Terra Nova Ecological Landscaping has been “unpaving the way” in the  Greater Santa Cruz area since 1988. We offer a full range of high quality landscape contracting services, including design, installation and maintenance. We do everything from drainage work on muddy hillsides to fine gardening. Much of our work is informed by permaculture, such as rainwater catchment, upcycled materials, and medicinal gardens. And much more. We do not use toxic chemicals or gas-powered equipment, such as blowers. We sweep! Often with Japanese brooms.

We are seeking an inspired gardener who is passionate about gardening and customer service. We maintain a positive profile in the community, and we serve an environmentally progressive customer base.


The overall goal is to achieve plant and garden success, and you are key to that. The kinds of jobs you will be working on include landscape maintenance and fine organic gardening, as well as edibles and planting projects. Tasks include pruning, deadheading, raking and sweeping, planting, amending soils, fertilizing (including foliar feeding with compost tea), irrigation fixes, digging, weeding, harvesting, etc.

Once you are fully trained, these will be “your” gardens, and you will communicate with clients directly, with supervision. You will take notes at your gardens regarding needs assessments and problems that need solving related to accessibility, plant care, watering systems, etc., and communicate with other staff as needed and do follow-up. There is support from other staff and crew when needed. Similarly, you will occasionally help the crew on jobs that are their accounts. You will also work occasionally in Terra Nova’s demonstration garden, doing improvements and nursery work. We have a blog and love when employees have something on-point to share with our community through this forum.

This job is three days per week. Thursday is a required day. We have offices on the Westside and in Live Oak, but we frequently meet at job sites which are mostly in Santa Cruz and nearby towns in the county.


We care about workers and have a friendly, collegial, family-oriented, triple bottom line business culture. This is a long-term, professional track position with opportunity for career and professional growth for an outdoor professional. Dedication, skills development and great performance are noted and rewarded.


  • Loves working outdoors with plants
  • Cares about sustainability and green initiatives
  • Personally accountable; can self-supervise
  • Can work independently or with a crew
  • Positive, can-do attitude: timely, responsible, reliable, dependable, friendly
  • Establish and maintain cordial, cooperative relationships with co-workers/fun to work with
  • Polite with customers and tidy appearance – customer facing
  • Communicate personal issues that may affect performance in advance
  • Able-bodied to perform a physically rigorous job, and can lift 50 lbs.


  • One year gardening experience as an employee, student or volunteer (not home)
  • Plant knowledge and Plant ID (some Latin and hort school would be great)
  • Punctual, with good time management skills
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Detail-oriented, and able to follow directions
  • Flexible and able to start work at different locations
  • High school diploma, some college preferred
  • Able to make a one-year minimum commitment
  • Must be able to use Google Drive and apps like T-Sheet
  • Must be able to receive and send texts and occasional emails


  • 1 year minimum horticulture, landscaping or nursery experience in addition to gardening
  • Horticultural education or landscaping certification
  • Comfortable doing drip irrigation repairs; interest in developing irrigation skills
  • Interest in further horticultural and landscape training (professional development)
  • Good writing skills


  • Must have a smartphone, pruning shears, and gloves
  • Long pants and steel-toed boots or sturdy closed-toed shoes


  • It is ideal if you have a truck, but not required

DAYS/ HOURS: Two to three weekdays during typical working hours

COMPENSATION: $18-25 to start DOE


  • Paid holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, Labor Day and Memorial Day, when they fall on work days
  • Up to 48 hours paid sick leave per year
  • Staff contributions to good flow and profitability are noted and rewarded
  • Flexible scheduling

To apply, respond with an email to jillian@terranovalandscaping explaining why you are a good fit for Terra Nova, and include a resume detailing your relevant experience, plus three references with contact information. Please include your cell phone number and personal email address.