad knowledge of plants and how to grow them in a northeastern (US) setting, including plants ranging from tropical to hardy trees and shrubs and woodland gardening.
  • Strong sense of aesthetic design and demonstrated experience in garden design are essential.
  • Strong skills in the propagation and cultivation of plants, management of glass houses and growing areas.
  • Strong, hands-on gardening ability, in operating garden tools and equipment, in working outdoors in all seasons and weather and in frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing, bending and lifting 30–50 pounds.
  • Experience with institutional garden management, including participation in capital projects, garden systems and day-to-day operations.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff at all levels, with goal setting, evaluations, conflict management and disciplinary actions.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, with the ability to communicate clearly to the general public, horticultural experts, the staff and the media.
  • This role requires exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills, as well as outstanding ability to communicate.
  • As a member of Wave Hill’s senior management, the Director of Horticulture must be able to work harmoniously in a team-based organization.
  • Active scholarship in horticultural studies, landscape design or related field is a plus. Architecture or landscape architecture study is also a plus.
  • Competent in Microsoft Office 365 applications.

Salary and Schedule

This is a full-time position requiring 35 hours per week, with an occasional evening/weekend. Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Wave Hill is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. Wave Hill is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, programs, and activities. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact