JOB TITLE: Manager of Living Collections/Horticulturist
SUPERVISOR: Executive Director
STATUS: Part-time, 25-30 hours per week
Pay: $20 per hour; eligible for Wyck health benefits.
Wyck is a National Historic Landmark house, garden, and farm in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia that served as the ancestral home to the Wistar and Haines families from 1690-1973. The people who lived and worked at Wyck for nine generations were committed to education, horticulture, natural history, and preservation. Today, the Wyck Association connects this family’s rich history to the Germantown community through programs that focus on history, horticulture, and urban agriculture. The 2.5-acre, centuries-old site includes the historic home, the oldest original-plan rose garden in America, a working urban farm, and sections of preserved landscape and historic outbuildings.
The Wyck Rose Garden dates to the 1820s, with 50+ cultivars of historic roses. Included in the garden are the original rose plants from the 19th-century design, as well as plants from the 18th-century kitchen garden. Several roses in cultivation today were thought to be lost until they were rediscovered growing at Wyck in the 1970s, and all specimens of these varieties in commercial trade descend from Wyck plants. Wyck’s grounds provide a rich opportunity for engagement with a historic landscape and the community.
Manager of Living Collections Responsibilities
The Manager of Living Collections oversees Wyck's historic landscape, particularly the half-acre historic rose garden, and takes the lead in managing the site's landscaped grounds. The Manager of Living Collections reports to the Executive Director.
Preservation and Maintenance (70% of time)
- Remove historically incorrect plants, install historically documented plants, and maintain organic rose garden, south lawn, and other small areas not tended by the Home Farm Manager to historically appropriate level of appearance, including mowing.
- Plan and carry-out long term garden projects according to Landscape Management Plan; update plan as needed
- Day-to-day activities include, but are not limited to: weeding, mulching, and edging of all ornamental planting areas; installation of seasonal plants and bulbs; pruning of shrubs, small trees, and roses; maintenance of paths, sidewalks, and walkways; turf renewal when necessary; fertilizing; tying up climbing roses, management/removal of invasive plants, such as climbing ivy (on fence, trees, and structures) and poison ivy; fall cleanup of garden and landscape
- Use best cultural practices with an emphasis on organic and biological controls
- Constantly monitor plant health, and employ preventative measures to ensure a healthy and beautiful garden
- Coordinate and supervise contractors when necessary, including arborists
- Keep accurate daily records of plants added to/removed from garden
- Propagate Wyck’s significant rose plant material for use on the property and for sale
· Keep greenhouse & coach house clean and orderly; maintain tools & landscape machinery
- Work directly with and supervise garden volunteers
- Work with Wyck staff to prepare grounds for festivals and other events held on the property
- Complete a yearly assessment of the garden and plan next year’s goals
- Other duties as assigned
Interpretation (25% of time)
- Lead tours of the garden and answer questions from the public
- Develop interpretive messages for rose garden and work with Manager of Interpretation to train staff and volunteers on this messaging
- Research, as needed, in the Wyck Papers and other historical documents
- Work with Manager of Interpretation to develop interpretive programs for the general public as part of Wyck's public programming and special events
- Participate in program and special events planning as needed, including Celebration of the Roses, Honey Festival, membership events, etc.
Administration (5% of time)
- Manage and develop long-term productive relationships with farm and garden volunteers
- Manage horticulture budget in conjunction with Executive Director
- Assist in grant writing and reporting for horticultural projects
- Bachelor’s, Associate’s, or similar degree in horticulture or related field, or 2+ years gardening experience in a professional setting. Estate gardening and ornamental horticulture experience a plus.
- Must be friendly, reliable, well-organized, self-motivated, creative, and a team player with a passion for community engagement
- Knowledge and interest of botanical or garden history a plus
- Ability to work in a collaborative environment but also independently
- Ability to work outdoors in all elements
- Committed to organic gardening
- Reliable transportation to and from work
- Available to work occasional weekends and evenings for Wyck special events
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required
Gardening is a physically demanding job that must happen regardless of weather (hot, cold, wet, and dry). While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly be required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; sit, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee will frequently be required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance upon ladders. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
To apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to email@example.com with Manager of Living Collections in the subject line. No phone calls please.
Wyck is an Equal Opportunity Employer.