Head Gardener Job ‘Garden of Cosmic Speculation’ Dumfriesshire Scotland

Location Scotland
Sector Private Households & Estates
Job Role Gardener
Job Type Permanent vacancy
Job Number  46823
Created 08 January 2018



The internationally renowned garden includes forty major areas symbolising various aspects of the universe: gardens, landforms, lakes, art installations, bridges, sculptures, terraces, wave-fences, trees and architectural works. It covers thirty acres and includes a mixture of specimen trees, an intricately designed walled garden with perennials, and many artworks requiring maintenance.


Our multi-talented head gardener is retiring after a lifetime in the role and we are looking for someone who can both maintain the artistic integrity of the installations and develop the arboriculture and the horticulture – so that the whole landscape is presented to an exemplary standard. This role requires someone willing to do hands on work with both the plants and sculpture in the garden. The successful candidate will have knowledge of land art and sculpture, be able to take tours through the garden, and have an acquaintance with science.




  • Responsible for the year-round management of the estate’s gardens, landforms and sculptures.

  • Restore, maintain or improve the existing gardens while also undertaking new projects in consultation with the owners.

  • Work with the estate owners and their local managing agent via telephone, email and photography to create and deliver the agreed strategies.

  • Have design and planning skills, management skills, and relevant IT skills.

  • Help with hiring and managing the garden staff, their training and development and welfare.  Also oversee contractors or agencies.

  • Have practical horticultural knowledge.

  • Have basic acquaintance with maintaining sculpture in hardwoods, concrete and metals; paving designs and water features.

  • Be able to handle and oversee the maintenance of a wide range of garden machinery including tractors, mowers and chainsaws.  

  • Manage allocated budgets, prepare and provide bids for capital expenditure and small projects associated with the gardens.

  • Create and maintain records relating to changes to the garden through maintenance, restoration and conservation.

  • Ensure the smooth running of Garden Open Day for a charity (attended by 3000 people)

  • Handle organised private visits and receive associated disclaimers and paperwork.

  • Maintain appropriate records for the effective management of staff, equipment, machinery and health and safety on site.

  • Manage and develop the kitchen garden so it is a good source of produce for the whole family.




  • First class plant knowledge, and understanding of a designed landscape and garden plans.

  • RHS level 3 or equivalent qualified by experience.

  • Managing staff to a high standard.

  • Health and Safety in a garden environment.

  • Sound knowledge and use of gardening machinery

  • Full UK driving license.

  • Holder of a certificate of competence in the use of pesticides (Desirable)

  • Holder of a recognised chainsaw handling certificate (Desirable)

  • A current First Aid Certificate Holder (Desirable)



37.5 hours per week but flexibility is required for when the owners are in residence or there is an event e.g. annual charity open day. Some weekend and Bank Holiday work will be required.



We offer a competitive salary package - 4 bedroom cottage and use of a car.



Applications are welcome from individuals and couples.


Job Number: 46823



Consultant: Lesley Jones


News Portal

Read all