Head Gardener required for Blackland House, Wiltshire.
Sitting within just over 120 acres the 6-acre gardens at Blacklands contains a range of beautiful soft forms of natural and gently formal spaces including cloud hedging and topiary, which link with the surrounding parkland and Marlborough Downs beyond. The river Marden is central to the property and is a haven for wildlife and planting opportunities.
The gardens and surrounding estate are organic, environmentally friendly, and fully certified by the Soil Association UK.
Based around a series of walled gardens, the spaces serve as both a family garden and a workspace for a specialist flower-growing and floristry business. The gardens open for the National Garden Scheme, and a range of smaller openings and masterclasses are held throughout the spring and summer, but this is still essentially a peaceful, private place. The newly accredited National Collection of Tulipa (historic) is held here, managed by the owner as part of their business. Separate to the garden itself is a fenced off growing area that works as a small-scale flower farm, Bayntun Flowers, which is planted with perennials and annuals for cutting.
Over the past ten years Arne Maynard has been integral at introducing structured design elements, with the owner and head gardener building upon these with plantings and extensions to the existing areas.
A formal walled garden contains a large Foster and Pearson glasshouse and frames, there is also a Victorian conservatory and an unheated poly tunnel. Borders of perennials, roses and fruit are impeccably trained, and the garden is interspersed with flowers of all sorts, including many interesting bulbs. Newly planted woodland beds based around species plants, two ongoing riverside schemes and a developing arboretum create a sense of dynamic development and growth.
The outgoing Head Gardener is leaving after almost 9 highly productive years. She is currently supported by two part-time gardeners working a total of 5 days per week, 2 full time estate staff (who undertake the grass cutting and general duties as well as their other estate tasks), and specialist contractors who maintain the topiary. Additional staff will be considered.
We now seek a new Head Gardener who is a qualified horticulturalist, a true plantsperson with the energy, experience and understanding of the garden’s aesthetic to take on this leading role. Whilst there are planning and digital records to be maintained to meet the Soil Association requirements, this is very much a hands-on role. Previous experience in private service, the ability to manage a small team while being a team-player and a passion for the environment are essential. No spraying or chain-saw licences necessary. Training and career development opportunities provided. Horticultural qualifications and a proven track-record are a must.
An excellent package to include a salary is offered at the upper end of the Professional Gardeners’ Guild guidelines, with accommodation, or an accommodation allowance.