A rare opportunity has arisen to recruit a Senior Gardener at the Grade 1 listed Iford Manor Gardens, between Bath and Bradford on Avon. This is an exciting time to join the team as many improvements to the visitor experience and garden are taking place following the recent handover of the estate to the next generation.
You will be working directly with renowned Head Gardener Troy Scott Smith who joined in August 2019 and in his absence be responsible for the supervision and guidance of staff working in the garden and associated areas. The role would suit an enthusiastic, dedicated, hands-on, personable and collaborative individual with extensive plant knowledge, previous experience working in a historic garden open to the public and who can demonstrate existing team management skills.
The Peto Gardens (c. 2.5 acres) are open to the public from April until October. Located on a steep hillside they are terraced and comprise long flower borders, an oriental garden, specimen trees and shrubs, water features, topiary, seasonal pots, formal lawns, wilderness areas, orchard and woodland walks. Various areas of the garden will be redesigned and replanted over the coming months and years with the previously famed Georgian woodland walks being restored. The role will require the individual to work across all of these different areas employing a wide range of gardening skills.
The private walled garden (c. 1 acre) is partially in need of restoration and a new vegetable garden needs to be created to support a new visitor café opening in 2020. Our glasshouses and plant nursery are located in this garden, overseen by our propagator.
The Senior Gardener will be joining a small team comprising the Head Gardener, Gardener and part-time Propagator who will all work closely together. A new volunteer team will be formed in September and the Senior Gardener will have responsibility for overseeing them. The successful applicant will be required to share the weekend responsibilities with gardening team on a rota basis, i.e. greenhouse and nursery management, pot watering and garden irrigation.
The Senior Gardener must share the owners’ passion for these historic gardens, such that they are able to present themselves as an ambassador for the estate through various media, as well as the delivery of garden talks and guided tours during the summer open gardens period.
Applicants must hold a full UK driving licence and should possess: excellent horticultural knowledge and demonstrable experience in gardening on a horticulturally diverse estate, ideally within a historic garden setting open to the public; health and safety knowledge from a training and practical aspect; experience of supervising volunteers and staff; and the ability to maintain and repair machinery. Excellent time and staff management skills are essential, as is a good level of physical fitness and the willingness to lead by example. A minimum of RHS Level 2 is required and Certificates CS30/CS31 and PA1/PA6 are desirable.