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Head Gardener

The Southill Estate
Southill Park, Bedfordshire
Salary negotiable, depending on experience
Closing date
12 Mar 2021
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Job Details

Head Gardener

Mr and Mrs Whitbread, Southill House, Southill Park, Bedfordshire are looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated Head Gardener to help with the day-to-day maintenance of their private 18-acre mature garden.

Set within a magnificent Capability Brown private parkland surrounding Southill House, the private residence of Mr and Mrs Whitbread, the gardens feature extensive lawns, borders, shrubs, a conservatory, an environmentally controlled glasshouse which was erected in 2012/13 and a recently remodelled kitchen garden.

This role would suit someone with a keen eye for detail and who has a passion for, and interest in, the care of a significant private garden.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that the gardens and grounds are kept to the highest standards possible
  • Management and oversight of a small garden team of two
  • The post is largely of a practical nature and requires a high degree of physical fitness
  • Maintenance of all aspects of the garden including grass cutting, tree and shrub maintenance, weeding and infrastructure (steps, ponds, paths, swimming pool area, terraces etc.)
  • Working with machinery such as lawn mowers, strimmers, blowers and hedge cutters
  • Maintenance of the kitchen garden carrying out tasks such as cropping, propagation and glasshouse work
  • Ensuring a safe working environment in line with current legislation.  Promote and monitor the health, safety and security of self, team, others and working areas
  • Care for the welfare and upkeep of a small flock of chickens
  • At busy times of the year, the Head Gardener may be required to work longer hours to achieve the desired result.  Weekend duties will also need to be covered to manage the glasshouse and conservatory when appropriate
  • From time to time the Head Gardener and the staff are required to carry out duties to assist with the smooth running of the Southill Estate.  Duties may therefore arise outside the boundaries of the formal gardens
  • Actively build strong working relationships with key stakeholders across the Estate, particularly Woods, Farms and Property

The successful candidate must be:

  • A person of intelligence and integrity with a mature outlook and professional manner
  • Able to motivate and lead the garden team and able to work alone and with others as part of the team
  • Must be friendly and articulate, and on occasions able and willing to take part in public events such as garden openings and tours
  • Hard working. conscientious and reliable
  • Have knowledge of garden machinery and its care and pesticides and chemicals used in gardening and horticulture
  • Able to demonstrate a keen visual eye and have a natural feel for nurturing plants

Desirable Qualification requirements:

  • Recognised qualification in Horticulture e.g., RHS Level 2/3 or similar
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in a similar gardening role
  • Full, clean driving licence
  • Tractor driving competency (desirable)

Package & benefits:

  • Salary negotiable, depending on experience
  • Cottage within Southill Park can be made available
  • 25 days holiday plus Bank Holidays
  • Contributory pension scheme
  • 40 hours per week with occasional weekend working
  • Training as required
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