Gardener / Caretaker

Based in a beautiful rural setting in Normandy, France, a hands-on Gardener / Caretaker is sought. The 1000-hectare estate offers pastures, woodlands, informal gardens, arboretum, a small lake and an orchard. The main house is a 300-year old chateau and there are a number of outbuildings, including a workshop, guest cottage, and a separate 3 bed, 2 reception room house that comes with the position.  Roughly 9 hectares are maintained formally, with the rest comprising woodlands and pastures, some of which are let out.  It is certified as an organic farm and there is a small flock of sheep, some chickens, and a vegetable garden.  Although the property is rural, there is a town of 25,000 population 10 km away, and the coastal beaches are a short 30 min drive away.  This is a secondary family residence for our London-based client, who travel regularly to the property for school holidays and longer periods over the summer. 

Our client is seeking a live-in Gardener / Caretaker for a full time, permanent position.  The family is actively involved with the management of the property and is in direct communication at least weekly to discuss ongoing activity at the property.  They are a relaxed and understated family, with three school-aged children.

The position is the only employed member of staff on the property, although there are regular tradespeople to the property, including regular cleaning and upkeep of the interior of the chateau which is contracted out.  The role is ideal for someone who is hands on, multi-skilled from gardening to equipment maintenance to working with animals and is self-motivated.  It offers the scope to create and execute new projects, and the owners are very open to taking the property in a direction that aligns with the skills and interests of the caretaker.

The position is open to an individual or ideally, a couple.  Work should be locally part or full time for the non-employed partner, or of course this would be perfect for someone who’s partner works remotely or who stays at home with young children.

The main responsibilities of the Gardener / Caretaker role but not limited to, is to carry out garden maintenance duties, to include mowing, pruning, cutting, strimming, weeding, hoeing, raking, etc. as well as weekly, strimming and clearing of approx. 9 hectare park. Maintain and prune hedges. Planting out the summer and winter flower beds and planters. Care as well as the maintenance of extensive rose garden. Clean and maintain koi pond. Tend to fruit trees in the orchard and plan, plant, and maintain organic vegetable garden, the propagation of seedlings and plants. Maintenance of woodlands including selected clearing of fallen trees and re-plantings.

The caretaker responsibilities are to keep the owners apprised of any minor or major damage and wear and tear to buildings and property, and either carry out or arrange and supervise repairs. Carry out repairs to fences and gates, keeping outside areas clean and tidy, including outbuilding. Weeding of pathways, replacement of light bulbs in internal and external lamps and supplying the main house with firewood. There will be occasional painting and basic carpentry, plumbing, and electric works required. Previous experience of maintaining the upkeep of tractor, chainsaws, strimmer, and other garden machinery and equipment is desirable. As there is livestock on the estate there will be the requirement to feed the animals (currently sheep, chickens, but may consider a few cows). Ensuring the security and the occasional errands into nearby village for supplies and picking up of guests will also be required.

Management of external contractors will be an additional feature of this position and therefore previous experience in doing so will be advantageous for prospective candidates. Applicants should be physically fit and with a ‘can do’ attitude. A self-motivated individual/s with a strong work ethic, ability to work to their own initiative and willingness to work to consistently high standards are qualities which are essential for this role.

The successful candidate will possess the following skills:

Will have experience in a similar position a good knowledge of horticulture, gardening and landscaping; horticultural qualifications a plus a basic knowledge of farming and agriculture, with organics a plus. Excellent attention to detail and take pride in their work. Additionally speak fluent English; some spoken French is required, to at least a basic conversational level.

Terms of Employment:

  • Hours: 39 per week
  • Occasional overtime when required (with sufficient notice)
  • Guaranteed days off: Generally approx. 30 min of animal care on weekends / day, otherwise free
  • Accommodation: Live-in; 3 bedroom / 2 reception secluded cottage on the property; utilities paid.
  • Holiday allowance: 5 weeks paid vacation per year
  • Satisfactory references

Total Gross salary:    €43,000 -   €53,000

Accommodation:       3 bedroom / 2 reception secluded cottage on the property; utilities paid.

LOCATION:             Normandy, France

JOB No:                     EC59068

If this Gardener / Caretaker vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Sara Yassin on 01233 733510 or

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Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Gardener / Caretaker vacancy.  Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications that we receive, it is not possible to respond to every one.  Therefore, unless you hear from us within the next 14 days, your application for this Gardener / Caretaker vacancy will have been unsuccessful.