Position Filled

Sole Gardener – Live In – EC6219 – This position has now been filled

From English Country Gardeners

A rare and attractive opportunity has arisen for a skilled Sole Gardener to take responsibility for a beautiful Grade II listed Japanese style private garden in Oxfordshire, on a live-in permanent basis.  The position would suit a physically fit and knowledgeable gardener with demonstrable experience at a skilled level.  Applicants must have good horticultural knowledge, academic horticultural qualifications (ideally) and demonstrable experience of managing private estate gardens to a high degree of detail.

The stunning rectangular-shaped garden measures approximately 220 square metres and lies on the edge of Shipton-under-Wychwood; a small Cotswold village situated between Burford and Chipping Norton.  The garden was created in 1964-5 by a small team of gardeners from Japan, alongside the Chinese-Russian painter Viacheslav Atroshenko, for the client, who still lives on the property today.  This impressive garden is included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest at Grade II.  It is believed that there are over 70 types of moss and lichen growing in the garden, as well as further Japanese style planting such as bamboo, acer and azalea.

The garden is dominated by the large biomorphic shaped pool, fed by an adjacent well and concrete lined, from which the house appears to rise up. It contains two small islands, planted with small shrubs, accessible via small timber bridges.  The remainder of the garden to the south, east and north of the house has been carefully shaped into a ‘miniature’ Japanese style garden with small ‘hills’.  It is intentionally covered in moss and planted with small trees and shrubs.  In the centre of the moss-covered ‘lawn’ to the south-west of the house stands a mature horse-chestnut tree, forming a prominent feature. The south-eastern edge of the pool abuts a ‘beach’ of river-washed pebbles.  The northern part of the garden is dominated by a narrow stream through which the water runs from the pool via a rustic stone cascade, to a small timber sluice further downstream, regulating the water flowing back into the river Evenlode. The far north end of the garden, abutting the river Evenlode, is laid to lawn. In the north-west corner of the garden stands a plain, rectangular-shaped garden shelter made from timber, with a raised floor.  A meditative raked gravel garden containing stone outcrops can be viewed from a covered walkway and the loggia extending from the north-west corner of the house.  A screening Cotswold Stone garden wall encloses a raked gravel garden punctuated by stone outcrops, based on that at the Ryoan-Ji temple garden in Kyoto.  The east side of the wall has an abstract mural of 1971 by the artist Paul Atroshenko, subsequently restored by the artist himself.  This depicts the four stages of the day: morning, afternoon, evening and night.

The property extends to some 10-acres, much of which is planted with deciduous trees.  About two acres of this is a ‘stroll’ garden, with specimen trees and shrubs in clusters.  On the west side is a long drive way, leading to the former vicarage (c.1840), let to tenants.

The ideal candidate will hold a recognised academic horticultural qualification, preferably at Level 3 or above, and/or extensive experience at Skilled/Sole Gardener level on horticulturally-diverse private estate.  The Sole Gardener should be competent with the operation and basic maintenance of garden machinery and will instinctively adhere to excellent health and safety standards at all times.

Suitable candidates must be able to confidently and autonomously manage all aspects of the above whilst being friendly in character, positive in outlook, presentable and genuinely passionate about their profession, as well as being sensitive to the considerations associated with working and living on a private property and home. 

This opportunity is offered with a one – or two-bedroom cottage; comprising a large family living room, dining room and large kitchen.  Rent and Council Tax is covered by the client, whilst utility bills are to be covered by the successful applicant. 

SALARY:        £23,000 + Accommodation

LOCATION:   Shipton-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire

JOB No:          EC6219

 If this Sole Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or info@englishcountrygardeners.co.uk.

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