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A full time, year-round position providing comprehensive medical and dental benefits with no payroll deduction, three weeks of paid vacation and generous salaried compensation based on educational level and experience.

Location: Clay Hill, the home of Elizabeth Locke and John Staelin outside of Millwood, VA. (Millwood is located between Middleburg and Winchester, VA and is a bit over an hour west of Washington DC) The property contains several gardens including extensive floral gardens, an organic vegetable garden, a greenhouse, an orangerie, a waterlily pond, a large collection of boxwood, a glassed-in room called the plant room and house plants. The grounds have been featured in past Garden Week Tours sponsored by the Virginia Garden Club and are periodically visited by garden lovers and groups from across the country.

An abbreviated list of plant material includes:

  1. A wide variety of both summer and winter vegetables; many being started under artificial lights in the late winter for later planting in the vegetable garden
  2. A large range of flowering plants (including tree peonies, roses and a large collection of Asiatic lilies)
  3. Over 60 varieties of dahlias
  4. Several beds of berries. (blueberries and raspberries)
  5. Orchids
  6. Dwarf citrus trees
  7. Camellias, growing outside in the summer and inside in the winter
  8. Spring and summer bulbs
  9. Flower pots placed around the property and at Elizabeth Locke’s shop, Elizabeth Locke Jewels
  10. Waterlilies and lotus
  11. Boxwood parterre and numerous other boxwood on the property. This box parterre was featured in a recent Boxwood Society newsletter and quoted as being one of the most beautiful boxwood gardens the writer had ever seen.




The horticulturalist is responsible for:

  • The year-round maintenance of all the outside gardens, the boxwood, the greenhouse, orangerie, plant room and house plants. This is the primary responsibility of the horticulturalist and includes working directly with Ms. Locke in a variety of discussions including decisions as to the garden layout for the upcoming year, what to plant, when, where, etc.
  • Working collegially with other employees on the property. Generally, these employees are focused on the lawn, farm livestock, building maintenance, etc. However, they can lend a hand when needed.
  • Knowing when to call and how to work with outside vendors who specialize in pest control, boxwood pruning, edging of flower beds, etc. It is hoped that the horticulturalist will know or learn many of these skills but outside support will likely be needed.
  • Willing to occasionally host visiting garden groups and answer their questions.


  • Masters, BA or AS in horticulture or similar educational qualifications.
  • Experience with vegetable and formal gardens
  • Enjoys getting “hands in the dirt”
  • A burning desire to have everything look well cared for (neatly organized, weed free, labeled, etc.)
  • Ability to work with others (subcontractors, employees who are not direct reports, etc)
  • Self-starter (This position does not have day-to-day supervision nor direct reports)
  • References

Additional Information

​This is a private garden owned by Elizabeth Locke and John Staelin. It is open to the public upon request.
Elizabeth Locke is a Board Member of the Garden Conservancy.

Contact Information

Clay Hill Garden
Contact Name: John Staelin
Email: staelin@mac.com
Phone: 540-539-5176