Seasonal Garden Assistant

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: April 17, 2023  Compensation: $15-$20 per hour, depending on experience

Look no further than Van Vleck House & Gardens (, a public garden located in Montclair, New Jersey. We are seeking a Seasonal Garden Assistant to work 10 to 15 hours per week. Hours and days are flexible, within reason. Familiarity with basic gardening techniques is preferred, but motivated individuals ready to learn should not be discouraged from applying. 

If you enjoy being in nature, working with your hands in a beautiful garden environment, this is a great role for you. It is literally hands-on work. It is outside, rain or shine. It is in the soil, touching and working with our plants. You will do the physical work of gardening. This job will become part of your workout regimen. At the same time, you will learn the art of creating and maintaining a garden and gain familiarity with a wide range of plants.


This is what your experience will look like:

  • You will be spending the majority of your days out in the garden weeding, pruning, mulching, and at times watering new plants and composting, which is essential to the health and well-being of our diverse and vibrant garden. 
  • As we work together tending to the garden, you will learn how to notice and monitor for disease outbreaks and pests. This includes learning to identify symptoms of fungal infection and insect foe vs. friends. We strive to catch these types of things early. 
  • There is also an event component to our work. We run one or two large annual plant sales in early May and in the Fall. We are responsible for the set-up; we help run the event; and we are there on the backend to clean up and wrap up the events. Throughout the summer, there are other events that we help set up and take down. For example, this includes the Roses to Rock Gardens Tour, which is a private garden tour experience to homes in our local area. As a result, there are a few days on the annual calendar when we need to be available, regardless of our normal work schedule. 


Here’s what it takes to be successful and be able to perform this role. 

  • The ability to maintain an agreed-upon schedule with a defined start time. There is some flexibility, but timeliness and reliability are expected.
  • The work will be determined, sometimes on a daily basis, by what the Director of Horticulture prioritizes based on the needs of the garden. These will mostly be given orally vs. in writing. 
  • The ability to communicate clearly with others is essential.
  • We are looking for someone with a strong desire to learn about gardening and horticulture and who understands that receiving feedback and making adjustments is a key part of the learning process. 
  • In addition to the physical work and science of horticulture, it is also an art, so you will need to have the ability to visualize the outcome of your task, especially with regard to pruning and planting.
  • We have a culture of integrity and quality, and that means we expect each other to be trustworthy and respectful and act as collaborative members of our team. 

Role requirements include: 

  • The physical ability to consistently dig, shovel, carry up to 50 lbs. and push up to 200 lbs. with a wheelbarrow.
  • The physical flexibility and comfort with getting up and down and onto your knees to engage at the level of our friends, the plants.
  • The ability to safely operate hand tools and power equipment.
  • Valid driver's license
  • Must be 18 or older

Additional Information

  • This is a temporary part-time position mid-April through mid-October
  • 10-15 hours per week; some weekend days required

Contact Information

The Montclair Foundation
Contact Name: Laura Roberts