Our client is searching for a Skilled Hands on Gardner / Groundskeeper for their private estate in Lake Forest, IL. The gardener is responsible for oversight of a private, historic 15-acre property. The property encompasses native prairie meadows, a pond, formal gardens, fountains, extensive specimen trees, greenhouses, cutting garden, organic vegetable garden and small orchard. In addition to being an active gardener, this position will oversee several external vendors. This is a full-time exempt (salaried) position. On site, separate, private living quarters available if desired.
Sample of Duties:
A hands-on position responsible for, but not limited to:
· Weekly mowing
· Fall and Spring Clean up
· Complete weeding and mulching of all gardens, borders and hedged areas
· Maintenance of all hardscapes, patio, pool deck etc.
· Basic knowledge of annual and perennial flowers
· Vegetable Garden Maintenance
· Trimming of hedges, trees as needed
· Assist with storage inventory; care and treatment of outdoor patio cushions/pool cushions/umbrellas
· Daily upkeep of garages, deep cleaning as needed
· Assist in seasonal water turn on and shutoff
· Daily maintenance of lawn equipment - oil and gas levels; air filters. Report breakage to managers.
· Manage tool inventories and equipment care
· Participate in snow removal operations (nights and weekends when applicable)
· Assist with water filter changes at all properties on monthly basis (multiple systems)
· Assist with maintenance on buildings as needed.
· Clean outdoor furniture and maintain placement
· Assist outdoor contractors during mowing season, spring and fall cleanup
· Assist with cleaning basements and attics.
· Check monthly for leaks, rodents (in conjunction with pest control tech) and maintain good conditions
· Check Bikes
· Assist with Car Maintenance
· Assist as needed with special projects and/or events
· Comfortable around dogs
· Maintain all plantings and areas to protect and preserve their historic character and beauty.
· Practice and promote ecological sustainability in all tasks.
· Maintain garden tools and equipment for both safety and function.
· Comply with Master Pesticide Applicator’s requirements and recommendations regarding use of pesticides.
· Be ever mindful of safety and sustainability when working.
· Ability to prioritize work and direct outside vendors appropriately.
· High level of comfort working with a family and collaborating with others.
· Extensive knowledge of herbaceous border plants - both annuals and perennials -appropriate for the Midwestern climate.
· Knowledge of sustainable and organic gardening practices and IPM
· Knowledge of groundcovers, lawns, shrubs and trees with specific emphasis on prairie and meadow landscapes.
· A 4-year degree, preferably in landscape horticulture or landscape design
· Competency with computers and experience managing data.
· Ten years relevant work experience.
· Experience working in a greenhouse and good understanding of plant propagation.
· High degree of personal discretion.
· Valid driver's license and ability to drive a standard vehicle.
· Solid communication skills.
· Physical strength and flexibility to garden for long hours.
· Experience drafting garden plans and maps.
Schedule: Typical hours will be Monday –Friday, 7:30 am -3:30 pm. Candidate must be flexible with days and hours. Some weekend and holiday work is required.
Salary: Open based on experience