Head Gardener - Live In/Out - EC6711

West Sussex
Up to £35,000 DOE + Accommodation if required
22 May 2019
22 Jun 2019
Gardening Jobs
Full Time
Contract Type

A unique estate in West Sussex is looking for a Head Gardener. 

This impressive site includes an Elizabethan house and an acclaimed prize-winning garden that opens to visitors between Easter and October.  The Garden consists of a four-acre Walled Garden with extensive herbaceous borders, a glasshouse, vegetable garden, herb garden, rose garden, and orchard, 7 acres of surrounding landscaped Pleasure Grounds, a Garden Shop and other areas within the curtilage of the House.

The Head Gardener will be accountable to, and will liaise closely and regularly with, the family and the Agent, and be responsible for the maintenance, presentation and development of the Garden to the highest standards.

The Head Gardener will be responsible for all gardening operations.  These include propagation, ordering new stock, planting, edging, watering, weeding, path maintenance, mowing, hedge cutting, pruning, and keeping work areas clean and tidy.  The Head Gardener will propose and implement new planting schemes and other plans for the Garden, to be developed in conjunction with expert opinion when necessary.  The provision of cut flowers (annuals and perennials) and houseplants for display in the House throughout the open season and as required will be necessary, as will the provision of vegetables for the household.  The care of the orchard, fruit trees and other soft fruit, lake management, tree management, pest and disease control, machinery maintenance/servicing programmes and management of the glasshouse will also fall under the responsibility of the Head Gardener.  The successful applicant will be responsible for maintaining records of planting schemes (which will remain the property of the estate). 

The successful applicant will be responsible for leadership of the team of garden staff and volunteers, ensuring they are organised effectively and well-motivated. Staff training needs will also be addressed by the Head Gardener, e.g. the holding of valid spraying and machinery certificates.  Six gardeners make up the team: one Garden Foreman, three Senior Gardeners (each working 4-days per week), one Gardener and one Gardener/Warden (working an average 2-days per week in the garden).  The Head Gardener will also be required to liaise with outside contractors where necessary.

The successful applicant will be involved with establishing a garden budget with the family and the Agent in order to facilitate strict financial controls and procedures with regard to the Garden in general, the Garden Shop and associated stock, machinery, tools etc.  The Head Gardener will be required to prepare a Garden Report every 6 months for consideration at the meetings of the Directors and Trustees of the estate.

Applicants are required to have a good working knowledge of First Aid and risk assessing, such that he/she will be able to carry out all risk assessments and ensure that all statutory requirements and routines are complied with for staff, volunteers and visitors.  The safe storage of all chemicals, fertilisers, machinery, tools, equipment etc. will be the responsibility of the Head Gardener. 

The Head Gardener will play a key part in helping to create, manage and deliver (in conjunction with the administrative team), any public events, and in particular those pertaining to the Garden. 

The successful applicant will act as an ambassador for the estate and be required to assist with the promotion of the Garden in conjunction with the marketing team, including leading the occasional guided tour of the Garden and developing good relationships with visitors and the local community.

Candidate Profile

In addition to fulfilling the requirements outlined in the above description, whilst applicants for this role need not necessarily have previously been a Head Gardener, they must have at least five years horticultural experience in a private or public garden with excellent horticultural knowledge and garden management experience.  They must hold academic horticultural qualifications at Level 3 or above.  Applicants must be able to foster a collegiate atmosphere and have good people management skills to ensure a happy and motivated team.  Good leadership skills are essential.

The successful applicant must be a self-motivator with excellent communication skills, be capable of taking on a diverse and exciting workload, have the ability to develop and create new initiatives and planting schemes, be flexible and sensitive in respecting the estate’s traditions and have the imagination to retain and adapt these as necessary.  The Head Gardener must be environmentally sensitive in their approach; to include management of wildflower areas, and a site of special scientific interest, and must be prepared to work within organic principles insofar as is practicable.  The Head Gardener must be commercially astute and strategically focussed (budgetary control) and will be expected to seek expert opinion in specialist fields outside their competence where necessary.

This position is offered with a self-contained cottage on the estate refurbished to a high standard, if required.  The client is also offering a generous pension contribution at 5% for the successful applicant.

SALARY:       Up to £35,000 DOE + Accommodation if required

LOCATION:   West Sussex

JOB No:          EC6711

If this Head Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or info@englishcountrygardeners.co.uk.

Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Head Gardener vacancy.  Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications that we receive, it is not possible to respond to every one.  Therefore, unless you hear from us within the next 14 days, your application for this Head Gardener vacancy will have been unsuccessful.

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