In This Issue
UK’s leading garden centres scoop top awards at GCA conference
And the rising star is Jayne Scott from Daleside Klondyke
Greenfingers fundraising at GCA Conference reaches more than £30,000
Barton Grange, Bents, Webbs, Stewarts, Fron Goch, Stratford, Fairways, Gordale win awards at GCA conference
Cowells and Bents picked up Ruxley Rose Awards
‘Fun and frolics’ event raises over £20,000 for Greenfingers
Castle Gardens and Bents presented with Christmas Awards
Mike Lind takes over as GCA chairman
Paul Dye's funeral details announced
Happy Spring!
Girl Power takeover for Rising Stars
Easy instant colour flies out of planterias
Wildlife World returns to Spring Fair 2018
Squire’s customers raise over £21,300 for local charities
Wyevale Nurseries landscape & amenity sales up by 20%
Successful trials of membrane to contain Japanese knotweed
Perrywood presents cheques for over £14,000
Seedball launch Natural History Museum range
GIMA launches new Foreign Exchange service
Looking for Christmas Ideas for 2018?
GTN's Greatest Christmas Team Winners to be announced during Glee@Spring Fair
Head Gardener
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Lights continue to sell after Christmas
Creative Products boosts marketing team
Red Baron sets the pace for veg sales
Early Birds drive sales of growing media
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Young Gardeners of the Year 2018 launch
The best of last week's
Shake-up at the top of Dobbies but Nicholas Marshall stays
Jobs at risk at Wyevale Garden Centres following ‘challenging trading conditions’
Global giant Venanpri Tools acquires Burgon & Ball
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All the latest news from the world of garden centre catering
Casual Dining show expands its drinks menu
HTA Catering Conference 2018 - ‘A Recipe for Growth’
Situations Vacant
Head Gardener
Salary: £25,935 pa
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Head Gardener
Salary: £25,935 pa

Head Gardener 

£25,935 pa

Permanent f/t (37.5 hrs pw)


Ref. IRC60345                     



We are looking to recruit a rare breed of horticultural brilliance – a Head Gardener with a wealth of experience, a creative and artistic eye, sound plant knowledge and inspirational leadership skills.

This post will be required to take part on a roster to provide daily cover as key point of contact for escalation of emergency and security issues or customer complaints. There will also be weekend working.


What it's like to work here                              

South Somerset Portfolio comprises of four pay for entry properties, Montacute House, Barrington Court, Lytes Cary Manor and Tintinhull Gardens, with approximately 385,000 visitors per annum. We take pride in the fact that we have the first and second houses the National Trust acquired as well as the first garden.

In the portfolio we also have Stoke Priory, Treasurers House, Priests House and Stembridge Mill which are all open to the public on a limited opening; these are run by tenants and volunteers. As addition to this we have Michaels Hill monument as well as approximately 700 hectares of countryside. The majority of what we do is internally funded which means that each property is reliant on the other properties performing well in order for us to tackle some of our longer standing conservation issues. We take a one team approach and share best practice and knowledge to ensure our visitors have an exceptional experience. We work collaboratively with our peers, consultants and the wider Trust so that decisions are made with all the accurate information to ensure a ‘Think Long Term’ approach.

Montacute House is a masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture, surrounded by the beautiful gardens and immersed in the natural beauty of the parkland. The towering walls of glass, the glow of ham stone, the architectural design of house and garden and the quality of collections create a place of beauty. Montacute House has the most significant number of visitors in the portfolio, with approximately 160,000 visitors a year. This is the largest visitor business in South Somerset and therefore generates the majority of our much needed revenue.

Due to the nature of the building and the importance of the collection it is imperative that Montacute House has a visitor experience that is sympathetic to the fragility of the building but offers an exceptional experience every time. The property has grown significantly over the last 10 years and therefore the operational business needs a new look. The property comprises of the main house, formal gardens, orchards, parkland and other structures including St Michaels Hill monument. Montacute House has key partnerships, one of which is with the National Portrait Gallery, as we are home to a collection of their portraits in the Long Gallery.


What you'll be doing                         

In this operational role as Head Gardener, you'll be based at Montacute House but may be asked to support the other South Somerset properties.

Using your people management skills, you'll create a highly performing, effective and motivated team with clear delegated responsibility. You'll be managing all of the garden teams, staff and volunteers. As part of this you'll be looking after your teams development plans and will carry out performance development reviews with all direct line reports.

Within the garden team, you'll provide leadership and clear decision making. Working closely with other Head of Departments, you'll ensure that the property delivers the visitor experience and property plans to a high standard. You'll be responsible for the key performance indicators within your department on site in finance, conservation, visitor experience, energy and people. You're an excellent team player and will work collaboratively to develop property plans and inform the portfolio business plan, working with key stakeholders to ensure the property delivers them as agreed. You'll work as part of the Head of Department team; a decision making group responsible for setting the direction across the properties. The group aims to challenge and discuss contentious issues, as well as support the General Manager in the delivery of the Property Business Plans, and helps to find solutions to any issues regardless of role or responsibility. You'll be accountable for the delivery of the property risk plans and the environmental management systems for your department at the properties.

You'll work closely with the ranger team to ensure the outdoors is of a high standard, and adhering to the procedures and guidelines set out by the National Trust. You'll help to engage the property team in the National Trust strategies, as well as the property plans, ensuring that the team have a rewarding experience in their time with us. You'll also be accountable for the day to day management of the biomass boiler. Working with the Operational Manager to set the annual budgets and 5 year financial plans, you'll be accountable for the management of your budgets adhering to the National Trust framework.


Who we're looking for                     

To deliver this role successfully you will need;

  • Significant practical experience in horticulture, supported by appropriate qualifications to RHS level 3 (or equivalent level of vocational experience)
  • Experience of organising garden activities which enhance garden visits
  • Leadership skills including coaching, team development, motivation and communication
  • Good people skills enabling strong relationships to be built and maintained both externally and internally
  • Proven track record of managing budgets, finances and small projects
  • Experience in managing small contracts
  • Good written and verbal communication skills including public presentation, influencing and negotiating.
  • Knowledge of all Health & Safety and Compliance requirements relevant to horticulture



The package                          

Looking after you

  • Health cash plan – from as little as £2.81 per month for you and your dependents
  • Pension contribution match up to 10%
  • EAP and proactive Health and Wellbeing
  • Discounted gym membership


Looking after your career

  • Grow your career through professional training courses across the Trust
  • Develop your skills with an internal secondment
  • Pay review linked to values and behaviours, commitment to progression
  • Income protection due to illness


Unique to Us

  • Work in some of the most beautiful, iconic and unique locations in the UK
  • Free entry to NT properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • 20% off in our retail and catering outlets
  • Discount up to 35% off a National Trust holiday cottage booking


Closing Date: 04 February 2018

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