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Head Gardener - Island of Sark

Stocks/ Sark Hotel
Channel Islands
Competitive Hourly Rate - DOE
Closing date
22 Sep 2021
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We are looking for an energetic, motivated person with a cheerful and positive attitude to take on the role of working Head Gardener for the grounds of our 23-bedroom country house hotel, 7 bedroom B&;B, self-catering property and large organic market gardens on Sark in the Channel

The gardens include approximately 4 acres of landscaped grounds with a large proportion of this being vegetable gardens and orchards.
The ornamental grounds are mainly lawns and large borders with some shrubbery beds and seasonal planting.

The vegetable and fruit production is managed organically and incorporates permaculture and biodynamic ideas. It includes a raised bed vegetable garden, a greenhouse for propagation, a mixed fruit orchard, a large circular, permaculture vegetable and flower cutting garden, a wild woodland, a berry garden, a solar panel farm, Rydan composter and compost heaps, a large chicken pen, and a new cedar frame glass house.

The property also includes an 80 acre farm consisting of grassland paddocks for grazing of sheep and the horses used by the hotel for the horse & carriage guest transport. (There are no cars allowed on Sark). We also have a large solar panel installation to provide most of our power. Some field work and boundary maintenance will be required.

We are looking for a skilled and experienced Head Gardener to lead our small team of permanent local and seasonal workers.

The job is very much a hands-on role and applicants will be expected to roll up their sleeves and be able to do all the jobs alongside the other staff. It will also involve organizing this team, liaising with the hotel staff and working closely with the Head Chef to be able to supply a large variety of seasonal fruit and vegetables to the hotel kitchen.

The gardens are open to the public and tours of the vegetable production area are available to guests.

Successful candidates will need excellent communication skills and a positive and enthusiastic approach. They should find enjoyment and reward in passing on their expertise to colleagues and visitors alike. Competence in all horticultural techniques is essential, especially vegetable, fruit and flower production, and seasonal plant cultivation.

We have been improving and developing the gardens in recent years as well as raising their profile. They are now a very important part of the hotel as well as an attraction in their own right and they have won a Bailiwick award for horticultural excellence. We would like to continue to improve and
build on this success.

Key Responsibilities

  • Active gardening including:-
  •  Preparing and planning seasonal planting
  •  Propagating bedding and border plants
  •  Weeding and maintaining flower beds.
  •  Planting and harvesting vegetables.
  •  Watering and setting up watering systems.
  •  Mowing, strimming, hedge cutting.
  •  Communication with the owners and hotel manager.
  •  Day to day management of all gardens and staff.
  •  Liaising with the head chef and delivering all produce.
  •  Liaising with the housekeeping manager and delivering all cut flowers, potted plants etc.
  • Overseeing the Ridan composter to re-cycle food waste from the hotel kitchen.
  •  Ordering all seeds, bulbs and garden sundries.
  •  Maintenance of all tools and machinery.
  •  Balancing the management of all areas for the benefit of guests, produce, livestock and wildlife.
  • Keeping accurate garden records.
  • Lead by example to ensure the gardens, grounds and associated buildings are always beautifully presented and kept.
  •  Giving short, guided tours of the gardens to hotel guests.
  • Maintenance of current ornamental planting and development of further areas.
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