Assistant Horticulturist

Requisition Number: 
Display Gardens
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
Senior Horticulturist or Horticulturist
The assistant horticulturist seasonals work closely with the horticulturists to maintain a diverse collection of plants in different display gardens with high attention to detail. They will spend most of their time working out in the gardens and assisting with the supervision of other seasonal staff and volunteers. They will be working in different areas with responsibilities such as using organic gardening methods for maintaining the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, maintaining native plants in the Native Plant Garden, large drifts of perennials on Evening Island and perennial borders in the Farwell Landscape Garden and Thomas English Walled Garden, training pines on the Malott Japanese Garden, maintaining roses in the Krasberg Rose Garden, tending annual borders in the Circle Garden and maintaining plants on the Plant Science Center green roof. This is a seasonal, full-time position working Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The season is anticipated to end in December 2021.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following:

  • Lead crews under the direction of the horticulturist or senior horticulturist and perform general landscape maintenance and installation including weeding, mulching, watering, deadheading, grooming perennials, fertilizing, planting, removing debris, pruning, edging, mowing, and maintaining tools.
  • Respond to public and staff questions for general information.
  • Provide current information to the horticulturists regarding plant accessions, removals, transfers, and label plants, and assist with installation of accession tags.
  • Inform the horticulturists of disease, insect, weed and animal problems.
  • Assist with special events.


Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have:

  • Completed a horticulture training program or taken classes in gardening with experience in landscape maintenance and installation.
  • The ability to lead a small crew in maintaining gardens.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.

*Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees be fully COVID vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires post this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire.*

Physical Demands: 
Must be able to lift, push, pull and carry items up to 50 pounds. Be comfortable working on step ladders. Work outside in all types of weather.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.