The AOC's office of US Botanic Garden is accepting applications for a Gardener possessing a broad knowledge of tropical, sub-tropical, temperate and arid plants to support unique conservatory exhibits and programs. The Gardener is responsible for propagating and growing seasonal plants that are of the highest horticultural quality.Learn more about this agency
This position is located in the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), Horticulture Division, Exhibits and Displays Section.
The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to the well-being of humans and to earth's fragile ecosystems. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Since 1934, it has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol. The Garden has been recognized as a museum and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. This accreditation is a widely recognized seal of approval that recognizes a museum's commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.
*** This position is essential--Employee is required to report to work during emergencies and inclement weather situations***
Tour of duty will be other than Monday through Friday and may include weekends, evenings and holidays on a regular and recurring basis.
The position may be filled at the Gardener journey-level or worker-level. Developmental assignments will be given with the goal of attaining the full performance level. Duties quoted below are at the WG-8 level.
Grows Specialized Plant Groups
- Grows, manages, maintains, develops and cultivates specialized plant group collections. Propagates and cultivates unusual plants, seeds and plant materials. This process includes daily watering, fertilizing and maintaining proper greenhouse conditions including temperature, humidity, ventilation and light levels. Utilizes a computer-controlled greenhouse environmental control system to manipulate the production environment to optimal plant growth conditions.
- Re-plants, divides, roots and prunes plant specimens to achieve and maintain optimum plant health. Performs propagation of the collection by division, cuttings, seeds and air layering at the appropriate time. Develops and maintains updated and accurate records including seasonal growing schedules.
- Properly accessions permanent plants. Works with the Botanist to maintain accurate and detailed accession records. Develops display labels for use in the Conservatory.
- Undertakes delivery of seasonal plants to the Conservatory, USBG Gardens and other Jurisdictions in the Capitol complex. Organizes the plants to prevent damage during delivery. Operates a motor vehicle when transporting plants and equipment to designated facilities.
- Collaborates with other USBG staff to develop, execute and maintain educational horticultural exhibits.
Fosters Optimum Horticultural Displays
- Designs aesthetic and educational plant displays, which include the layout and design of the display, selection and labeling the plants and maintaining and rotating plants in the exhibit.
- Applies good gardening practices, uses project plans, master landscape and long-range plans to achieve required results and USBG objectives.
- Takes the initiative to inform the public about plants cared for through classes, workshops and tours. As required, directs a small group of staff, volunteers and summer employees in the performance of plant maintenance and care projects.
- Cares for horticultural tools, equipment and implements. Identifies maintenance problems in greenhouses and other growing areas.
- Maintains clean and orderly horticultural standards, assigned areas are free of weeds and related problems. Organizes work areas, sweeps and cleans greenhouse floors with disinfectants, removes trash and debris and coils hoses. Complies with and actively participates in USBG sustainability efforts including composting, recycling and energy reduction programs.
- Monitors pest population and life cycles; determines threshold level and applies the appropriate physical, cultural and biological or chemical controls.
- Removes snow and ice from sidewalks and steps in inclement weather. Applies salt, sand and other melting agents to clear areas and ensure safe conditions.
- Follows all relevant safety rules, regulations and standard operating procedures.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen.
- You must be able to pass a drug test.
- Your resume and question responses must demonstrate job-related elements.
- Must possess and maintain a valid and unexpired State driver's license.
You must meet all eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the job announcement.
You must meet the following SCREEN-OUT:
-- Ability to do Gardening Work Without More Than Normal Supervision.
Qualification at the WG-6 level: Assists with gardening projects and has a working knowledge of gardening practices in order to maintain a diverse group of plants.
Qualification at the WG-8 level: Is able to work gardening projects independently and has knowledge of methods for propagating and cultivating a diverse group of plants.
Welcome Veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) gives veterans' preference rights in the legislative branch to certain veterans as applied by the Congressional Accountability Act. Veterans' preference is applied on this vacancy announcement. If you are a veteran and have been separated under honorable conditions, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility; SF-15, if applicable; and Department of Veterans Affairs documentation of disability, if applicable. For more information, please visit OPM vet guide
If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.
DRUG TESTING: The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is a Drug Free Workplace. As part of the AOC’s suitability assessment, a candidate tentatively selected for a position who is not currently an AOC employee is required to submit to screening for illegal drug use. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment with the Agency. A candidate must test negative prior to being eligible for appointment into a position. We will schedule, provide and cover the cost for the drug test.
The selectee(s) under the vacancy announcement for this position is subject to a criminal record check by the U.S. Capitol Police and satisfactory adjudication to be eligible for employment at the Architect of the Capitol.
