A rare and incredible opportunity has arisen for a knowledgeable sole gardener for a beautiful estate in Perugia, Umbria.
The property is at an elevation of 500m 10 mins away from Citta di Castello, 50 minutes north of Perugia (capital city of Umbria) and 45 minutes from Perugia airport (Ryan Air to Stanstead). The reduced road network and the low level of urbanization, represented by isolated rural hamlets, located in the foothills, contribute to the naturalness of this part of the Umbrian country. Citta di Castello is a thriving community with 2 regular and one organic market per week and numerous festivals throughout the year. It also has a good hospital. There are numerous historical towns of interest within one hour’s drive including San Sepolcro, Arezzo, Gubbio, Assisi and of course many others slightly further afield. There are frequent fast (30-60 mins) trains to Florence from Arezzo.
The estate comprises of 75 hectares. Large meadows surround the house, and the rest is steep woodland (mostly oak). The countryside supports a healthy population of wildlife including deer, wild boar, hare and porcupine. The house had been unoccupied since the 1980’s and the land unfarmed for many years before being acquired by the present owner. The house is managed by inhouse management who are the same team who supervised the restoration in 2017/18 and are therefore the first point of contact for any problems.
The owners are enthusiastic plant lovers with a strong interest in the environment, eco diversity and soil health. They commissioned an ecological survey in July 2020 from NEMO (copy of the report available) in order to establish guidelines for biodiversity, conservation and enhancement. NEMO identified a high level of biodiversity on the estate. The owners are keen to follow their recommendations and as far as possible to manage the garden and estate using the best organic methods. The meadows surrounding the house are cut according to the clients’ instructions by the local farmer.
The garden surrounding the house was designed by Philip Adiutori of Studio Makia in Florence https://studiomakia.com/ The planting is in prairie style mostly using plants that have been observed in the surrounding countryside. The garden was planted in 2020 in collaboration with a local nurseryman and garden contractor and the owners are now looking for a live-in full-time gardener to help maintain and develop the garden further. The position is a collaborative role with the owners and landscape designer. The garden contains a small area of short grass around the pool. Future plans include creating a large irrigation lake (with the combined aim of improving biodiversity), restoring and improving the wildflowers in the meadows, creating a vegetable and cutting garden, adding the understorey details in the wooded areas around the house (including bulbs), planting new mixed hedgerows and wild species orchards (using whips). The owners are also trying to restore and enlarge the existing olive groves which have also been severely neglected in recent years. The estate is managed organically and ongoing process.
The applicant needs to be genuinely interested and enthusiastic about ecology and the idea of a collaborative approach. As the owners will be at their home in England for 7/8 months of the year, they need to have initiative and be self-sufficient with good communication skills. They will be expected to research and source plants. During the absence of the owners the role will also include light caretaking duties e.g. checking the main house for leaks, animals, etc, contacting the house management company with regards to power failures, water problems etc. and generally providing security. Extended absences would need to be agreed in advance to ensure the property is not left unattended for more than a few days.
The ideal candidate will have strong knowledge/experience of irrigation systems, hedge cutting, strimmers and chain saw use certificate. An understanding of organic, permaculture or wildlife gardening and experience of living and working in a rural setting. Some basic experience in plant propagation, soil science and compost management are also desirable. A good understanding of garden machinery is important, and the owners will seek advice from the gardener as to what equipment they recommend acquiring (the current contractors of course bring their own). Good English is important for communication with the owners and some Italian is also important (there is a good language school in Citta di Castello).
A 2/3 bedroom annex next to the main house is provided for the successful applicant including bills (water, heating, electricity). Although the building is 15 meters from the main house the entrance and windows face away from the house affording privacy for both. The accommodation is newly built, in traditional style on 2 levels: large kitchen/living space, 2 beds, 1 study, 2 bathrooms, opens on to a small gravel and planted private garden space. The ground floor includes a lavandaria, accessed by a separate entrance, which is shared with the main house. Partners are welcome as well as well trained and friendly dogs. Please note that throughout Italy, there is a variety of hunting in the vicinity during the autumn/winter months. An old landrover is used by the clients but is also available for work use.
SALARY: £30,000 plus accommodation
LOCATION: Perugia, Umbria
JOB No: EC32979
If this Sole Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Sara Yassin on 01233 733510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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