Due to the current Head Gardener retiring after 35 years of service, an excellent opportunity is available for a Head Gardener to manage a team of four on a beautiful country estate close to Guildford, Surrey.
The Head Gardener will play a key role in contributing to the development and improvement of one of the UK’s finest estates.
Set within 500 acres of parkland, the gardens have a long history and have been developed by some distinguished horticultural professionals to become the incredibly special spaces they are today. The gardens include a large walled garden, a kitchen garden and orangery containing a large collection of citrus trees, an orchard and arboretum, as well as temperate, arid and tropical display houses and service greenhouses, water features, large ornamental borders, extensive seasonal bedding displays, a large rose garden and a woodland garden.
Your role will include:
- Assisting the Head of Gardens to ensure the gardens are developed and maintained to the highest standards. This is to be achieved through a combination of an annual maintenance programme and project implementation and completion where required.
- Leading the garden team effectively and professionally, and with energy and enthusiasm.
- Taking direct responsibility for the line management of all garden team of 4, including performance management, objective setting and professional development.
- Integrate the garden team with the rest of the estate departments to ensure a holistic and cohesive working environment on the estate.
- Manage the supervision of contractors who may operate within the garden areas, including preventative conservation measures where appropriate to ensure that aesthetic standards are not compromised.
- Keeping all service areas, workshops, mess rooms and other areas used by the garden team clean, tidy and well organised.
- Health and Safety: Taking ownership of safe working practices within the garden and estate team and ensuring potential hazards are managed.
- This is a hands on role which involves outdoor work in all weathers.
Salary & Benefits
- Onsite accommodation is provided in the form of a 2 bedroom House.
- 25 days holiday, plus Bank holidays
- Private Health Care
The Head Gardener should hold a recognised qualification, at least Level 2 or equivalent in horticulture. Previous professional gardening experience, ideally gained in a in a private estate garden environment. Excellent organisational and prioritising skills, confidence in decision-making.
The position is offered on a live-in basis, and like all residential staff, the Head Gardener will be required to make themselves available for work out of hours. This will include being on hand for client visits as well as becoming part of the emergency and salvage team, responding to emergencies or incidents as directed. The Head Gardener will be required to assist with watering the gardens at weekends on a rotational basis; likely every other weekend.
PA1/PA6 spraying certificates and experience of irrigation systems would be a benefit, and the ideal candidate will have excellent attention to detail, as well as the ability to lead a team effectively with a hands-on approach.
We are in a position to organise interviews immediately, so please email your CV.