Vacancies - Gardener

Location: Highgrove Garden, Doughton, Gloucestershire, GL8 8TQ
Department: Gardening
Reports to: Head Gardener
Salary: TBC, Dependent on experience
Contract: Permanent, full-time

The King's Foundation

The King’s Foundation provides holistic solutions to challenges facing the world today. We champion a sustainable approach to how we live our lives and build our communities; we run a diverse programme of education and training for all ages and backgrounds; and we regenerate and care for places where communities thrive and that visitors enjoy.

We work nationally and internationally, but at the heart of our organisation is the heritage-led regeneration of the Dumfries House estate and its wider community, where our principles and philosophies are explored and put into practice.

The work of The King’s Foundation is inspired by His Majesty’s philosophy of harmony: that by understanding the balance, the order, and the relationships between ourselves and the natural world, we can create a more sustainable future.

The King’s Foundation is responsible for the stewardship of Dumfries House, Castle of Mey, and Highgrove Gardens, which includes the delivery of education courses across the estates.

We have a diverse and inclusive workplace, creating a welcoming, safe space for everyone. This means that every member of our team can bring their whole self to work.

We encourage qualified applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to apply to and join The King’s Foundation and bring their valuable skills and experiences.

The Foundation is committed to the equal treatment of all current and prospective employees, including the provision of workplace adjustments.

We do not tolerate discrimination based on protected characteristics (age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, gender identity, or marriage and civil partnership) or other differences such as socio-economic background or social origin.

Highgrove Gardens

Highgrove Gardens is a highly renowned garden, described as one of the most inspiring and innovative gardens in the UK. Since 1980, the gardens have been managed organically and include a variety of garden features and areas, including a walled kitchen garden, a thyme walk, topiary and hedging, a terrace garden, a cottage garden, wildflower meadows, island beds, an arboretum, a woodland garden, and various water features.

The Role

To work as an integral and effective part of the garden team at Highgrove, ensuring that the garden is maintained to the highest possible standards and in line with the garden’s organic principles.

Key Tasks

  • Work together as a team to help ensure the organic status of the garden is maintained and assist with the seasonal maintenance and development of the garden.
  • Maintenance of extensive trees, beds and borders includes dead-heading, staking, tying-in, division, feeding, watering, etc.
  • Maintenance of paths, ornamental hedges, and topiaries. Including high-access work to maintain high-level features.
  • Wide use of garden tools, equipment, and machinery.
  • A diverse range of horticultural duties include grass mowing and maintenance, coppicing for plant support materials, the maintenance of water features and formal ponds, and the care and maintenance of the Kitchen Garden, including vegetables, herbs and fruits, etc.
  • Help maintain garden records this may include planting plans, plant lists, National Plant Collection records, etc.
  • Follow all Health and Safety policies and procedures, reporting any accidents, near misses, or dangerous occurrences as necessary.
  • Use of and assist with the maintenance of machinery and equipment. As part of this, ensure that faults in machinery or equipment are reported. Undertake as directed machinery pre-start and post-finish checks.
  • On occasion assist with events and tours.
  • Organic weed, disease, and pest control.
  • The post-holder will be required to work full-time and flexibly due to the seasonal nature of the work, including some weekends and Bank Holidays.
  • Any other duties as required.

    Person Specification

    The essential skills, knowledge, and experience required are:

    • A skilled craft gardener, qualified to at least the National Certificate in Horticulture level or equivalent, with a good grounding in practical horticulture relevant to the garden.
    • The job holder is expected to liaise with the Senior Gardens team to resolve day-to-day problems that arise relating to the work undertaken, seeking advice or approval where necessary.
    • Proven experience of the cyclical maintenance of a high-quality garden or estate.
    • Familiarity with the cultivation of a broad range of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants and with their associated craft skills and a good level of plant knowledge.
    • Ability to identify and treat, using organic principles, a range of horticultural pests and diseases.
    • Proven experience working with a range of garden machinery.
    • Knowledge and understanding of all current health and safety legislation.
    • Effective time and workload management skills
    • Good numeric and writing skills and IT literate.
    • Current driving UK licence.

    Desirable Skills

    • Any LANTRA certifications in machinery and equipment.
    • Specific interest in Kitchen Gardens and their planning, development, and maintenance.
    • Experience of propagation and the management of glasshouses.

    Hours of Work

    Normally 8:00–17:00, Monday to Friday, (40 hours per week, plus an unpaid lunch break). Extra weekend watering duties are required on a rota basis.

    Additional Information
    The job involves carrying out demanding and repetitive physical tasks.

    Please submit a completed Application Form along with a cover letter and CV, to the following email address: