Head Gardener

From English Country Gardeners

Alternative Text

An incredible opportunity has become available for an experienced and knowledgeable Head Gardener to continue to develop and maintain a “Heritage Garden of Excellence” to an exceptionally high standard and manage the horticultural features in the gardens and grounds of a beautiful estate in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The garden is open to the public year-round, and the Head Gardener will need to be mindful of this characteristic or the organisation and of the need to be highly flexible and adaptable. The position is full time and permanent basis and will manage a team of gardeners.

Following extensive restoration, today the gardens are quite simply one of Wales’ finest gardens, and at its heart lies a fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden that is the only surviving one of its kind in the UK today that is bounded by a three-sided arcaded walkway made of solid stone. Beyond this, visitors can explore 10 acres of over 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, right through to exotic and modern along with the Grade II* listed mansion that frequently offers a stunning venue for exhibitions and events.

Other elements of the grounds include Alpinum Garden, Asiatic Garden boasting a collection of plants that originate from various parts of Asia including China, Japan, Tibet and Nepal.  A jubilee woodland, a functional kitchen garden filled with fruit and vegetables as well as a large variety of cut flowers in the summer, a glass atrium housing many sub-tropical and exotic plants. Expansive lawns, yew tunnel, a secluded area of deciduous trees, pond and stream gardens. There is also an imaginative sunken garden with a stunning water feature, and an upper walled garden. 

As the Head Gardener, you will play a key role in the leadership of the team of skilled and passionate individuals, contributing to whole property decision-making and direction. The role combines practical work, strategy, and planning, team leadership and advocacy. The Head Gardener will lead for horticultural excellence, providing the vision needed to continue the development and conservation of the whole garden and related infrastructure. The successful candidate will be required to commit to supporter engagement, including talks, tours, and media appearances; therefore, outstanding communication, service and people skills are a must. Essential duties will include the management of budgets in the procurement of plants, seeds, bulbs, machinery, and materials within agreed budgets to maintain the supply of plants for the retail sales area. Candidates will be responsible for detailed garden record keeping,  

The Head Gardener will be responsible for the maintenance of the gardens and all horticultural tasks on the Estate to a professional standard. He / She will plan the planting programmes to provide seasonal interest within the borders, and prepare annual maintenance schedules for the borders, trees and lawns and will liaise with the Director of Operations and the wider team on any changes to the planting schemes and planting of external pots and troughs throughout year. The health of plants in the extensive herbaceous beds are to be monitored and maintained including pruning, staking, feeding and spraying.  The successful candidate will schedule and supervise the necessary work for the team of gardeners create brilliant experiences for visitors.  

Applicants should have experience as a Head gardener or experienced gardener working on a private estate, managing a team. He / She will have excellent plant knowledge and technical skills with the relevant horticultural education and qualifications. It is important that the Head Gardener has a good understanding of Health and Safety requirements noting that all duties must be carried out to comply with current Health & Safety at Work legislation. The Head Gardener will have experience using and maintaining a range of basic garden machinery, experience or project planning and delivery, as well as competent IT skills. A full UK driving licence is essential.

The Head Gardener will be required to undertake some weekend and out of hours work, inducing some public functions and events when the attendance of the Head Gardener will be expected. Accommodation is provided on site as part of overall compensation and has traditionally been an essential condition of employment. This is given in exchange for afterhours security and response to any emergency should it arise. This provision would be considered negotiable for the right candidate.

SALARY:        £32,000 – £38,000 depending on experience

LOCATION: Carmarthenshire

JOB No:          EC44329

If this Head Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Sophie Sharpe 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.