Director and Curator of Museum Gardens and Landscapes

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

This is an opportunity to work at one of the country’s most prestigious living history museums. Operating on a remarkable property overlooking Cape Cod Bay, Plimoth Plantation brings the story of America’s early foundation to life for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Our gardens are a unique heritage landscape for current and future generations to experience and enjoy. This position is responsible for the upkeep and development of all the Museum’s historical gardens. By maintaining excellent standards of presentation of the gardens and landscapes you will contribute to guests’ enjoyment of this unique outdoor Museum. We are seeking an individual who will greet with energy and enthusiasm the challenges and opportunities inherent in the planning and maintenance of the museum’s historical gardens.

This is very much a hands-on job and most of the work during spring, summer and fall is the day-to-day physical work of maintaining the gardens. You will supervise, assign and direct the work of staff and volunteers working on the Museum’s gardens and greenhouse. The position also includes taking responsibility for a master plan for garden development and restoration.

You will need to have the requisite training, skills and knowledge, perhaps through working in a similar role, and/or through relevant educational experience. You may have a background in estate management or landscape gardening and be seeking to develop your skills into a historical garden context, or you may already be experienced in working in historical public gardens. You should have a verifiable reputation for excellence in your work. You are an innovator, and possess the energy, vision and drive to take the Museum’s gardens to the next level and achieve great results.

We are looking for someone with sound horticultural skills including knowledge of the cultivation of seasonal bedding plants and herbaceous borders. You will oversee the development and maintenance of the gardens to the highest standards to ensure our gardens and landscapes have year-round beauty for our guests to enjoy. You are equally effective and efficient working independently and as part of a highly collaborative team.

If you have the relevant skills, proven experience, and are committed to high standards in your work; if you are passionate about maintaining and developing beautiful historical and traditional New England gardens; if you thrive on getting dirt under your fingernails, enjoy working in a busy outdoor environment in all kinds of weather; and you see yourself as
part of a multi-disciplinary team; and are excited about sharing your vision and skills with the public; then this may be the perfect job for you.

Responsibilities/Duties

  • To ensure that the Gardens continue to develop at a lively pace, the post requires a combination of dedication to the practice and continued development of high-quality gardening skills exercised through hands-on gardening. In this position you will be expected to provide high quality garden maintenance and presentation at all times through:
  • Hands-on seasonal maintenance of flower, shrub, woodland gardens with specialized heritage plants, including trees, hedges, shrubs, roses, climbers, herbaceous plants and annuals.
  • Provide garden training to staff so they can correctly maintain the historical gardens and ensure that skills are used by staff and procedures followed
  • Manage and supervise staff, assigning daily work, provide scheduling information, departmental training, coaching, feedback, and, if needed, disciplinary action. Interview applicants as needed
  • Direct the work of staff, volunteers and interns working in the greenhouse and/or gardens
  • Lead training programs for staff and volunteers.
  • Formative, seasonal and regenerative pruning of deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs, climbers and hedges
  • Safe use of garden machinery as necessary including mowers, trimmers, saws, and other machinery
  • Plan the design of and, working closely with the Deputy Director of Public Engagement and Guest Experience Managers, supervise the maintenance of the kitchen gardens in the 17th century English Village exhibit and at the Mayflower shops
  • Treat members of the public with courtesy and encourage their interest in the gardens
  • Develop a broad familiarity with the majority of plants within the gardens, and be completely familiar with those in any areas for which you may be directly responsible
  • Develop an understanding of the Museum’s gardens’ history and plant collections
  • Oversee and maintain the Museum’s greenhouse; plant seeds to prepare for transplanting into the gardens in the spring
  • Understand the diversity of wildlife within the gardens to ensure optimum care of the gardens’ flora and fauna
  • Lead public programs (e.g. garden walks and talks), special events or demonstrations, plant sales, seed saving projects, etc.
  • Coordinating with the Director of Facilities, supervise grounds maintenance and arboricultural contractors on site
  • Work to ensure the safety of staff, trainees, volunteers and visitors in the gardens
  • Assist in the maintenance of paths, gates, garden beds, and other hard landscaping
  • Creation and optimum use of composting systems
  • Maintain accurate records and labeling of the plant collection
  • Keep a garden log book of projects and overview of seasonal work; fulfill appropriate administrative tasks to create a useful archive for future gardeners
  • In collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees’ Gardens Committee, create, implement and maintain a vibrant Public Gardens Plan.
  • In conjunction with the Development Department, research and apply for grants for restoration and maintenance of Museum gardens, waterfront areas and grounds.
  • Undertake occasional work offsite as required
  • Attend Horticultural training as required including professional training including horticulture conferences and seminars approved by Deputy Director,

Qualifications/Requirements

  • Widely based and broadly experienced in garden management and maintenance, exercised through hands-on gardening with inspired vision, strong aesthetic and design sense, combined with an enthusiasm for gardening, with advanced gardening skills and horticultural knowledge.
  • Appreciation and understanding of the historical record in determining garden design
  • Ability to provide supervision and training of staff, apprentices or interns, and volunteers; previous project management and/or direct supervisory experience preferred
  • Excellent communication skills; ability to speak in an engaging manner, easily and effectively, with staff and the general public
  • You should have a verifiable reputation for excellence in your work
  • Ability to lead horticultural programs for staff, volunteers and guests
  • M.A., M.S. – Degree or substantial training in horticulture preferred, but related experience may substitute
  • Experience of staff and volunteer supervision and working with the public
  • Proven practical experience of the cyclical maintenance of a high-quality gardens
  • Ability to undertake seasonal maintenance work of gardens with heirloom plant collections
  • Superb time management skills with an ability to work independently with minimal supervision; pro-active in problem-solving, willing and able to lead and take initiative
  • Capable of undertaking all aspects of horticultural work and the considerable physical demands of the job
  • Proven experience of the cyclical maintenance of a large high-quality landscape garden or estate
  • Some familiarity with the cultivation of a broad range of trees, shrubs, bulbs, annual and herbaceous plants
  • Fluency in English; ability to communicate clearly and provide direction to staff and volunteers

Additional Information

​To apply email cover letter and resume to Tracy Maynard, Director of Human Resources at tmaynard@plimoth.org.

Contact Information

Plimoth Plantation
Contact Name: Tracy Maynard
Email: tmaynard@plimoth.org
Phone: 5087461622