The Architect of the Capitol is an E-VERIFY Participant. E-VERIFY is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization in the United States. If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the DHS Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" electronic system. For more information on E-Verify, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm
The Architect of the Capitol is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information and/or disability.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Moving expenses are not authorized.
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Probationary Period - A newly appointed selectee is subject to the completion of a one-year trial/probationary period, regardless of whether or not a trial/probationary period has been completed previously with the Architect of the Capitol or another Federal agency.
This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies in any of the jurisdictions of the Architect of the Capitol.
All application materials become the property of the Architect of the Capitol.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Review your resume and responses carefully. Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your responses to job specific self-assessment questions.
Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the job elements for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following job elements and competencies:
- Ability to do Gardening Work Without More Than Normal Supervision (Screen-out)
- Knowledge of Technical Gardening Practices
- Ability to Interpret Instructions and Specifications
- Ability to Use and Maintain Gardening Tools and Equipment
Your responses to the self-assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self-assessment questions. Falsifying your background, education and/or experience is cause for non-selection or disqualification from further consideration.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
The Architect of the Capitol's job application process is designed to ensure that we only ask you for the information that is absolutely needed to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility for the position.
To apply for this position, you only need to submit online the following: a) your resume and 2) answer the online vacancy assessment questionnaire. The online questionnaire contains eligibility and screening questions and other relevant supplemental information. No additional documentation or attachment is required at the time of application.
We ask that you prepare and submit a resume that best describes fully your background experience, skills, abilities, education, training and other relevant credentials. The resume should include dates of employment.
Nothing further is required until it is requested by the staff of the Human Capital Management Division. If additional documentation is required for a position, you will be asked to provide it during the selection process or upon selection. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume.
For example, we may ask you to provide documents such as college transcripts, copy of diploma or proof of Federal employment status. If the position requires a license or certification, we will ask candidate(s) to provide proof at the time of selection.
If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of Veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, the SF-15 plus proof required by that form).
If you fail to provide the required documents, we will withdraw a tentative job offer made and/or remove you from further consideration.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
A variety of health insurance plans; retirement system with investment options; paid holidays; paid sick and annual (vacation) leave; life insurance; incentive systems; subsidized transportation; training and development opportunities, etc.
Selected applicant(s) may be eligible to earn a higher annual leave accrual rate credit towards annual leave accrual based on prior non-Federal or uniformed service work experience. The amount of service credit will be based on specialized experience or qualifying experience that is provided on the applicant profile submitted. As such, if you are a new employee to the Federal Government or a rehire, it is important that you provide a work history that lists all directly related positions held, and it must include the dates of employment (month/day/year).
The Architect of the Capitol offers eligible employees opportunity to participate in the Student Loan Repayment Program.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
You MUST apply online. FORMS RECEIVED BY FAX, EMAIL OR U.S. POSTAL SERVICE DELIVERY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
If you are a new user to the USAJOBS Site and have never registered for an account; you will first need to create an account profile with your basic contact information and a resume to begin applying. You must be a registered USAJOBS user AND you must be signed-in to your account in order to apply for this position. For help with setting up an account or for general assistance in using USAJOBS, go to USAJOBS Help Page.
If you experience any difficulties with the application site, help is available! If you have problems completing your on-line application, contact the Monster Hiring Management Help Desk at 1-866-656-6831 or by e-mail at MGSHELP@monster.com. The help desk is available Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You may call and leave a voice mail message at all other times.
All required supporting documents will be collected electronically via the USAJOBS “Saved Documents” feature.
If you are unable to apply on-line, you may visit our Employment Center for technical assistance in entering your application. The Employment Center is located at 441 Second & D Streets S.W., Washington, D.C., Room H2-178, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You may call (202) 226-7000 for directions.
Agency contact information
MGS Help Desk
AddressArchitect of the Capitol
2nd and D Street, S.W.
Washington, District of Columbia 20515
The mission of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is to serve Congress and the Supreme Court, preserve America's Capitol and inspire memorable experiences. The AOC is responsible for the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of 18.4 million square feet of buildings and more than 570 acres of land throughout Capitol Hill. The AOC provides a welcoming and educational environment for millions of visitors through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and the US Botanic Garden. Learn more at https://www.aoc.gov/careers. The AOC prides itself on its Core Values of Teamwork, Integrity, Professionalism, Pride and Safety.
You will receive a notice generated by the USAJOBS System when you have successfully submitted your application. We will review your application and transcript(s) (if you are qualifying based on education) to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.
You can check the status of your application by logging into http://www.usajobs.gov. You may also sign up to receive automatic emails anytime the status of your application has changed by logging into your USAJOBS Account, editing your profile and changing the ‘Notification Settings’ to indicate that you want to be notified by email when the status changes. Information regarding the status of your application should be updated in the system within two (2) weeks after the closing date of this vacancy announcement.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/588544400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.