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JOB Ref: EC60233

Skilled Gardener

  • Full Time
  • Up to £30,000 DOE
  • Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a talented and passionate skilled gardener to join our small team of committed gardeners at Castle Kennedy Gardens, Stair Estates.

Stair Estates is a diversified rural estate in southwest Scotland with a varied let property portfolio; in-hand farming, forestry, tourism and country sports enterprises. It includes a number of renowned horticultural landscapes.  These include the historic Castle Kennedy Gardens and the gardens at Lochinch Castle which are open to the public as well as the wider estate.

Reporting directly to the Head Gardener and the Owners, this position will entail working as part of a team for five days of the week. The ideal candidate will have formal horticultural qualifications and or practical experienced as a qualified employed gardener.  They should have a comprehensive plant knowledge, a keen interest in gardens and historic landscapes, be well motivated with an eye for detail, have a desire for high standards and a positive, pro-active and can-do approach to work.  Specialist knowledge and appreciation of rhododendrons will be an advantage but is not essential.

Use of machinery will be required and possession of pesticide/chainsaw certificates is preferred, although training can be provided. The role is physically demanding and requires good health and fitness levels.

Salary relevant to experience and qualifications.  Accommodation is also available if required.  Position to start asap.

Detailed description

This position is full time with normal working hours from 8.00 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday.  Additional hours will be required at weekends and the Gardener is expected to participate in weekend greenhouse checking and watering and rotas at the appropriate times of year and as necessitated by the needs of the garden.

Key responsibilities

  • Undertake maintenance throughout the gardens to trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, annual borders, hedges and lawns
  • Prune trees, shrubs and climbers & cut hedges using ladders or powered platforms
  • Take responsibility for specific specialist garden features and areas as agreed with the Head Gardener
  • Undertake the proper care for a wide range of plants all plants including planting, division, cultivation, propagation, weeding, and mulching, feeding, watering, pruning, tying-in, staking and dead heading
  • To use and maintain tools and machinery including brush cutters, pedestrian and ride on mowers, rotavators, tractors and trailers
  • Assist in the maintenance of the gardens infrastructure
  • Responsible for providing basic guidance of trainees and volunteers under the supervision of the Head Gardener
  • Provide an approachable, polite and friendly point of contact on site for the public
  • Develop own skills and knowledge in a way that supports improvement in the quality of Castle Kennedy Gardens
  • Embrace new projects and schemes and assist in their implementation
  • Undertake any other duties, as requested by your Employers, commensurate with aims of the business and within your ability and training
  • This position will be provided with a uniform which must be clean and tidy at all times. General appearance should be neat and smart at all times.


  • Experience of working in gardens and public parks
  • Sound experience of tractor mounted and pedestrian operated horticultural machinery
  • Experience of cultivating a wide variety of plants including herbaceous perennials, cut flowers, climbers, shrubs and trees
  • Some silvicultural experience
  • Able to demonstrate good health and safety awareness

Knowledge and Training

  • Practical experience and/or qualifications in horticulture and/or landscape management, RHS level 3/4 or equivalent.
  • Comprehensive plant knowledge including the cultivation and planting of shrubs, flowering plants, hedges and lawns
  • A keen interest in gardens and historic landscapes
  • Specialist knowledge and appreciation of rhododendrons will be an advantage
  • Familiarity with general horticultural principles and plant husbandry
  • Good understanding of Health and Safety issues
  • An understanding of team dynamics and productivity
  • Broad knowledge and experience of operating and maintaining garden machinery mowers and strimmers. Some or all of the following technical certificates:

NPTC CS30 & CS31 in chainsaw operation

NPTC or equivalent in brushcutter/strimmer operation

NPTC or equivalent in handheld sprayers – PA1 & PA6

Personal Qualities

  • Positive, pro-active
  • Well motivated with attention to detail and a desire to achieve a high standards
  • A willingness to work alongside other staff and volunteers
  • Be physically fit as required in this role
  • Work effectively in a team as well as independently
  • Tact and diplomacy

If you would like to view more information on the Professional Gardeners Guild, please click here and the Royal Horticultural Society, please click here

For more gardener roles please click here

This Skilled Gardener 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.

Tagged as: horticulturalist

Stair Estates