Architect of the Capitol (AOC) gardeners care for the grounds of the Capitol Building, the Congressional Office Buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Library of Congress and the U.S. Botanic Garden.
More than 90 acres of turf-grass and over 30 acres in landscape beds are under the AOC's care across Capitol Hill. The year round care and cultivation of these grounds and landscape beds falls to AOC's gardeners.
Every year, this team of gardeners plants between 50,000–70,000 annual flowers and 70,000 tulips and spring bulbs, and spread more than 3,000 yards of mulch.
In addition, their work involves learning such trade practices and skills such as proper usage of tools and equipment; how to read blueprints, sketches, and technical manuals to understand the use of equipment and the proper placement of plants and trees; and how to plan and lay out work.
They also plant, transplant, water, prune and trim a variety of plants, seeds and plant materials using knowledge of seasonal schedules, project plans, weather suitability, soil moisture and plant growth stages to make decisions. The AOC gardeners plan and execute small scale landscaping operations.
AOC gardeners are knowledgeable in how to prepare seeds, plants and transplants by adding amendments, cultivating and grading using knowledge of correct conditions such as chemical composition, depth, moisture, temperature, humidity and ventilation requirements to encourage germination and growth.
These individuals are responsible for fertilizing and watering as needed. They use equipment to mow, seed, fertilize, lime and spray lawn areas. They also select, measure, mixes, and apply fertilizers and chemical control agents to control common plant diseases, insects and weeds.