Head Gardener – Live Out – EC7703

From English Country Gardeners

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A rare opportunity has arisen for a talented gardener to step up into their first Head Gardener position, on a beautiful private estate near Farnham in Surrey.  The property owners are keen amateur gardeners and are looking for a knowledgeable, skilled horticulturist, to put their stamp on this 6-acre garden which was originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll.  This position would suit a Skilled Senior Gardener (as mentoring/supervisory experience is desired), or applicants already in a Head Gardener role.  Excellent horticultural knowledge is essential as is physical fitness, and importantly, good imagination with respect to plant use.  The successful applicant will be tasked with recruiting an assistant in due course.

The garden is reportedly one of the first designed by Gertrude Jekyll whilst working alongside Edwin Lutyens, however the original plans have been lost and the garden has been neglected over the past few years.  The rejuvenation of the garden offers an exciting project for the successful candidate and will involve implementing ideas that result from discussions with the property owners. 

The existing gardens comprise woodland with spring bulbs, many Rhododendrons (for which a removal program is in place), a large fish pond (which also requires care), a formal parterre which will be extended and planted in the near future, a large formal lawn and two smaller lawns, two herbaceous borders, hedging, topiary and a rose garden.  The garden does not contain a kitchen garden or fruit trees, but there is a small glasshouse on site.  An additional glasshouse may be added in future, if required.

Part of the woodland has a development programme in place in which lawn will be sown.  There are also plans to sow a meadow at the rear of the property, so candidates with experience in wildflower establishment and management are encouraged to apply, as are those with experience in Beekeeping, as plans for hives on the property are in place but will require expert input.  The owners aim to create a beautiful, elegant but simple garden, rich with diversity of insect and birdlife.

Applicants for this role should be have imagination and energy, with excellent plant knowledge and identification skills.  The successful applicant will have responsibility for budgeting and planning as well as for developing new garden areas over time.  Propagation skills will be necessary, and an understanding of sustainable gardening will be beneficial.  Applicants must have a reasonable grasp of computers/I.T as the owners would like to be kept up to date via email, with photographs, on a weekly basis when they are away.  An allocated gardener’s office with a laptop and workspace will be provided.  The property owners are away for much of the year but are passionate about the development/rejuvenation of the garden, so regular contact and communication skills are an important aspect of the role.

A local Arborist visits the garden regularly to maintain the trees and to undertake any hard landscaping requirements.  A husband and wife team look after the property (contract and live-out) and are excellent in arranging additional items required for the property and ensuring maintenance of the house in the absence of the owners.  The Arborist and Property Manager are currently working on some of the structural redesign (removing wild rhododendrons etc.) and will welcome professional input from the successful applicant.  This will be a full-time Head Gardener role, with the Assistant Gardener also being employed on a full-time basis, once recruited.

This is an excellent and rare opportunity for a talented gardener to put their stamp on a special garden in Surrey.  The position will not simply require the successful applicant to maintain an impressive garden, but rather to develop one from a hands-on perspective, in collaboration with the property owners.

SALARY:       £35,000 – £40,000 DOE
LOCATION:  Farnham, Surrey 
JOB No:          EC7703

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.