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Full Time Gardener

Penshurst Place and Gardens
Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Kent
Closing date
25 May 2022
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JOB TITLE:             Gardener

REPORTING TO:     Head Gardener

HOURS:                  This is a full-time position, generally Monday to Friday with occasional weekend duties on rota.

HOLIDAYS:   28 days per year plus Bank Holidays  

JOB SUMMARY:        Penshurst Place is one of the oldest family owned estates in the country set in 2500 acres of rural Kent countryside. It is a top visitor attraction, wedding and events venue, and a working country estate. This historically important private house and garden is open to visiting public through much of the year. The 700 year old gardens include a C17th 11 acre walled garden laid out in ‘rooms’ surrounded by yew hedges, Elizabethan formal lawns and parterres, informal meadow style planting, historic parkland, and watercourses and ponds. The Gardener will work directly under the Head Gardener in the maintenance and management of the grade 1 listed gardens and grounds as part of the garden team.

As the gardens are not easily served by public transport, and tractor use is a part of the role, a full UK drivers Licence and own transport is required.

The job includes scheduled green house duties and weather recording in the morning and closing of greenhouses in the evening. This will include at least one bank holiday and possibly some days during the Christmas/new year break.

The Estate will endeavour to provide training and instruction which is suitable to the undertaking of the role.


The gardener will carry out general amenity grounds maintenance duties for Penshurst Place Gardens department such as:

  • Carry out general amenity maintenance, while requiring a minimum amount of supervision and using of own initiative
  • The use of a wide range of hand tools, horticultural machinery and powered hand tools, such as lawn mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters etc
  • There will also be other tasks such as: turf laying, feeding and planting. Soil cultivation, digging, forking, mulching, watering, raking, weeding, litter and debris clearing, edging, pruning, seed sowing, bed preparation and planting. Lawn maintenance and cultivation.
  • Greenhouse work: watering, sowing and other propagation, potting up etc.
  • Ensuring that all tools, garden equipment and machinery are correctly kept in good, safe working order, whilst keeping tool sheds clean and tidy and tools stored securely at all times
  • Awareness and practising of Health and Safety legislations, ensuring a safe working environment for everyone working or using in the garden
  • Application of Pesticides
  • Use of the tractor on site
  • May be asked to assist in swimming pool maintenance duties alongside the Head Gardener  
  • May be asked to have a greater input into an area of the garden or its operation with the agreement of the Head Gardener

This is not an exhaustive list and other tasks will be necessary in the upkeep of the gardens.

Common rules and responsibilities

To maintain good relations with colleagues at all times; including temporary and part time staff, contractors, estate tenants, visitors and members of the public, remaining courteous and polite at all times

To keep physical assets of Penshurst Place Estate free from damage and/or misuse

To undertake training as required, fulfilling the needs of the position

To observe all fire regulations, Health and Safety and security regulations and in particular to take reasonable care both for your own safety and that of others that could be affected by your actions

Be able to communicate with members of the public and other staff members in a polite and appropriate manner in line with the Penshurst code of conduct

Be able to work as part of a team

Be flexible in approach and as to what task they will carry out.

Person specification


Min. Level 2 Horticulture qualification (or equivalent experience)

PA1 Safe Handling and Application of Pesticide & PA6a

Comfortable working with people with different levels of knowledge and skills

Comfortable working around the general public

Friendly and articulate

Tidy in their work paying attention to detail

Conscientious, Self-motivated & Flexible


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