The gardens you see today have been designed and replanted over the past thirty years. Situated at the foot of the 200ft chalk wall of Downs to the south, the gardens surround the majestic 1635 house providing a stunning backdrop and contains many unusual plants and shrubs.
With a series of lakes to the front the garden is set within 2000 acres of farmland comprising of a wide range of horticultural interest including an arboretum, a walled garden, formal lawns, herbaceous borders, water features and a Jubilee Garden.
An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced energetic Head Gardener.
The Head Gardener will ensure that the gardens are presented and maintained to the highest standard, and in line with the owners’ vision. The Head Gardener will have two full-time assistants. The position is full time and does require some weekend work on rotation.
The successful applicant will possess excellent horticultural knowledge and experience.
A generous negotiable salary within the Professional Gardeners Guild Salary Guidelines for 2021. Pension scheme as standard.
Must be skilled in a wide range of professional horticulture and with experience of organising seasonal tasks and resource to support a consistently high standard of presentation.
To maintain, restore or improve to perfection the existing gardens. All this work will be undertaken with a great eye for detail and a passion to achieve impeccable standards.
To create, lead, manage and empower, an efficient gardening team of full time.
The Head Gardener will be required to organise the day-to-day presentation and management of the garden. They will liaise closely with the owner and in due course, his daughter and son -in-law, in all aspects of the garden’s presentation and ongoing presentation.
Set up and manage nursery and propagating facilities to provide plants for the gardens and produce and flowers for the house.
Have a good plant knowledge. Ensuring all plants are kept watered during hot spells, and warm during the winter, this includes at weekends. Take responsibility for planting and first year maintenance of all trees and shrubs and supervise planting of herbaceous and annual plants. Maintain greenhouse and sheds to a high standard.
Excellent organisational and time management skills are essential, and the Head Gardener must be willing to act as an ambassador for the gardens through the delivery of occasional garden talks and guided tours. It is important that the new Head Gardener should commit to supporting a minimum period of six plus years to support and bed in the succession of the garden owner which will slowly transfer to the next generation of the family over the coming years. Ensure that the whole garden is checked as the first task of each day and able to schedule their time and tasks accordingly.
Applicants must be “hands-on”, good communicators and tidy. Creative input and a sense of humour welcome. Manage, handle, and schedule the contract servicing of a range of garden machinery including tractors, mowers, and chainsaw. Full UK driving licence essential. Introduce ideas and suggestions and participate in development plans while accepting that the Owners reserve to themselves the final decision on all matters.
The Head Gardener is a key member of staff and will be a supportive team player – one who is engaging, affable, naturally outgoing and thrives in working with others, but equally alone. Seek to achieve a balance of all Gardens staff being welcoming, polite, and helpful to the visiting public without allowing undue interruption to the programme of work. Be a collaborative member of the Team, co-operating with all other Departments.
Assist the Owners, to recruit and appoint Gardens staff when required. Co-operate in the possible training schemes involving outside bodies.
Be responsible for compliance with Employment Law and Health and Safety at Work. Inform the owners of any deterioration in structure or infrastructure and make recommendations for programme of repair. Conduct risk and COSHH assessments and be proficient in the safe use of pesticides.