Estate Gardener

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The Crane Estate at Castle Hill
The Trustees of Reservation
Ipswich, MA

29 Hours per week, Year Round

About The Crane Estate at Castle Hill

Castle Hill is one of the nation’s best surviving Country Place Era estates, the summer home of Richard T. Crane Jr. and his family, constructed between 1909 and 1927. The property’s complex blending of buildings, formal landscaping, recreational and entertainment spaces, farm and greenhouse is the work of seven nationally-known architects, landscape architects and gardeners and is surrounded by magnificent natural scenery. Mrs. Crane bequeathed her estate to The Trustees in 1949. Today, Castle Hill is one of 11 Trustees Public Gardens. In 2019, the organization will continue its garden revitalization initiatives with the rejuvenation of the Rose Garden. Constructed in 1913-14, this iconic ruin will be stabilized and enhanced with new pergola and revitalized fountain set amidst the stabilized ruins of the former garden. Seasonal plantings will enliven and invigorate this favored romantic spot.

Summary of Position

Under the leadership of the Horticulturist for Castle Hill, the Estate Gardener will bring hands-on technical skills and support to the Castle Hill gardens with special focus to the Rose Garden, Formal Garden, and the vista from the main house terrace to the mouth of the Ipswich River. This individual will support the long-range strategy for the appropriate care of the landscape and gardens, implement best horticultural practices, lead interns, volunteers and seasonal employees in exceptional standards of garden maintenance, and interact with visitors, members, and donors in an open, engaging manner. This energetic, positive individual will bring their professional gardening talent to the appropriate care of the gardens, assist with living collections management, and implement best stewardship practices established under the leadership of the Castle Hill Horticulturist. This is a year, round 29 hour/week position.

Essential Functions

  • Performs all duties associated with installation, maintenance and care of permanent and seasonal plantings, including formal gardens, hedges, shrub borders, natural areas and lawn with special focus on the rejuvenation of the Rose Garden.
  • Guides the horticultural stewardship of the garden under the supervision of the Castle Hill Horticulturist.
  • Collaborates with engagement staff, stewardship staff, management, and consultants on the execution of garden rejuvenation, care of post mature and new plantings, and engagement program content.
  • Positively motivates and assists with the leadership of seasonal staff, volunteers and interns in the maintenance, installation and care of plant collections with careful attention to planting plans, record keeping, and proper plant identification.
  • Assists with the care and growth of the garden
  • Abides by the policies and best practices to guide great garden design and exceptional horticultural standards in balance with their natural surroundings and historic integrity.
  • Communicates efficiently and effectively via all Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Outlook 365), Skype for Business, garden design drawings, phone calls, text messages, and in-person meetings.
  • Performs, directs or reports on special studies, projects and assignments as requested.


  • A strong record of public garden or estate garden maintenance.
  • Knowledge or experience in the following areas: arboriculture, perennials, annual displays, woody plant care, pruning and other technical gardening skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of horticultural care and conservation, cataloguing, stewardship and applied practice.
  • Ability to inspire confidence and maintain effective working relationships at all levels of the organization including staff, volunteers and diverse public constituencies.
  • A proven, passionate commitment to the values, mission and purposes represented by The Trustees

Education and Experience

  • Two-year Associate degree in horticulture or related field of study required. Certificate in horticulture accepted with five or more years of proven experience in professional estate gardening.
  • Three or more years of hands-on experience and an employment history that shows increasing responsibilities in the public garden field
  • Experience supervising staff, interns and/or volunteers.
  • Pesticide Applicator’s License preferred.


  • Able to handle the physical demands of the job including routinely climbing a ladder, lifting loads up to 50 pounds, and working outside in all weather conditions
  • Able to work some nights and weekends to prepare for special events or to ensure the safety of the public.
  • A valid driver’s license, as well as a satisfactory driving record as outlined in The Trustees’ driving policy
  • A satisfactory criminal background check (CORI)
  • Pesticide license encouraged

Organizational Relationships/Scope

  • Reports to the Horticulturist at Castle Hill in Ipswich, MA

Please Note: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of employees assigned to this position.


To apply via the company website, click here.

Or send a cover letter and resume to

In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees of Reservations aim to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.

About The Trustees of Reservations

The Trustees is an organization with a fascinating past and an exciting future. Our places are open to all and we thrive by involving as many people as possible in what we do. Founded in 1891, by a group of visionary volunteers, we preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts and work to protect special places across the state. We have helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 26,000+ acres on 117 reservations that are all open to the public. We are a nonprofit conservation organization funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 60,000 member households.

In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees of Reservations aim to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.

We kindly request that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application. Those candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

Contact Information

The Crane Estate at Castle Hill
Website: Apply Online