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Skilled Gardener

Stair Estates
Castle Kennedy Gardens, South West Scotland
Up to £30K depending on experience
Closing date
28 Dec 2023

View more

Contract Type
Full Time
Gardening Jobs
Horticultural Specialist
Senior Executive

Job Details


1X Skilled Gardener Required

Salary relevant to experience and qualifications.  Accommodation is also available if required.  Position to start ASAP.


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented and experienced skilled gardener to join our small team of committed gardeners at Castle Kennedy Gardens, Stair Estates.

Stair Estates is a diversified rural estate in southwest Scotland with a varied let property portfolio; in-hand farming, forestry, tourism and country sports enterprises. It includes a number of renowned horticultural landscapes.  These include the historic Castle Kennedy Gardens and the gardens at Lochinch Castle which are open to the public as well as the wider estate.

Reporting directly to the Head Gardener and the Owners, this position will entail working as part of a team for five days of the week. The ideal candidate will have formal horticultural qualifications and or practical experienced as a qualified employed gardener.  They should have a comprehensive plant knowledge, a keen interest in gardens and historic landscapes, be well motivated with an eye for detail, have a desire for high standards and a positive, pro-active and can-do approach to work.  Specialist knowledge and appreciation of rhododendrons will be an advantage but is not essential.

Use of machinery will be required and possession of pesticide/chainsaw certificates is preferred, although training can be provided. The role is physically demanding and requires good health and fitness levels.

Detailed description

This position is full time with normal working hours from 8.00 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday.  Additional hours will be required at weekends for greenhouse checking and watering  and as necessitated by the needs of the garden.

Key responsibilities

  • Undertake maintenance throughout the gardens to trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, annual borders, hedges and lawns
  • Prune trees, shrubs and climbers & cut hedges using ladders or powered platforms
  • Take responsibility for specific specialist garden features and areas as agreed with the Head Gardener
  • Undertake the proper care for a wide range of plants all plants including planting, division, cultivation, propagation, weeding, and mulching, feeding, watering, pruning, tying-in, staking and dead heading
  • To use and maintain tools and machinery including brush cutters, pedestrian and ride on mowers, rotavators, tractors and trailers
  • Assist in the maintenance of the gardens infrastructure
  • Responsible for providing basic guidance of trainees and volunteers under the supervision of the Head Gardener
  • Provide an approachable, polite and friendly point of contact on site for the public
  • Develop own skills and knowledge in a way that supports improvement in the quality of Castle Kennedy Gardens
  • Embrace new projects and schemes and assist in their implementation
  • Undertake any other duties, as requested by your Employers, commensurate with aims of the business and within your ability and training
  • This position will be provided with a uniform which must be clean and tidy at all times. General appearance should be neat and smart at all times.


  • Experience of working in gardens and public parks
  • Sound experience of tractor mounted and pedestrian operated horticultural machinery
  • Experience of cultivating a wide variety of plants including herbaceous perennials, cut flowers, climbers, shrubs and trees
  • Some silvicultural experience
  • Able to demonstrate good health and safety awareness

Knowledge and Training

  • Practical experience and/or qualifications in horticulture and/or landscape management 
  • Comprehensive plant knowledge including the cultivation and planting of shrubs, flowering plants, hedges and lawns
  • A keen interest in gardens and historic landscapes
  • Specialist knowledge and appreciation of rhododendrons will be an advantage
  • Familiarity with general horticultural principles and plant husbandry
  • Good understanding of Health and Safety issues
  • An understanding of team dynamics and productivity
  • Broad knowledge and experience of operating and maintaining garden machinery mowers and strimmers. Some or all of the following technical certificates:

NPTC CS30 & CS31 in chainsaw operation

NPTC or equivalent in brushcutter/strimmer operation

NPTC or equivalent in handheld sprayers – PA1 & PA6

Personal Qualities

  • Positive, pro-active
  • Well motivated with attention to detail and a desire to achieve a high standards
  • A willingness to work alongside other staff and volunteers
  • Be physically fit as required in this role
  • Work effectively in a team as well as independently
  • Tact and diplomacy

Application Process

To apply please click the "Apply Now" button which will require you to provide your CV and Covering that will go directly to the hiring team.




"A Hidden Scottish Treasure"

"Outstandingly beautiful walled gardens in a lovely setting"

Stair Estates lets and manages a wide range of properties on the Estate, including farms, homes and commercial sites. The Estate is a major provider of affordable rural housing in the Stranraer area.

About Us

A fantastic business situated in Stranmear, Castle Kennedy Gardens is set in 75 acres and offers something for everyone to enjoy. From stunning fauna, to beautiful scenery, sculptured landforms, magnificent walks and popular bird hides, the Gardens are a hidden treasure in South West Scotland and a perfect haven for relaxing and exploring. The Tea Room and Shop offer local, seasonal home baked food and Scottish made products. We have a number of luxurious self-catering holiday cottages too for couples and families which are open for bookings throughout the year.

Castle Kennedy Gardens, Stranraer – Gardens | VisitScotland

Our Gardens

The Gardens are extensively landscaped with terraces, mounds and avenues, all of which were created by the 2nd Earl of Stair in the 1730s with the men and horses of the Royal Scots Greys and the Inniskilling Fusiliers. They extend to more than 30 hectares (75 acres)

Highly Commended

We have a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor here

Career Opportunities

There are some great opportunities to progress and work in this beautiful setting in Scotland in the Horticulture space as well as volunteering opportunities. 

Social Media

Follow us on social media and come and visit us sometime to see where you could be working or staying or grabbing lunch next!

Website -

Facebook - @Castlekennedygardens

Twitter (X) - @CastleKennedyGs

Instagram - @Castlekennedygardens

Youtube - @Castlekennedygardens714


Company info
01776 702024
Stair Estates Office
London Road

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