"The job of executioner was held instead by the Sultan’s bostancı basha, or head gardener—the Ottoman corps of gardeners being a sort of 5,000-strong bodyguard that, aside from cultivating the Sultan’s paradise gardens, doubled up as customs inspectors and police officers. It was the royal gardeners who sewed condemned women into weighted sacks and dropped them into the Bosphorus."You can read the very interesting full article (it's pretty short, but yes quite grisly) at Smithsonian Magazine.
I don't think I've ever heard of a job where I'd be mulching the azaleas one day and lopping off people's head the next day. It would definitely give a new meaning to the phrase "dead-heading", you'd probably have to specify if you were talking about flowers or people.