We are looking for a skilled and experienced kitchen gardener to join our team working on a private estate close to Callander, Stirlingshire.
The local area is a great place to live; Callander is a well serviced town with excellent transport links to Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow whilst still having a friendly, small town feel. There are excellent opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking in the local area and is also a great base for exploring the Highlands further to the north.
It’s an exciting time to join us; with a brand new 1.5 acre walled kitchen garden being built, a large produce store and a 30m glasshouse. The wider garden has been developed from scratch over the past five years under the direction of garden designer Tracy McQue. The current gardeners have been in post for two years and we are now at the point of expanding the team.
You will be working under the Head Gardener in a team of five. The garden is non-traditional and is designed to complement the surrounding landscape, with planting in large swathes, meadows and rewilded areas. No striped lawns or staked Delphiniums here – we’re looking for people with a modern approach to horticulture who can contribute to making this unique site a beautiful space.
Whilst the kitchen garden will very much be a team effort, your role will involve taking the lead with the production of fruit and vegetables outside and within the productive wing of the glasshouse. We are looking for someone with proven experience of planning, growing and cropping a very wide range of edibles organically to a high standard. You will be responsible for creating planting and cropping schedules as well as harvesting and processing food for storage. You will also be capable of guiding and training other members of the team whilst working in your section of the garden.
As well as leading the work in the walled garden, you will also be working with us to create and maintain the eight acres of cultivated garden and 90 acre wider private estate. This will include helping to plant up new areas as the main garden evolves, as well as the full gamut of horticultural tasks – including but not limited to – weeding, pruning, mulching, propagation and nursery work, meadow maintenance, strimming, leaf blowing and more as the garden continues to expand.
We also look after the family’s garden in another property in Edinburgh one day a week, which everyone will be involved with (fuel paid). This is a lovely garden set over approximately an acre, with ornamental trees, two lawns, woodland and herbaceous planting connected with grass paths. Although more mature than the main estate, this space is going through a programme of renovation and replanting which you will be involved in. We also take care of planters around the house, climbers and wall-trained trees.
- A minimum of RHS level 2 or equivalent horticultural qualification.
- A minimum of three years practical experience in primarily productive gardens.
- Proficient in the safe use and basic maintenance of a wide range of horticultural tools, machinery and vehicles.
- An excellent working knowledge of organic kitchen garden principles and techniques.
- The ability to create planting plans and cropping schedules to produce top quality fruit and vegetables within a relatively short growing season.
- A team player with an adaptable attitude and willingness to work in other areas of the garden.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Personable and discreet, respectful of the fact that this is a family home.
- Due to the location of the site a full driving licence is required.
- An understanding and willingness to work through the challenges of the Scottish climate.
- Skills and knowledge pertaining to crop storage, food preparation, pickling and preserves.
- Production of micro-herbs, salads etc. using hydroponic systems.
- Experience of mushroom cultivation.
- Experience of looking after chickens or bees.
- Experience of working in a young or evolving garden; restoration projects or newly planted areas etc.
- An understanding of permaculture/forest garden principles.
This private advert is being managed directly by the employer. English Country Gardeners are not involved in the hiring process and are therefore unable to share any additional information on this role. If you have any questions regarding this position, the best course of action is to apply for the job which will open a line of communication with the employer.
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