JASGP is seeking a salaried, full-time, year-round Head Gardener to maintain and develop Shofuso, our historic and nationally-ranked Japanese garden. We seek an energetic and self-driven professional with a strong commitment to advancement in the specialized field of Japanese gardening. The Head Gardener is responsible for all phases of grounds maintenance and participates in professional membership organizations, garden research, workshops, and/or other professional training provided, including weekend and evening opportunities as needed and scheduled. An annual professional development trip to Sorakuen, our sister garden in Kobe, Japan, is being developed for this position.
This position is an integral part of Shofuso’s day-to-day operations, overseeing garden maintenance, actively improving garden procedures and techniques, and serving an important role in interacting with the public and as a liaison with other professional staff members and organizations.
- Provide basic care, daily maintenance, repairs, and improvements of the garden and its surroundings as it pertains to appropriate Japanese gardening principles and practices.
- Perform pruning and shaping practices as it pertains to the Japanese garden aesthetic and tradition as established at Shofuso, with oversight.
- Construct and maintain bamboo fences, stone pathways, and other garden structures.
- Maintain and organize all tools, equipment, machinery, and storage spaces as needed
- Source and purchase garden materials and equipment as needed, within annual budget.
- Participate and guide the garden committee oversight of Shofuso.
- Oversee integrated pest management practices and fertilization application.
- Schedule and oversee arborist and horticulturalist site visits, in coordination with other staff.
- Hire and supervise two seasonal garden assistants.
- Recruit, develop, and coordinate garden volunteers (groups and individuals).
- Continue development of a garden procedures manual and the long-term garden master plan.
- Provide security for the house and garden when on-site during both open and closed hours.
- Monitor quantity and health of koi fish in pond.
- Participate in professional development opportunities annually, possibly including national and international travel, off-site training, research, self-study, and conference attendance.
- Maintain a high level of professionalism in manner and appearance.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Minimum two years of landscape/garden construction and/or maintenance experience, including supervisory experience. BA/BS degree or advanced certificate in horticulture or a related field is preferred.
- Knowledge of Japanese garden design, construction, and maintenance, experience preferred.
- Skilled in safely using and maintaining power tools such as leaf blowers, mowers, and chainsaws.
- Must be able to read and speak English fluently, interpreting and developing communication tools such as operating and maintenance instructions, procedure manuals, layouts, or other visual aids, and have the ability to write routine reports, correspondence, and maintain data logs.
- Ability to lift 60 pounds and maneuver heavy items.
- Ability to climb and work on tall ladders.
- Valid driver’s license and a car required.
- A wage in the range of $36,000-$42,000 annually, commensurate with experience.
- Benefits: comprehensive benefits package, including health/dental/vision insurance, 503(c) retirement plan, generous paid time off.
- Relocation expense reimbursement available.
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, administered by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP). Our mission is to preserve, maintain, and interpret Shofuso and provide educational programs about Japanese arts, business, and culture. Shofuso hosts over 30,000 visitors each year, open to the public from March through November. Shofuso is a national leader in Japanese gardens, and a founding member of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). www.japanesehouse.org
To apply, send resume and cover letter via email to:
Associate Director of Shofuso
Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
Shofuso is a beautiful gem in a natural park setting!
This is an outdoor position in scenic West Fairmount Park. As such, working conditions require operating continuously outdoors in nature, including cold winter temperatures and hot summer months. This is a fast-paced, multi-tasking position that requires anticipation of future problems and the ability to make judgment calls without direct supervision.
We expect every employee to work collaboratively with others in this close-knit organization. We expect employees to build and maintain strong and positive relationships with coworkers, inspired by our shared mission. Employees share work spaces and are expected to keep a clean, organized, and professional working environment. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and welcomes individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
This position reports directly to the Associate Director of Shofuso.
- Verbal communications
- Present accurate and engaging information about the garden to staff and public.
- Communicate problems and issues (whether potential, ongoing, or recurring) to supervisors.
- Give visitors tours of Shofuso’s house and garden, with training.
- Written communications
- Maintain written records of garden tasks in a daily log.
- Write regular garden reports for board committees.
- Maintain receipts and submit expense reports.
- Computer skills
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Google for Nonprofits, and Google Apps.
- Conduct plant care, aesthetic, and pest management research online when necessary.
- Communicate with volunteers, vendors, staff, and outside contacts via email, using current technologies and adapting to upgraded systems as needed.
- Focus on all levels of pruning and oversee all aspects of soil and plant health, pond water quality, irrigation management, integrated pest management, turf management, and other aspects of sustainable organic horticulture.
- Maintain and further develop annual maintenance plan and corresponding documentation.
- Calculate volumes for gravel, soil, and mulch.
- Interpersonal skills
- Work well with others in this close-knit organization.
- Build and maintain strong and positive relationships with staff, volunteers, vendors, visitors, board members, professional organizations, and Fairmount Park staff.
- Maintain a professional demeanor at all times in the workplace.
- Play an active role in site problem-solving, including suggesting ways of improving programs, procedures, and operations.
- Willing to learn about the philosophy and embrace the techniques of Japanese gardening.
- Interested in personal professional development and teaching others.