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San Diego Botanic Garden-Director of Horticulture-Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:47

Director of Horticulture


San Diego Botanic Garden
Encinitas, California
230 Quail Gardens Dr
Encinitas , CA 92024

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Job Description 

San Diego Botanic Garden is a 37.5 acre public garden located in Encinitas, with views of the Pacific Ocean and a virtually frost-free climate. Quail Botanical Gardens Foundation is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization that manages the San Diego Botanic Garden on long term leases from the County of San Diego and the City of Encinitas. It has an annual operating budget for 2017/2018 of about $2.6 million dollars and a staff of 34 full and part-time employees. The Garden has a growing number of annual visitors, which last year was about 250,000.

The San Diego Botanic Garden boasts several major botanical collections comprised of bamboos, palms, aloes, agaves and other subtropical species. Notable gardens include the Undersea Succulent Garden, Hamilton Children’s Garden, tropical gardens, desert gardens, various phyto-geographical gardens including Mediterranean climate gardens, and the Bamboo Garden, which contains the most diverse collection of bamboo in all of the nation’s public gardens. Rare southern maritime chaparral, with its in situ federally endangered Del Mar Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. crassifolia), is the major plant community of the Garden’s natural areas.

San Diego Botanic Garden is a member of the Center for Plant Conservation, a national conservation organization whose mission is to conserve and restore the rare native plants of the United States through a network of almost forty botanical institutions across the United States. Additionally, our Bamboo collection has been Nationally Accredited by the Plant Collections Network, and we are working on including our Cycad, Erythrina and Ficus collections as well.

The garden is currently finishing our most ambitious Capital Campaign to date: the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory. This state-of-art new building will be utilized for education programs, events, weddings and more. It will mimic the functions of a traditional plant conservatory along with a teaching kitchen, classrooms, living walls and permanent plantings. However, the truly unique aspects of this facility lie in our plant exhibits and the interpretation that is being developed. The conservatory will have several large, novel “plant chandeliers”, and several large baskets planted to resemble “floating islands.” These exhibits require plant knowledge, design expertise and the ability to come up with creative solutions. The Director of Horticulture will be a key staff member in bringing these novel concepts to life, as well as advising the contractors on plant selection for other parts of the project.

We are looking for a person with excellent interpersonal skills, proven leadership, and supervisory ability. The person must also have a passion for public horticulture, conservation and be capable of maximizing the unique plant collections and displays for ensuring we accomplish our mission: To inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature.

Duties & Responsibilities 

1. Guide the development and management of collections, landscapes, garden displays, and nurseries.
2. Direct the design, installation, and horticultural maintenance of gardens and landscapes.
3. Manage plant propagation, plant records, collection mapping, and record labeling.
4. Ensure that SDBG plant collections and transactions are compliant with state, federal, and international regulations.
5. Oversee botanical interpretive labeling in displays and landscapes.
6. Manage insect and pest control programs. Ensure that SDBG is compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.
7. Manage horticultural tools and supplies, inventory, maintenance, proper usage, and safety.
8. Supervise and train Horticulture staff and Volunteers.
9. Schedule work for Horticulture staff. Provide clear and concise staff evaluations.
10. Manage plant sales at the gift shop, plant purchases, sales, maintenance, and the plant sales nursery.
11. Demonstrate a continued interest and advancement in public horticulture and network with other public gardens.
12. Oversee facility and maintenance department, including building and grounds operations, staff, and financial budgets.
13. Develop and implement departmental financial budgets.
14. Serve as a member of the SDBG senior management team. Coordinate programs, events and activities with CEO, Director of Operations, Development team, Education staff, and additional personnel as needed.
15. Provide research and information on plants, botany, and horticulture to the public, media, staff, and volunteers. Give tours and presentations. Writes articles for SDBG publications.
16. Participate in professional organizations as a representative of SDBG.
17. Assist with the production and management of special events.
18. Available on weekends, holidays, and holidays as needed.
19. Perform additional duties and/or assume additional responsibilities as delegated by the SDBG President/CEO.

Education and Experience 

This position requires a dedication to the mission of the San Diego Botanic Garden, “to inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature”. Must have a broad knowledge of plants and their culture with an emphasis on taxa suitable for southern coastal California. Must demonstrate a continued interest and advancement in public horticulture and network with other public gardens. Must have strong management skills and at least 5 years experience in management of people and public gardens. Must have the ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, including donors, public officials, contracted management team and designers. Must have strong design skills. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in horticulture or closely allied field is required with preference for an advanced degree. Must be well organized, be a team player with good interpersonal skills, and work well with other staff and volunteers. Must have good written and oral communication skills. Must be willing to perform a wide variety of tasks. Must have the ability to lift and carry a minimum of 50 lbs. Must have a valid driver’s license.

This is a full-time exempt position. The Director of Horticulture will direct and coordinate all horticultural activities and functions with overall responsibility for developing and managing collections, landscapes, displays, and nurseries. The Director of Horticulture will maintain high horticultural standards and practices providing direction, training and motivation for horticultural staff, interns and volunteers. The current number of staff under supervision is nine full time, and one part time employees. The Director of Horticulture will report directly to the President and CEO. The benefits for this position include paid vacation and sick time, retirement contributions, and medical insurance.

Application Instructions 

Please submit your cover letter, résumé, and salary requirements to Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please. References will be required.

The San Diego Botanic Garden is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Full Name 
San Diego Botanic Garden