Head Gardener

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Compensation: $75,000-$100,000

This position directs the activities of the garden staff of Wethersfield Estate & Garden, a landscape listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Head Gardener will be responsible for the management of the formal and woodland gardens of this 1000-acre estate and will work with a team to help oversee the care of the roads, trails, agricultural fields, forests, and wetlands. The Head Gardener will be responsible for staffing, budget development, and long-range strategic planning for Wethersfield garden. The Head Gardener will also serve as a public face for Wethersfield by giving tours and other educational presentations to the public, helping with media requests, and interacting with donors.


  • Manage and directly assist with the care and maintenance of Wethersfield’s gardens, lawns, and walkways.
  • Prioritize and coordinate capital improvements throughout the estate grounds.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Horticulture to create seasonal display plans, including propagation, planting, and maintenance schedules
  • Establish and implement high aesthetic and horticultural standards and best practice standards of garden maintenance in keeping with the vision of the founder.
  • Direct organic and integrated pest management strategies to ensure health of the garden’s collection.
  • Collaborate with the Estate Manager to oversee facilities management including trails, non-paved roads, agricultural fields, forests, wetlands, and other landscape features.
  • Collaborate with the Development Officer to ensure donor events and other programs function smoothly
  • Collaborate with the Office Manager to ensure efficient handling of paperwork and coordination of workflow
  • Collaborate with estate manager to determine timing and techniques for major horticultural and land management activities, including pond, dams and wetlands management, orchard pruning, harvesting, over-seeding, tree plantings, IPM activities, invasive species management.
  • Hire, supervise, schedule, train, and evaluate the garden staff.
  • Advocate on behalf of Wethersfield and the staff through public outreach, operational coordination, and maintenance of professional connections and donor relations.
  • Collaborate to develop a long-term vision for land management of Wethersfield’s 1000 acres, including strategic planning, project management, and implementation, and the overall maintenance of the garden and grounds.
  • Initiate strategic improvements to horticultural operations; stay up to date on industry best practice, implement where needed.
  • Collaborate around public programming, donor/fundraising events, venue rental, and educational activities.
  • Plan, direct, and administer the annual garden budget, in coordination with the Board of Directors.
  • Coordinate presentations, regarding Wethersfield’s garden and grounds; give tours to the public.


Skills and Abilities:

  • A minimum of 5 years of paid, full-time experience in horticulture and land management is required.
  • Excellent organizational, team building, communication, and leadership skills
  • Expert knowledge of horticulture, including but not limited to propagating, planting, and care of woody shrubs and trees, annuals, perennials, vegetables, soil science, greenhouse management, lawn care and the appropriate control measures for their major pests and diseases, including integrated pest management. Experience with large-scale land management projects, including forest and wetland management.
  • Working knowledge of methods, materials, techniques, tools, and equipment used in a wide variety of conservation, restoration, and other landscape maintenance activities.
  • Proficient in the use of computers, MS Office applications, and plant records database programs. Experience with GIS a plus.
  • Proven ability to create a culture of safety and ensure all work is completed according to OSHA standards and provides regular safety training opportunities.

Physical Demands and Work Considerations:

The Director will work outside in all weather and will be part of the essential staff needing to report during inclement weather and other emergencies. The Director should expect to work in the rain, heat, humidity, and cold, and coordinate snow clearing in the winter.  Walking on inclines and rocky and uneven terrain is essential to fulfilling position responsibilities.  Rotating weekend duty will be required.

Additional Information

We provide:

  • Competitive compensation, based on experience, $75,000-$100,000 (with housing).
  • Excellent benefits package including healthcare, dental, vision, and 403b
  • Housing is available. Please note in your application whether housing will be required

How to Apply

  • Please send a cover letter expressing your interest and a resume with relevant experience to Chris Ferreri, Estate Manager, Wethersfield Foundation, Inc., 257 Pugsley Hill Rd, Amenia, NY 12501;  info@wethersfield.org

Contact Information

Wethersfield Estate & Garden
Contact Name: Chris Ferreri, Estate Manager
Email: info@wethersfield.org
Phone: 845-373-8037