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Hands-on Head Gardener

National Gardens Specialist
Ipswich, Suffolk
Salary reflecting top end PGG guidelines circa £45k - £50k, plus rent free house.
Closing date
9 May 2024

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Contract Type
Full Time
Gardening Jobs, Management Jobs
Horticultural Specialist

Crowe Hall Estate

Hands-on Head Gardener

The private estate sits within the area designated as National Landscape / AONB, on the River Stour Estuary near Manningtree – Suffolk/Essex Borders.

The role requires a knowledgeable and creative person who will be required to bring the existing gardens up to the highest standards of professional horticulture and assume the overall management of the estate. There is also a long-term opportunity to play a leading role in the remaining areas of the garden where new designs have been commissioned for implementation in the years ahead.

A series of beautiful gardens and a woodland garden sit within a formal parkland which rolls down towards the stunning Stour Estuary. The parkland is managed to Soil Association standards and has wildflower meadows with grazing livestock and the estate supports an abundance of wildlife. The owner’s passion and support to create outstanding pleasure gardens and landscapes is infectious.

The formal gardens consist of a number of compartmental areas within a Walled Garden including greenhouses and a kitchen garden. The Walled Gardens have benefited from design inputs by some of the country’s finest garden designers including an Orangery Garden designed by Xa Tollemache; a Reflection Pond Garden by Tom Stuart-Smith; and the Lower Orangery Garden created by Christopher Bradley Hole. Christopher, is also working on another new area to be developed in the future.  Adjacent to the principal residence, the owners have created, over the last 25 years, a woodland garden including specimen trees planted around a shallow valley containing a series of spring fed ponds and lakes.

There is now a new opportunity for a hands-on Head Gardener to oversee and create a greater sense of cohesion and structure to the overall management, productivity and presentation of the estate and gardens and in addition to assist with the design and implementation of a proposed new south gardens and a new understory design and other improvements to the Woodland Garden being commissioned from a leading designer. The role will also oversee the improvement of the parkland area and tree management.

The role includes management of a team of 3 gardeners, plus an apprentice, to support all areas of the estate. Whilst the garden is private, it does open for specialist garden tour groups as well as a small number of other private events throughout the year.

The candidate must have a good plant and horticultural knowledge as well as some knowledge of tree management.  They must be a leader with excellent communication skills, be able to plan and prioritise work schedules, and support a professional, safe and welcoming culture. The owners would be willing to be consider applicants who could demonstrate relevant practical experience having worked in similar roles on Estates.

Salary will reflect the top end of the Professional Gardeners Guild salary guidelines circa £45k - £50k depending on experience, qualifications, and suitability. A recently constructed two-bedroom cottage is available free of rent and council tax, within the Estate.

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