Assistant Garden Manager- Asticou Azalea Garden
Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
The Assistant Manager is primarily responsible for leading and performing the daily landscape maintenance. This position will lead the garden staff team and plant record-keeping in collaboration with the Asticou Azalea Garden Manager. This position will be required to actively learn the historical and cultural heritage and maintenance techniques specific to the plant collection and the plant collection itself. All tasks of the position are performed in alignment with the mission, vision, and core values of the Preserve while promoting changes in operation to increase ecological sustainability in all tasks. The Assistant Manager reports directly to the Asticou Azalea Garden Manager (April – December) and the Director of Farm & Gardens (January – March). This is an exempt twelve-month position, full-time (40 hours per week) with benefits. A flexible schedule is required due to holidays, weather, weekend/evening coverage, and winter projects.
The Mt. Desert Land and Garden Preserve is a nonprofit organization located in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, Maine. The mission of the Preserve is to share the beauty of historic lands and gardens on Mount Desert Island. The Preserve manages the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, Asticou Azalea Garden, and Thuya Garden, as well as Little Long Pond and over 1,400 acres of natural lands.
Duties & Responsibilities
Perform and oversee the following garden maintenance tasks (April – December):
• Maintain the plant collection, nursery plants, sand garden, and lawns, ensuring plant health and beauty through pruning, weeding, irrigation, seeding, mulching, mowing, trimming, transplanting, and planting.
• Manage soil and plant health using organic, sustainable garden practices. Leads and performs the scouting, documenting, and treating pests through organic measures. Maintains a State of Maine pesticide license.
• Ensure the plant collection is labeled, maintaining label standards set by the Garden Manager.
• Assist the Garden Manager with sourcing and implementing special projects such as, but not limited to, siting and movement of large stones, landscape renovation projects, and construction of various twig objects (edging, gates, screening, renovation of garden beds and plantings.
• Manage garden irrigation, troubleshooting, and consultants.
• Monitor pond water quality; initiate the pond maintenance tasks as needed, assist in storm recovery. Respond to the unique challenges of a freshwater stream system.
• Collaborate with the facility department on plumbing, equipment, clivus, and building maintenance. Ensure clean, safe, and secure work environments – adhere to OSHA standards. Ensure staff are adequately trained to operate and maintain all equipment.
• Document garden maintenance activities and procedures.
• Operate tools and equipment safely and ensure they are well maintained. Adhere to the Preserve’s equipment safety and training procedures. Ensure the use of PPE in accordance with OSHA standards.
• Lead and perform seasonal garden tasks such as winterizing the plant collection, installing deer fencing, gravel path maintenance, and installing path edging.
Perform the following winter tasks (January – March):
• Utilize a winter office in a Land & Garden Preserve year-round location.
• Store temperature-sensitive equipment and materials at a Land & Garden Preserve year-round location.
• Assist with plant database and GIS base map activities, primarily focused on Asticou, but if time allows, assist with Preserve-wide projects.
• Develop materials for seasonal reference in the garden.
• Project work: plant labels, documentation, cleaning, research, learning, organizing, and ordering supplies.
• Assist with McAlpin Farm greenhouse tasks or with Preserve winter tree work.
• Onsite winter checks, garden plant collection work, or project work.
Leadership and outreach:
• Assist the Azalea Garden Manager with hiring new staff, scheduling, project planning, and the annual budget. Provide support documents and quotes as needed. Process invoices as required. Review and turn in staff timesheets.
• Direct and train staff, volunteers, and contractual workers as needed.
• Maintain a solid working knowledge of the historical and cultural heritage of the property, including the plant collection.
• Interact with all guests (visitors, members, co-workers, and board directors) in a friendly and professional manner. Assist with garden events, tours, newsletters, and requests for information as needed.
• Assist with the care and security of all structures, including cleaning, stocking brochures, trash removal, restroom maintenance, organizing storage areas, and identifying issues. Monitor property for visitor safety.
• Assist with gate revenue processing. Collect cash and maintain cash ledger.
• Assist with and/or share appropriate staff for other projects across the Preserve as needed.
Education and Experience
• Valid driver’s license
• Four years’ experience in the gardening field (knowledge of woody plant maintenance and some perennials). Willing to learn about the philosophy and embrace techniques of Japanese gardening as it pertains to the coast of Maine.
• Well-developed communication and leadership skills with experience leading other staff or volunteers.
• Has a familiarity with plant databases and able to learn the IrisBG plant database and GIS mapping software.
• Able to work outside in all weather conditions. Lift and maneuver heavy items.
• Knowledge of pruning and willingness to learn Asticou Azalea Garden pruning practices.
• Experience with plant identification and a solid understanding of plant nomenclature.
• Able to use various garden tools, including ladders, pruning saws, shears, pruners, pole saw/pruner, mowers, weed whip, sprinklers, tree sling, ball cart, garden rakes and screens.
• Ability to work a flexible schedule, work independently, and have effective time management skills.
• Ability to respond accurately and engagingly to visitor questions with information about the Garden.
• The employee must obtain a pesticide license within the first 8 months of employment. The employer will pay the test costs for the first three test attempts and allow the employee to study for and take the test on work time. If the employee has not passed the exam after three attempts, further attempts will be at the employee’s cost and on the employee’s time.
Full job descriptions and interview timelines for garden positions are available in the links below. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Joie Torsiello Leiser, email@example.com.Application Deadline:
March 31, 2024