Garden Volunteers

Garden Volunteers


Smithsonian Gardens maintenance volunteer will help grow and maintain plants, as well as inform visitors about the plant collection and answer casual inquiries. Volunteer will work outside from April through October. With staff supervision, volunteer will prepare planting beds, plant, weed, prune and deadhead, water and harvest.


This position is for volunteers interested in performing general gardening practices outdoors who is enthusiastic about plants and communicates well with staff and the public and doesn't mind repetitive tasks like weeding (sometimes for extended periods of time). 
Volunteers should have an energetic attitude; willingness to work in hot weather; ability to stoop, bend and lift 50+ lbs (not necessary but a plus); flexibility in daily gardening chores (pruning, planting, weeding, deadheading, watering, and harvesting); plant identification skills or a willingness to learn.


April through October. 1-2 days a week in 3-6 hour shifts. Weekdays only.


We are currently accepting volunteer applications for spring 2019. Application deadline is January 31, 2019. For questions about this opportunity, please email

To submit an application:

  1. Visit and click on the “Long Term Opportunities” option under the “Current volunteer openings” heading.

  2. Find the Smithsonian Gardens’ “Garden Maintenance Volunteer” opportunity position description and click the gray “Opportunity Details” button to the right of the volunteer position title.

  3. Read the opportunity details and click on the “Sign up!” button at the bottom of the page. This will take you to the volunteer login page.

  4. Click “I Agree” at the bottom of the volunteer login page then click the words “New Volunteer Sign Up Here” that appear on the bottom left of the page. This will open a new volunteer application.

  5. Fill out the volunteer application as completely as possible. Please note we cannot accept applications with less than two references.

    1. Press the “Submit” button at the very bottom of the page.

Already a Volunteer?

Find resources and news on our volunteer blog.


“Working as a Smithsonian Garden Interpreter is very rewarding in that it not only offers opportunity to learn about garden design, what plants to select for best results, arts in the garden, but also it offers an unique opportunity to interact with visitors from all over the US and around the world.”

– Heidi, Garden Interpreter Volunteer

“I have enjoyed my experience at the greenhouse and I enjoy the people I work with. I love getting my hands on the plants that will later be seen by the public in the gardens and museums.”

– Laurel, Greenhouse Volunteer