Head Gardener - Live In - EC5361 - This position has been filled

An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Senior/Head Gardener to play a lead role in the management and ongoing development of a genuinely stunning private estate in West Oxfordshire.  This opportunity is also available to candidates with a partner who may be willing and able to look after the owner’s two dogs on a two-day, two-night basis.  The formal 8-acre gardens have been developed over the past decade by the owners in association with the renowned landscape designers, Julian and Isabel Bannerman. 

An established Lime Avenue with newly planted shrubbery on either side provides a majestic approach to the large Cotswold Jacobean Manor house, itself covered in full height roses; Sanders White, Malvern Hills and Alberic Barbier.  Four large herbaceous beds surround the formal lawn, providing a traditional and romantic feel via sensitive use of delphiniums, roses, honeysuckle, irises, peonies, and many more.  A pergola, framed by lavender and roses of herbaceous varieties overlook an ornamental lily pool on a separate level, providing a tranquil seating position for the viewer.

The varied and structured gardens continue by way of a double aspect Peony walk, interplanted with cleome violet queen & verbena bonariensis.  Extensive hornbeam allées allow vistas to the surrounding parkland, each punctuated with mature oak trees.  The 28-acres of parkland is mown and is planted with specimen trees to form a new and impressive arboretum.  Large Cotswold Stone walls planted with climbing roses and pleached fruit (on the south side) offer a continuation of the manor house character, deeper into the gardens.  The remainder of the garden contains a swimming pool garden; an Orchard of mixed apples, pears and walnuts, and a kitchen garden with 16 beds, four of which are given over to herbs, with the remaining 12 dedicated to vegetables and cutting flowers.  The garden also contains an ornamental lake (with a weed problem that needs addressing), a large greenhouse with staging for plant propagation, a 12-metre polytunnel, two fruit cages and two asparagus beds.

The core garden team consists of a Senior Gardener, two part time gardeners, a lawn manager and part-time seasonal help, with the hedges managed by a local contractor.  Applicants should be skilled and experienced Senior or Head Gardeners with excellent plant knowledge, extensive experience at a skilled horticultural level on private estates and a positive, committed approach to their position.  Suitable candidates will be self-motivated, trustworthy, and possess excellent communication skills.  Academic horticultural qualifications are desired, ideally at Level 3 or above. 

The gardens are managed and presented to an extremely high standard, so the Head Gardener should also be physically fit and hands-on, capable of managing a team, happy to lead by example, be a supportive team player, enthusiastic, prepared to go the extra mile and be able to contribute to the continued development and improvement of the gardens.  Applicants must possess good organisational and time management skills, including the ability to prioritise their work as well as that of their team.  The successful candidate must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and run the gardens in an efficient, cost effective way.  Positive and long-term working relationships will need to be established with the owners, garden designers, external contractors and visitors to the gardens. 

This is a rare opportunity for a talented Head Gardener, or an aspiring Head Gardener with excellent horticultural knowledge, to join an established team on a stunning property on a permanent basis.  Applicants for the position must have demonstrable experience in each of the above areas to be considered for this vacancy.

Candidates applying for the couple’s aspect should fulfil the Head Gardener requirements, with the partner being home-based in order to provide basic care and company to two dogs, for two days and two nights each week.  The role will involve very little other than time commitment, so applicants may work from home or be looking after children in order to be suitable, for example.

Accommodation is offered as part of the package by way of a two-bedroom single storey cottage on site.  The cottage includes a bathroom with twin basins, a bath and separate shower, kitchen (including washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher), a large sitting room and its own garden made private by hornbeam hedges.  The cottage is situated within the security of the estate premises.

SALARY:        £28,000 - £32,000 + Accommodation

LOCATION:  West Oxfordshire

JOB No:         EC5361

If this Head Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or info@englishcountrygardeners.co.uk

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Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Head Gardener 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 Head Gardener vacancy will have been unsuccessful.