Horticulturist; Formal Gardens, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA

  • 26 May 2023 12:54 PM
    Message # 13207129

    Apply online: Atlanta History Center

    The Atlanta History Center is looking for an initiative-taking and results-oriented professional to fill the full-time role of Horticulturist; Formal Gardens to join a highly motivated, driven team of 11 Goizueta Gardens staff. This team is raising the bar in horticultural excellence, historic garden management, and sustainability across the 33-acre campus. Enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and collaborative nature are necessary.  

    This position is responsible for the care of the two prestigious formal gardens of the Atlanta History Center: Swan House Gardens and Olguita’s Garden. Primarily focused on the Italianate 1928 Swan House Gardens, a Country Place Era estate designed by renowned classicist, Philip Trammel Shutze. This high-profile garden surrounds the historic house and is ensconced within Swan Woods, a preserved secondary-growth Piedmont forest. The formal gardens at Swan House are utilized throughout the year for private events, primarily weddings, but also photo shoots, filming movies, and television. 

    The Formal Gardens Horticulturist is also provided the opportunity to work with the Director of Horticulture in maintaining Olguita’s Garden, a garden designed with English and French gardens in mind, in memory of benefactor Mrs. Olga C. de Goizueta. This garden is to be kept in impeccable condition throughout the year – with regular replacement of annuals and biennials grown or sourced specifically for this garden.  

    Due to the popularity of events and visitors at Swan House Gardens and Olguita’s Garden on the weekends, this position is set to work a weekend schedule such as Saturday-Wednesday. Scheduling is flexible during the quieter event season (winter). The Horticulturist is responsible for maintaining and preserving the garden plantings and landscape features, providing a positive visitor experience, and ensuring event and visitation readiness.  

    Main Duties and Responsibilities


    Swan House

    • Maintain the historic landscape plantings. 
    • Monitor boxwood health and follow methods of best practice regarding boxwood blight; coordinate boxwood treatments for blight with existing contractor. 
    • Make recommendations towards renovations for potential removal of historic but invasive species with native or exotic non-invasive species that follow the design aesthetic and historic period.  
    • Work alongside Senior Horticulturist for Swan Woods to maintain the overlap in these areas; from invasive plant removal to planting and establishing native species. 

    Olguita’s Garden 

    • Maintain the permanent collections of trees, shrubs, and perennials. 
    • Assist in plantings of seasonal color and make recommendations. 
    • Grow annuals, biennials, and perennials in the greenhouse and overwinter tropicals. 
    • Prune hedges and train espalier pears.

    General Gardens

    • Learn all plants in assigned and surrounding areas, their names, and specific cultural needs. 
    • Provide ideal soil and environmental conditions utilizing sustainable practices such as brewing and applying compost tea, organic amendments, mulching with appropriate materials, removal of leaf build-up, and soil testing. 
    • Keep records of any approved changes to plant material (plantings, removals, relocations, pruning, dead plants, etc.) and deliver to the Plant Records Manager.
    • Collaborate on inventories, ensuring plants have accession and display labels.  
    • Assist with team effort to create an Integrated Pest Management program, including scouting for pests and diseases, pest identification and recommendations for control, and applying herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or other products as necessary. 
    • Become adept at Baseline Irrigation Management. 


    • Provide weekly maintenance of fountains and detailing as needed before and after events. 
    • Ensure drains are clear and functioning properly, especially before expected rainfall. 
    • Leaf blow 3-4 times per week for tidiness, and before every event if time allows. 
    • Top up and rake gravel paths as needed; maintain edging. 


    • Study the history and significance of the signature gardens and living collections within Goizueta Gardens; be prepared to answer visitor questions, train Guest Experience staff, lead tours and participate in public programs. 
    • Become familiar with all other AHC offerings beyond Goizueta Gardens, including historic houses, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Museum exhibits, public programs, and the Midtown Campus. 
    • Detail Swan House Gardens before events, and ensure it is restored as needed afterward – including following up on any damages for in-house or contracted repairs. 


    • Assist teammates with the Campus Checklist once a week or as needed. 
    • Work as part of the Horticulture team on group projects.  
    • Perform all garden maintenance tasks including planting, weeding, pruning, deadheading, watering, mulching, leaf removal, and soil improvement practices across Goizueta Gardens as needed; utilize methods of best practice with hand-held and power equipment. 
    • Work and communicate in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork, cooperation, flexibility, and tact within our division and throughout the AHC, with co-workers, management, rental clients, donors, volunteers, visitors, and employees. 
    • Assist with other duties as assigned. 


    • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture or related field from an accredited college or university or demonstrable equivalent in training and experience.  
    • Minimum 3 years of hands-on professional experience; public garden experience preferred. 
    • Demonstrated communication skills including effective speaking and writing skills.  
    • Must be able to sustain moderate physical exertion with full range of body motion for lifting up to fifty pounds. 
    • Must demonstrate a history of working independently and in a group setting. 
    • Ability to work in all weather conditions. 
    • Valid driver’s license. 
    • Fluency in English. 
    • Computer literacy, including internet research and use of Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Word and Excel; Google docs and sheets; training provided. 

    Background Check Requirements

    • Satisfactory criminal background check.
    • Satisfactory MVR background check, to drive company truck.

    Excellent Benefits, including Medical, Dental, and Vision, Employer provided Life Insurance (1x salary), Employer-provided Long Term Disability, Voluntary Life Insurance, and 403(b) Retirement Plan.  Full annual Paid Time Off benefits awarded following 60 days of employment. 

    Annual Salary;  $40,000 - $45,000