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Craft Gardeners

Office of Public Work
Cork (County), Munster (IE)
approximately €34,630 per year
Closing date
7 Jan 2022

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Contract Type
Full Time
Gardening Jobs
Horticultural Specialist
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The Office of Public Works (OPW) invites applications for the positions of:

(a) Craft Gardener at Fota Arboretum & Gardens, Co. Cork 

(b) Craft Gardener at Doneraile House & Parklands and Annes Grove Gardens, Co. Cork. 

Competition Reference: 2021/039 

Closing Date: 5.30pm on Friday, 7th January 2022 

Information and Application Form available at: 

Salary scale from approximately €34,630 per year. 

The Office of Public Works is responsible for the care, maintenance, management and presentation of several significant properties and historic Parks, Gardens and designed landscapes across Ireland. Our principal objective is to protect, conserve, maintain and present these properties while encouraging appropriate public access be it informal, guided or to organised events.


Office of Public Work

Fota Arboretum and Gardens, a short hop from Cork City, is an historic property of  international significance, with one of the finest collections of rare, tender trees and shrubs  grown outdoors in Ireland or the UK.  

By the early 1840's, the owner James Hugh Smith-Barry had commenced laying out the  gardens and was succeeded by his son Arthur Hugh Smith-Barry, who in turn was succeeded  by daughter Mrs Dorothy Bell. The Gardens have been in the care of OPW since 1996 and  the tradition of planting has continued to this day.  

The mild climate enables a wide range of plants to flourish, including many exotics and  Southern Hemisphere plants. Fota Arboretum has an exceptional collection of conifers with  some 130 species and varieties representing 26 genera. The conifer tree collection was  noted by the British Conifer Society in 2014 to be the most important healthy collection in  the UK or Ireland, and possibly Europe. There are outstanding examples of Pinus, Picea,  Cupressus, Cryptomeria, Abies, Sequoia and Sequoidendron, some of which were among the  first to be planted in Europe. Fota also has a significant collection of broadleaved trees and  shrubs. The large walled gardens and pleasure gardens have a rose collection, pollinator  beds, extensive borders of monocots, herbaceous plants and climbers. The formal gardens  include clipped Yew hedges, a sunken Italianate garden, classical summerhouse, and a  restored orangery. Southwest of Fota House is a Victorian fernery and rockery. The gardens  are currently undergoing rejuvenation and this is a very exciting time to be involved.  

The Gardens attract a wide range of visitors from home and abroad, attracting over 100,000  visitors annually.

Office of Public Work


Doneraile House & Parklands is located 12km from Mallow on the banks of the River Awbeg.  The estate was bought by the St. Leger family in the 17th century and was their home until  1969. It remains today, one of Ireland’s most beautiful historical estates.  The Parklands, set out in the style of Capability Brown incorporate broad vistas and  extensive plantings of native and non-native trees including redwoods, sycamores and yews.  The Awbeg Craft Gardener – Fota Arboretum & Doneraile Hse & Annes Grove 2 of 9  River provides water for lakes, cascades and ponds which are habitats for the vast array of  wildlife living on the estate. The estate also incorporates Pleasure Grounds and walled  gardens.  

The centrepiece of the estate is Doneraile Court, a Georgian architectural masterpiece  which was first built in the last years of the 17th century. Its present façade was constructed  in the 1720s and modified in the 19th century. The house has strong literary connections to  the celebrated author Elizabeth Bowen and, as the setting for Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.  

Anne’s Grove is an historic estate located near Castletownroche Co. Cork. It was the home  of the Annesley family from the 1600s until 2015 when it was gifted to the Irish state and  entered the care of the Office of Public Works. The Office of Public Works has already  carried out extensive works to the house, outbuildings and gardens and it is planned to re open the site to the public in 2022.  

Richard Arthur Grove Annesley, inherited Anne’s Grove in 1892 and developed the  landscape in the Robinsonian style in the early 1900s. He supported the plant-hunting  expeditions led by Frank Kingdom-Ward to Tibet, Yunan Province, Burma and Bhutan and  assembled an exotic collection of plants. Some of the spectacular flowering shrubs dating  from this period include Cornus cousa, embothrium, eucryphia and hoheria. Restoration of  the gardens, house and outbuildings is ongoing and plans include the house being opened  as a visitor hub and education centre, and a café and retail offering. 

Office of Public Work

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