Job title: Head Gardener, Oxnead Hall
Employer: Oxnead Property Partnership
Reporting to: David and Beverley Aspinall (Partners)
Purpose of position:
Oxnead Hall gardens are part of the privately owned Oxnead Hall estate. A successful and growing weddings and events business has been established in recent years and the gardens play a key part in marketing Oxnead as a wedding venue, as well as being an important aspect of each wedding for the enjoyment of guests and for bridal photography. The wedding business is a year round enterprise, and prospective brides and grooms are viewing the buildings and gardens every week of the year; in addition, a number of charity events are held each year, including opening for the National Gardens Scheme. The prime role of the Head Gardener is to ensure that the gardens are maintained and presented to an excellent standard throughout the year.
The Head Gardener is responsible for the maintenance, ongoing development, restoration, general upkeep and the efficient and safe operation of the gardens at Oxnead Hall. The Head Gardener is also responsible for managing, training and directing a small garden team, currently consisting of 2 trainees, 2 part time year round staff and an additional groundsman during peak season. The Head Gardener is expected to work alongside the team, leading by example and participating in all aspects of garden development and maintenance.
- To plan, instigate and monitor plant and tree care programs including design, landscaping, propagation, planting, irrigation, weeding, grass cutting, strimming and general garden maintenance
- To create, deliver and consult the Partners on a garden maintenance plan
- To manage ongoing garden operations, including allocating workloads and tasks to garden staff, developing routine schedules, and monitoring work standards
- To Interact and regularly communicate with the partners, visitors and groups as required
- To manage all garden project activities to ensure they are carried out on schedule and within allocated budgets, employing the assistance of external labour/contractors where necessary
- To manage wildlife in the gardens to ensure optimal conservation and presentation standards
- To manage pest control in the gardens
- To lead, motivate and support garden staff, to promote good working relationships and to encourage internal co-operation and liaison with other staff on the estate, including the caretaker, housekeeper and building contractors
- To train and develop garden staff (including apprentices) to ensure they achieve their full potential
- To set and explain performance standards to the team, taking ownership of the team’s development
- To ensure that all garden administration is efficiently managed, to include routine progress reports, financial and plant records, health and safety records, and purchasing and maintenance of garden equipment and machinery
- To ensure that appropriate equipment and machinery is available and that it is maintained to a high standard
- To be responsible for all garden health and safety, ensuring that tasks are performed by staff with appropriate training and /or qualifications and that fire and emergency procedures are in place
- To complete risk assessments as required
- To meet deadlines for project management and for routine events such as wedding, open days and charity events.
- To report to the Partners regularly and as required on progress in the garden.