A genuinely exciting opportunity has arisen for a skilled Sole Gardener to play a key role in the development and ongoing management of a private garden in rural Oxfordshire. Kitchen gardening will be a primary focus of the role, though ornamental horticulture and garden design/development and maintenance will also play a significant part. Applications are sought from academically qualified gardeners with excellent horticultural knowledge and experience of managing/developing large private estate gardens. Passion, energy, discretion and importantly, a good sense of humour, are essential requirements for this role.
Set within 1000-acres of active farmland, the estate is being developed from the ground up. The house sits on a 70-acre plot with fields of sheep and an as-yet undeveloped formal garden. Among other features, shrubs and several beds/borders as well as a sunken garden will need to be designed and built by the Sole Gardener in collaboration with the property owners. The property includes various ponds which offer the opportunity for creative planting and design by the successful candidate.
Following completion of the initial design and implementation of the ornamental gardens, the role will involve maintenance of these areas and any additions and improvements in line with the owner and Sole Gardener’s suggestions.
An on-site farm shop offers high quality traditionally British produce, grown in the immediately surrounding land via traditional methods. Although a small kitchen garden (including 15 raised beds) exists at present, this will continue to grow in line with demand from the farm shop and according to any experimentation in produce diversity. Plans are already in place to plant an orchard as well as three polytunnels, where tomatoes, chillies and other fruit and vegetables may be grown for the farm shop and the house.
Suitable candidates for this role will hold an academic horticultural qualification, ideally at RHS Level 3 or above, though applicants will not be discounted if extensive experience in each of the above areas can be demonstrated through their work history. The Sole Gardener must have strong horticultural knowledge and time management skills with experience in a similar role; either in a position of seniority and/or responsibility as a Sole Gardener. Excellent knowledge of and experience in kitchen gardening are required to ensure the timely production of edible fruit and vegetables throughout the seasons, with minimal waste. Good physical fitness is essential, as is an ability to operate safely a full range of garden machinery and equipment. Experience in species-specific pruning, seasonal garden management, basic plant pest and disease control (including that of fruit and vegetable species), is essential. A full driving licence is required of all applicants.
The successful applicant will have genuine enthusiasm for their work, excellent technical and physical horticultural abilities, a positive and personable character and a good sense of fun. Discretion is also important in this role as client confidentiality is of paramount importance.
SALARY: Circa £30,000 – £35,000 DOE
JOB No: EC25907
If this Sole Gardener vacancy is of interest, please apply or contact Mark Read on 01233 733510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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