Head Gardener

From English Country Gardeners

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A truly exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced, dynamic, and driven Head Gardener to be part of a friendly team on a private family estate, located on the East Sussex coast near Hastings. The estate is a picturesque mansion, a splendid example of Victorian neo-gothic and sits among 90 acres of pleasure gardens, pastures and woodland. The garden is around 15 acres in size, organic and soil association certified.

The newly appointed Head Gardener will join a team of skilled gardeners, reporting into the principles and will be responsible for the management, maintenance, and on-going development of gardens. Overlooking the English Channel with views of the white cliffs of Dover and the French coast, the gardens are full of beautiful and interesting plants, with a number of trees and shrubs which are original planting to the house. The gardens are made up of many wonderfully diverse areas rich in colour, texture and has an adventurous use of plants, trees, and shrubs. Much of the garden has been improved since the early 2000’s whilst some of the gardens original layout remains. There are some 35-acres of mixed, broadleaf native woodland, including some extensive bluebell woods; the woodland is also managed for firewood production.

Other elements of the garden include a tropical border home to some marvellous exotic hardy and half-hardy plants, and a Nursery which is used year-round to supply the garden with plants. Two 100-metre-long borders containing a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous perennial plants with a 300ft peony hedge. A stunning glass house is home to tropical plants and a propagation area for seeds and cuttings, and a wonderful mixed orchard home to apple, pear and quince trees and a natural pond. A 1.5-acre Victorian walled garden that is home to an amphitheatre, glasshouse, pond, and fruit cage. This area of the gardens function is to grow food for the house and the events that the estate holds, a large variety of fruits and vegetables from the every day to the slightly unusual.

This is an exciting opportunity for a Head Gardener with a real passion and drive for horticulture and a keen interest in kitchen gardening, to work within a close-knit team on this prestigious and historic estate. The Head Gardener will encourage career growth and development for the team and must be happy to support trainings, development programmes, should the budget allow for that year. The owners also keep bees on the estate therefore if there was an interest or you have experience in beekeeping, there is an opportunity there to get involved. The Head Gardener will develop the garden, implement plans, recreate borders, and carryout planting schemes. He / She will report to and work closely with the owners in the development of the garden, making sure the grounds are to be maintained to the highest of standards. The estate

A minimum of a level 2 horticultural qualification is required, with experience and a confident approach to growing produce.  He/ She will also need to be an organised and proactive person with good record keeping abilities. In addition, the estate gardening team participate in a local in bloom a community horticultural group devoted to enhancing the local village environment and support for this programme will be required from time to time as well as mentoring trainees and volunteers as necessary. The property itself play host to numerous events throughout the year and the Head Gardener will be expected to be involved. As an ambassador of the house and gardens, the successful applicant will seek out opportunities to provide visitors with friendly conversation and background information on everything horticultural, and giving guided tours of the gardens and grounds. The estate has a strong social media presence, so the Head Gardener will be required to create and put out interesting and inspiring content regarding the gardens.

Suitable applicants will possess experience in horticulturally diverse gardens, good physical fitness, and excellent plant identification and management skills. Practical experience with a wide range of garden machinery is essential, as is a keen interest in organic gardening. This new opportunity will suit an experienced and qualified horticulturist with excellent attention to detail, with garden planning and staff supervision experience. Applicants should be equally passionate, energetic, and experienced hands-on professionals with an ability to lead a team of gardeners.

SALARY:  £34,000 – £40,000 dependent on experience
LOCATION:  East Sussex
JOB No:  EC43745

If this Head Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Sophie Sharpe on 01233 733510 or

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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.