Gardening Director

Emily Estate
Bruton, Somerset
Competitive salary and bonus package commensurate with experience
25 Aug 2017
25 Sep 2017
Full Time
Contract Type

Job Title:                                      DIRECTOR OF HORTICULTURE

Based at:                                     Emily Estate, Hadspen House, Bruton, BA7 7NG

Reports to:                                   General Manager

Direct reports:                              The Estate Garden Team (10 plus)

Employment type:                        Full-time

Work hours:                                  Flexible approach, but typically 5 days out of 7 (incl. some evenings & weekends)

Salary:                                          Competitive salary and bonus package commensurate with experience

Statutory Entitlements:                 All statutory entitlements, including SSP, workplace pension etc

Employment term:                        Permanent


As custodians of the Emily Estate in Somerset, we are presently engaged in a wide-ranging redevelopment to restore the historic buildings and landscape. The walled gardens associated with Hadspen House, once a much-loved public garden, will be reopened to the public in 2019 as the central feature of a visitor experience including cider making, garden museum, farm shop, café, falconry and extensive estate walks. The farm buildings surrounding it will simultaneously open as a luxury hotel and spa. It is anticipated that the Estate will attract some 100,000 visitors per year and in time become one of Somerset’s valued destinations.


We are seeking a Director of Horticulture to augment our existing estate management team. Our new visitor gardens will add diverse and exciting public gardens to the Estate.  In addition, we maintain several private and residential gardens across the Estate.

The Director of Horticulture will head up the Estate’s gardens and will represent us in the horticultural field externally. He or she will be an expert horticulturalist with excellent first-hand experience of running a busy public garden and managing a successful team.

This person will be responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a comprehensive programme of active garden creation.  This ranges from historic and modern ornamental gardens to vegetable and fruit production for restaurants to two extensive greenhouses.


The Garden Business

  • Primarily responsible for the successful establishment and running of various public and private gardens.
  • Preparing annual budget and plan of work.
  • Planning and implementing a programme of public events and seasonal themes.
  • Organising guest tours of the garden, as well as educational workshops, for garden visitors and hotel guests.
  • Representing us at conferences and horticultural bodies in the UK and abroad.

The Garden Team

  • Recruiting and training a skilled, productive and happy team of gardeners.
  • Conducting annual performance reviews with members of the Garden Team to promote career development.
  • Engaging with specialists, botanists and other external consultants.

Operational Areas

  • Planning and maintenance of all garden areas across the Estate, including:
  • Public visitor gardens (ornamental planting, kitchen garden, fruit growing, woodland garden, water gardens, meadows, orchards)
  • Productive growing to provide veggies and fruit for restaurants.
  • Ornamental cuttings to provide décor for hotel rooms and restaurants.
  • Nursery area for propagation and bringing on stock.
  • Landscaped areas, lawns and planting surrounding the hotel properties.
  • Cider fruit production from our own orchards.
  • Beekeeping and honey production.
  • Domestic gardens associated with residential properties throughout the Estate. 
  • Interaction with the Estate Woodland, Ground care and Maintenance teams.
  • Health and safety training.


  • First hand experience of managing a successful public garden at the highest level.
  • Ability in the management of a team of people.
  • Broad-ranging horticultural expertise with evidence of appropriate academic qualifications.
  • Inventive mind and eagerness to provide the highest level of visitor experience.
  • The candidate will be an energetic person with excellent team working skills and the ability to communicate across all levels.
  • IT skills for implementing efficient management systems and records.


  • Competitive remuneration package to be discussed with short-listed candidates.
  • Professional membership and reasonable professional development and training costs covered.
  • Work place pension scheme.


Short-listed applicants will be expected to submit to psychometric testing, criminal record checks, as well confirm their right to work in the UK as part of the interview process.

Candidates should email their application letter, CV and references to Paul Rawson (General Manager) at the address above.

We look forward to talk!

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