Skilled Gardener

From English Country Gardeners

Alternative Text

Skilled Gardener required

A suitably experienced and passionate gardener is required to take the lead in maintaining approximately 5-acres of formal gardens within a larger 720-acre estate, located just outside Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.  This role would suit a knowledgeable horticulturist with demonstrable experience on private estates at a senior level.  Applicants should have an understanding and passion for the artistic aspect of garden development, as well as an awareness of the scientific considerations essential for effective plant use and management.

This very ‘English garden’ which has recently been redesigned and replanted, surrounds the main house and includes topiary yew, herbaceous borders, a paved parterre, box parterre, tiered formal lawns, a cutting garden, an embryonic wild meadow area, a new woodland, wildlife ponds, a new glasshouse, new potting shed, a new machine shed and new barn.  A collection of approximately 20 specimen oak trees is located within the estate at present, with plans to increase the stand on an ongoing basis.  A bluebell woodland with native trees is managed by external contractors, though assistance from the garden team may be required at times.  Although the formal garden is not managed organically, the remaining estate of approximately 545-acres is.  This principle is in keeping with the property owner’s intention to increase biodiversity and continue the creation of natural habitats, beyond the successes already realised on the estate.

As the principal gardener, applicants will need to coordinate with one junior gardener, house staff, a groom and occasional contractors.  The position is hands-on, with everyday work involving typical seasonal gardening duties such as pruning, planting, mulching, weeding, mowing, propagation etc. The role also includes more specialised tasks such as planting design, irrigation management, small arboricultural jobs (formative pruning and mulching of young trees etc.), composting of garden waste, as well as regular consultation with the owner, who is very receptive to new ideas and expertise.  As a live-in employee, candidates should also be willing and able to undertake estate security as well as occasional jobs within the wider estate, e.g. tree planting.

Applicants for this role should have excellent plant knowledge; proven practical experience at a similar level (senior gardener or above, on private estates), knowledge of garden machinery and their maintenance, good organisation and communication skills including the use of computers/WhatsApp etc.), knowledge and experience of turf maintenance and care, knowledge of health and safety and the associated paperwork.  An academic horticultural qualification is desired, ideally at RHS Level 3 or above, however extensive experience will be considered. Experience with plant pest and disease control/treatment is required, as is experience with chainsaws (PA1/PA6 spray certificates and a chainsaw certificate; CS30/31 or similar) desired.

Suitable applicants will be positive, enthusiastic individuals with a ‘can-do’ approach.  Candidates should be non-smokers with good physical fitness and a fondness for dogs, as the three friendly house Labradors may wish to assist in the garden from time to time.  A full UK driving licence is essential.

This role is offered with a generous salary and on-site accommodation by way of an impressive and recently refurbished four-bedroom ground-floor house, located close to the main property.  The accommodation comprises an open-plan kitchen/dining room and a very large lounge with log burner, and a brand-new conservatory at the rear extending to a private garden.  Heating, power and electricity are the responsibility of the occupant.  This property is unsuitable for pets.  A standard 40-hour week is required; Monday to Friday, with occasional weekend work when necessary, e.g. watering during periods of hot weather.  Holiday entitlement comprises 20-days plus bank holidays (28-days in total).  The estate is located in a rural setting amongst beautiful rolling hills, pocketed with beech woods.  Nearby towns include Henley; 3 miles, and Marlow; 8 miles away.

SALARY:  Circa £28,000 + Accommodation

LOCATION:  Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

JOB No:  EC22070

If this Skilled Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or .

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