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Horticulture Manager

Reports to: Director of Horticulture, Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL

Cantigny Park:

Located in Wheaton, Illinois, Cantigny Park is the former home of Colonel Robert McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. He left this 500 acre estate as a gift for community. Cantigny Park today consists of spectacular gardens, a championship golf course, fascinating museums, restaurants, nature trails, educational and recreational programs and much more. Explore Cantigny at www.cantigny.org.
Cantigny Gardens:

Created by renowned landscape architect Franz Lipp, the twenty-nine acres of formal gardens at Cantigny are a horticultural masterpiece. Cantigny possesses one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest with more than 160,000 annuals, perennials, ground covers and flowering shrubs and trees. Cantigny’s gardens are a source of education, recreation and inspiration to thousands of visitors annually.
Principal Function

The Horticulture Manager is a hands-on position requiring a strong combination of horticulture expertise and management. The successful candidate will be responsible for garden maintenance in the formal gardens and for garden displays on the golf course. This includes garden design of annual and perennial displays, daily garden maintenance, supervisory of staff which includes 2 full-time horticulturists, seasonal staff (up to 15), interns and volunteers. Essential job functions include assessing the quality and condition of beds, developing innovative plant designs, and managing all garden work. This individual must be able to work independently, be detail oriented, and be an effective communicator.


  • Care, monitor and maintain formal gardens, and flower displays on the golf course. Recommend changes in maintenance procedures or plant selection to achieve attractive and functional displays.
  • Produce innovative annual plant designs and take the lead in overall garden design in collaboration with horticulturists, head forester and grounds manager.
  • Work with plant production staff in order to insure that the growing and maintenance of plants for the horticultural displays meets Cantigny’s needs and expectations.
  • Assign and review the work of horticulturists, seasonal staff, interns and volunteers and develop employee’s maximum growth potential.
  • Plan and develop techniques and devices for more efficient, environmentally conscious and sustainable department operations.
  • Prepare recommendations for budget. Monitor and track seasonal payroll.
  • Coordinate and assume leadership role for plant documentation and garden irrigation mapping.
  • Teach and support education programs and tours. Assist with developing special projects and other activities that further the goals of Cantigny.
  • Provides for the safety of all direct reporting staff members by: a) training staff in applicable areas of safety training including but not limited to the usage of PPE, proper operation of tools in machinery and proper handling of hazardous materials. b) Documenting safety training completed by their direct reports and coordinating the filing of such documentation with HR and c) the timely reporting of accidents/incidents involving their direct reports to the Cantigny Security department.
  • Assists with snow removal and is capable and willing to operate snow equipment tools such as plow truck, skid steer with brush, front loader, snow blower and shovel.
  • All other duties as assigned.


  • Must have a four year degree from an accredited institution with a focus in Horticulture or related field.
  • Valid Illinois Pesticide Operators license (or ability to obtain one within 6months of hire).
  • Minimum 3-5 years supervisory experience preferably in a public garden setting.
  • In depth plant knowledge with a primary focus in herbaceous and annual plants.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication and presentation skills.
  • Passion for plants and sharing information about the environment.
  • Experience in managing a budget.
  • Self starter with the ability to motivate, inspire, and empower staff to take on greater areas of responsibility.

How to apply

Interested applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Human Resources at: MFResumes@McCormickFoundation.Org

Postal Mail:
Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Rd.
Wheaton, IL 60189
Attn: Human Resources Department