Descano Gardens

About Us

We are an urban retreat located 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens is a place of year-round natural beauty, with internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums as a museum of living collections, Descanso Gardens welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually. The principal collections include California native plants and oak woodlands; one of the largest collections of camellias in the Western Hemisphere; a rose garden with specimens from all corners of the globe; and significant presentations of lilacs, maple trees, cherry trees and iris. Descanso Gardens has been designated an International Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society. The Gardens are operated by the Descanso Gardens Guild, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in a public-private partnership with Los Angeles County. The annual budget of $6.4 million is funded by memberships, philanthropic gifts, fees and support from Los Angeles County.

Job Description

Descanso Gardens seeks a Gardener responsible for garden maintenance including landscaping and waterscape and hardscape duties in collection zones. The Gardener will also participate in, and may lead, group work days and may support and oversee horticultural volunteers. Reporting directly to the Director of Horticulture and Garden Operations, this position interacts with staff, Guild members, volunteers, and garden visitors. This is a full-time, non-exempt position and includes evening and/or weekend hours depending on the needs of the organization.

Job Duties
  • Responsible for planting, fertilizing, irrigating, staking, pruning, removing plants, and other general gardening duties, as assigned.
  • Responsible for prioritizing and accomplishing daily individual assignments, as assigned.
  • Participates in group work projects.
  • Coordinates with Horticultural staff to determine best course of direction for control of weeds and pests.
  • Learns plant identification and botanical names, as appropriate.
  • Responsible for maintenance of tools, water features and hardscape, as assigned.
  • Identifies items in the landscape that need attention and brings to staff attention through written work order forms.
  • Supports and oversees volunteer activities.
  • Participates in safety meetings and is responsible for adhering to Descanso Gardens’ guidelines for worker safety.
  • Occasionally interacts with visitors and members by answering questions and providing information and directions.
  • Adheres to established Code of Safe practices when performing various jobs duties which also includes the safety of staff, visitors, volunteers, and communicates any hazard concerns as needed.
  • Maintains gardens using organic pest control, weed control, and fertilization.
  • Completion of other job related duties as assigned.
Equipment Used

This position is responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of a full range of standard manual and power gardening equipment and tools, including hedge trimmer, extendable gas-powered tree trimmer, soil tiller, compactor, seated lawn mower, bypass pruner, loppers, chain saw, folding saw, or any other related tools. Position may require operating knowledge of heavy equipment such as bobcat and tractor. Position requires operating knowledge of computers, standard office equipment, vehicles and two-way radios.

Physical Demands

This is an outdoor physically-orientated and demanding position which requires:

  • Ability to move equipment to various locations within the Gardens which may not be accessible via motor vehicle or paved road.
  • Must be able to walk long distances and access various areas of the Gardens including areas not
    accessible by paved roads or dirt trails.
  • The ability to lift and carry 50 lbs.
  • The ability to walk, kneel, bend, stoop, sit, crouch, drive vehicles, and climb ladders on a regular and ongoing basis.
  • Exposure to various noise levels on a daily basis.
  • Working outdoors in inclement weather, including cold, rain and heat, as well as night time conditions.
Qualifications & Requirements

Must demonstrate a strong knowledge of plants, general landscape maintenance, planting techniques, pruning, mulching, and other horticultural practices.

  • Two years of work experience in a garden setting as part of the horticulture or gardening team may
    substitute for degree.
  • Experience with organic gardening preferred.
  • Must demonstrate strong organizational skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills required including speaking clearly to diverse audiences.
  • Individual must be able to work unsupervised and to see projects through to completion.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and also as a member of a team.
  • Valid Class C California Driver’s License required.

Compensation: Starting at $15 per hour

Interested parties may apply by submitting a MS Word or PDF Letter of Interest and Resume to with GARDENER2102 in the subject line. Only those meeting the minimum requirements and submitting all required information may be contacted for further inquiry. We will accept Letters of Interest and Resumes until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.

Descanso Gardens Guild Inc. acknowledges that equal opportunity for all persons is a fundamental human value. Each employee will be considered on the basis of individual ability and merit, without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or marital status.