Head of Gardens and Grounds

From English Country Gardeners

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A rare and exciting opportunity has become available for a Head of Gardens and Grounds to join an incredible private estate that is going through a monumental restoration of the buildings, gardens and grounds. The position is a full time and permanent role and is based in Surrey.

The 500-acre grounds are entirely new, based loosely on the historic gardens that were lost in the 1960’s. Currently in the plan phase, the grounds are being designed to consist of garden areas. A few of those areas are as follows; Forecourt with formal parterre planting beds with hedges and a topiary yew centrepiece surrounded by close cut formal lawns. These beds are intended to have a changing display of bulbs and annual flowering plants to provide year-round interest and will require careful maintenance and regular replanting with the gardeners either ordering in or propagating and growing on the required plants. The grotto entrance will be surrounded by mostly coniferous trees planted to create woodland clump when viewed from the park. Shrub and herbaceous planting above the grotto to frame the sculpture/urn here. The garden walk will be an elegant repeat of shrub and herbaceous ground including planting around the outsides of the garden terrace. The Southern walk becomes part of the Garden terrace with a seat looking back towards the south wing.

The Kitchen Terrace and Pool Terrace planting will be in entirely in large timber planters. Small clipped standard trees surrounded with seasonal annuals. Both terraces will have the same layout, but the Pool terrace is in the shade of the house for much of the day whereas the Kitchen Terrace is mostly in full sunlight. The walled garden will be divided into a quartered layout with a gravel paths on the cross axis and around the perimeter walls. The central area will be a simple meadow and fruit trees with feature arbours in each quadrant. A new ¾ glasshouse will be built to accommodate retained vines. The glasshouse backs onto the potting sheds and there is water and power to the glass house. Heating is by electric heaters set into the retained heating trench. A working area with compost/ bulk materials storage ‘bins’ will be created and fruit cages and a small area of growing beds for cut flowers or similar. Other areas include the summer garden, spring and autumn woodland garden, lake walk with several planting areas on the terraces sloping down to lake, cascade steps, Japanese garden and arboretum woodland which will be a low maintenance area.

The owners are seeking a Head of Gardens and Grounds to join during the in the early stages of the project to play a key role in the design, implementation and future running of the gardens and grounds. He / She will report into and work closely with Estate Manager as well as liaising and working directly with landscape architects during the set-up phase and intermittently. The landscape architects will provide a design guide and management plan for the gardens explaining the design concepts, long term aspirations and maintenance requirements for each area. During set up phase, the Head of Gardens and Grounds will work with the Estate Manager to recruit a team of suitable gardeners and grounds staff, procure all garden equipment and machinery and implement and oversee all the projects onsite.  

The anticipated date for the project completion is April / June 2021 and the family will take residence then. The Head of Gardens and Grounds will implement very high horticultural standards across all the estate gardens, grounds, lakes and golf area.  The successful applicant will carry out day to day management of garden and grounds staff, maintain records, order and control supplies, oversee maintenance of estate machinery, manage and maintain the estate’s water and irrigation system, implement changes and seasonal requirements and assist the estate manager with any ad-hoc tasks.

Applicants will be highly experienced, skilled and professional horticulturalist with excellent plant and tree knowledge. The ideal candidate will be a qualified Horticulturalist with a minimum of 10 years’ relevant experience, supported by evidence of the innovative development and implementation of programs of work and long-term garden planning. He / She will have experience working in a similar setting from garden conception through to project implementation and estate operation and management. They will have an eye for enhancing open spaces with attractive planting regimes. Good verbal communication skills and a positive attitude are essential.

The position is a 5-day working week but may vary when family are in residence or through busy periods. The salary provided is £45,000 – £50,000 with accommodation. The accommodation provided is a two- or three-bedroom cottage onsite with council tax, water and electricity bills paid by the employer. A discretionary bonus is provided as well as healthcare cover and Pension.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a Head of Garden and Grounds to create a lasting legacy creating, developing and maintaining the estate with the highest standards.

SALARY:        £45,000 – £50,000 depending on experience    
LOCATION:   Surrey
JOB No:          EC17327

If this Head of Gardens and Grounds vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Sara Yassin on 01233 733510 or info@englishcountrygardeners.co.uk.

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Thank you for the interest you have shown in this Head of Gardens and Grounds 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 of Gardens and Grounds vacancy will have been unsuccessful.

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