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JOB Ref: EC60022

Skilled Gardener

  • Full Time Live Out
  • £28,000 - £32,000 DOE
  • West Sussex

An excellent opportunity has arisen for an experienced, Skilled Gardener to join a historic estate in West Sussex. Set within 13-acres of gardens, the formal aspect comprising of 6-acres around the manor house and barns and surrounded by Vineyards. The nature of the garden is majoritively private, but with some areas that are enjoyed by the public and visitors on open days and for events.

The garden is nestled in a valley, looking out directly onto the South Downs, and includes extensive terraced and sloped herbaceous borders, matured specimen tree collection, large ponds fed by a chalk spring, rose and cut flower gardens, wildflower meadows, cloud pruned Box and Yew topiary, and formal lawns.

The garden underwent an extensive redesign in 2021-2022, and continues to establish, with more opportunity for creative development in the future. Additional to the main garden there is a small cottage with a productive kitchen garden, orchard and apiary, which provides produce to the family house, and to catered events.

Though the gardens are not managed organically, chemical use is kept to a minimum, and there is an ethos of environmentally sensitive gardening, managed for nature. An integrated approach to pest and weed management is expected.

The Skilled Gardener will report to the Senior Gardener, and the successful applicant will be involved in the day-to-day management of the garden, and oversee areas of responsibility or projects, which they will help develop. This role would suit a creative horticulturist with a motivated and a positive character with an ability to work as part of a team, leading junior staff and managing contractors, as well as working upon their own initiative and expertise to cultivate the garden and prioritise workloads.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Maintaining the formal and informal garden and soft landscaping such as weeding, mulching, pruning, and tidying;
  • Planting and maintenance of herbaceous, trees and shrubs across the garden including the establishing, pruning and maintenance of cloud topiary;
  • Mowing and maintaining the formal lawns with a variety of machinery;
  • Taking responsibility for some areas of the garden, and developing and improving these areas over time;
  • Working at height to maintain climbers, hedges and trees across the gardens;
  • Management of junior members of staff and contractor gardeners;
  • Prioritising workloads and collaborating with departments to present a garden to the highest horticultural standards.

Applicants will have a comprehensive plant knowledge, ideally holding an RHS Level 2 horticultural qualification (or equivalent) and five years’ experience in private estate gardens or horticulturally diverse public gardens.

Candidates must be confident in their use of garden machinery including strimmers, brush cutters, hedge trimmer, pedestrian and ride on mowers, and small tractors and trailers, and have a good working knowledge of health and safety. A broad range of technical horticultural knowledge and skills is necessary, as the plant collection is diverse, and good physical fitness and a commitment to the garden are required, as is the ability to work well with a small team; with excellent communications skills, with a diplomatic and a constructive approach to their work.

Some paid overtime is occasionally expected if there are important events taking place. The candidate must be comfortable around animals, as the estate lies on several bridleways, and there are regular horses, cats and dogs around the working areas.

A full driving licence and your own transport are required for this role as the estate is located rurally. Chemical spray certificates (PA1/6) and chainsaw certificates are desirable for this role, and training and development will be supplied to the right candidate. References and a current DBS will be required.

SALARY: £28,000 – £32,000 DOE

LOCATION: West Sussex

JOB No: EC60022

If this Skilled Gardener vacancy is of interest please apply or contact Sara Yassin on 01233 733510 or


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

Recruitment Specialist Sara Yassin