We are looking for a Garden Manager for one of London’s largest communal gardens. Established and designed in the 1840s and situated near the top of Notting Hill close to the site of the short-lived Hippodrome racecourse, Ladbroke Square Garden is one of London’s largest private communal gardens.
The garden comprises approximately seven acres of formal and informal areas including lawns, an impressive collection of trees, woodland, paths, two children’s playgrounds, and a hard tennis court and is enjoyed by over 600 members and their families, most of whom live within 100 yards of the garden.
On behalf of its Trustees, and following the retirement of one of its members who has been responsible for the oversight and management of the horticultural aspects of the garden for many years, the Ladbroke Square Garden Committee is currently recruiting for a Garden Manager to manage and maintain the garden to a very high standard for the enjoyment of its members and their guests. The role will include proactively managing and maintaining the garden and any supporting gardeners, handymen and contractors, ensuring that it is maintained to the highest standards at all times and to carrying out and/or managing the expert and safe delivery of occasional landscaping and light arboriculture services.
The successful candidate will be a pro-active individual and self-starter who will be expected to carry out a significant amount of the work in the garden him/herself, but have proven experience in delivering appropriate direction, motivation, guidance and support to one or more team members and/or third party contractors.
Duties will include planning, directing, scheduling and reporting to the Committee in a regular and timely manner all maintenance and project tasks, as well as the concomitant budgeting, procurement and administration of such tasks.
You will be professionally qualified and have demonstrable experience in a similar role with strong interpersonal skills to build relationships across all levels. The successful candidate will need to show a high level of horticultural knowledge and, ideally, a horticultural qualification.
The work will require a fit and strong individual who is willing to work outside, even in adverse weather conditions. We are looking for someone with knowledge and experience in the use of basic IT skills and budgeting. The successful candidate must be competent in the use, maintenance and health and safety issues of a range of horticultural machinery and tools.
Role and Functions of the Job
- Ensure the garden is maintained to the highest standards at all times and to report to the Committee in a timely manner any matters that require its attention.
- Manage and be responsible for the care and maintenance of the garden and to manage any other gardeners, handymen or third party contractors employed or engaged by the Committee and be responsible for implementing any repairs, improvements, modifications and landscaping works as directed by the Committee.
- Devise and agree with the Committee an annual sustainable planting plan.
- Document and plan annual, monthly and weekly work schedules covering all tasks with respect to maintenance of the garden and additional landscaping projects, together with a resource/labour and materials assessment and budget.
- Present an annual work plan and budget to the Committee as well as monthly reporting of work planned/scheduled and work undertaken against the plan and modifications to the plan.
- Liaise directly with the Committee or its designated member(s) with regard to the scheduling and completion of all works.
- Advise on the need for, co-ordinate, manage and direct any additional resources required to carry out the work plan.
- Co-ordinate and action the cost effective procurement of materials required to maintain the garden and to carry out designated projects. Provide suggestions to the Committee for efficiency improvements in working practices.
- Conduct all duties in a professional and safe manner with due reference to relevant risk assessments and safe systems of work. Ensure machinery, tools and equipment are serviced and maintained.
- Assist with events in the garden from time to time including preparations for the Open Garden Squares Weekend.
- Undertake a wide range of horticultural maintenance and landscape infrastructure tasks including, but not be limited to, pruning, mowing, fertilising, re-seeding and aerating lawns, planting, weeding and forking, turfing, mulching, leaf clearing, rubbish and ground clearing, drain and path maintenance and gravelling, hedge-trimming, maintaining irrigation systems, checking on, raking and looking after the children’s playground equipment and the tennis court.
The Committee is looking for someone with the following skills:
- Proven ability to provide appropriate direction, motivation, guidance and support
- Effective communication skills
- Team oriented
- Practical and flexible approach
- Able to lead by example and demonstrate how tasks should be carried out
- Deliver high quality and safe working practices
- Ability to effectively problem solve
- Reliable and good time keeper
- Basic practical knowledge of and skills required to maintain garden tools and machinery
The Committee is looking for someone with the following experience and qualifications:
• Formal horticultural qualification(s) (at least RHS Level 2 Certificate or equivalent)
• A diverse knowledge of horticultural techniques
• A solid knowledge of plants and plant identification
• Proven practical experience in horticulture
• A practical knowledge of tool and machinery use and maintenance
• PA1 and PA6 Certificates
• Recent relevant work experience and, ideally, leading a team in a similar environment
• Relevant knowledge of machinery and equipment
• Valid current driving licence