Head Gardener

From English Country Gardeners

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A superb opportunity has arisen for a Head Gardener to play a key role in the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of a beautiful private estate in Hertfordshire.  The role will involve day-to-day hands-on leadership and supervision of a team of skilled gardeners.  The successful candidate will need to work with the owners and garden designer to enhance and develop the garden.  This role will suit an experienced gardener with strong leadership skills, excellent horticultural knowledge and desire to take on a dynamic garden on a collaborative basis.

The impressive period property is framed by gardens designed by a highly respected Chelsea Gold Medal winning designer who continues to be involved with the gardens on a regular basis.  The privately-owned estate encompasses approximately 40 acres, of which five are gardens maintained to a very high standard.  The gardens are open once a year at the end of May as part of the NGS scheme and as testament to their popularity, in 2019 broke the regional record for the most successful turnout in a day with well over 1000 visitors. 

The varied site includes a ¾ acre walled garden, a 4 ¼ acre ornamental garden with water features, trees, shrubs, perennials and a long list of additional features, plants and areas beyond.  Glasshouses on site are used for propagation, growing vegetables, overwintering citrus, and ornamentals.  The remainder of the estate encompasses paddocks/ménage, two tennis courts, parkland and a swimming pool.  The garden team are noted for their production of fruit and vegetables, of which some are used for home-made preserves and juices which are sold locally. The estate also provides a home for various animals; a small herd of Dexter cattle, Texel sheep, chickens and horses.  The owners own an adjacent property; the Coach House, with a small garden and an additional 7-acre rental property in the area that includes paddocks and a garden, which are also overseen by the Head Gardener. 

The Head Gardener will oversee the team and be the sole point of contact to the property owner and Estate Manager/Designer.  Applicants must be excellent communicators and be able to manage team members with diplomacy, whilst ensuring a positive environment.  Successful collaboration with the Estate Manager/Designer and the property owners is of paramount importance, as the creative input from all parties has ensured the garden’s popularity to date and must continue to do so.  The property owners are genuinely enthusiastic and dedicated to the gardens, so this role will be varied and interesting, with a high standard of horticulture required at all times.  

Applications are sought from experienced and knowledgeable private estate Skilled/Senior/Head Gardeners who will ideally have assumed responsibility of garden staff management.  The successful candidate will be used to handling dynamic environments with some pressure at times and will be adept at problem solving and will enjoy rising to and managing challenges alongside a talented team.

The Head Gardener will be responsible for ensuring all machinery on site is serviced (by the appropriate external technicians where necessary) and kept in good working order.  Chemical spray certificate and chainsaw licenses are both desirable but not essential.  The successful applicant will be self-motivated, have excellent communication skills, staff/volunteer supervisory skills and most importantly, excellent horticultural knowledge.  A full driving licence and your own transport are required as the property is located rurally.  A living allowance will be provided to the successful candidate in addition to the salary.

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

SALARY:       £35,000 – £40,000 DOE + Accommodation allowance

LOCATION:  Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire

JOB No:          EC15785

If this Head 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 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.