How to become a Head Gardener & why being green-fingered is just the start.

How to become a Head Gardener & why being green-fingered is just the start.

Head Gardener roles can be for public gardens or private estates. Here we’ll be discussing the latter, as it falls more neatly under our domestic staffing remit.

The Head Gardener manages all horticultural aspects of a property or garden, including staff and volunteers.

The role of a Head Gardener and the required experience varies hugely between roles and properties, but it must be acknowledged that Head Gardeners would normally be educated to an exceptionally high level within their field and have years of experience to support that education.

In the UK, The Royal Horticultural Society is a leader in the provision of horticultural training, with many professional gardeners securing Diplomas and Master of Horticulture degrees under their training courses.

What does a Head Gardener role involve?

Horticulture is a highly skilled career. The fundamental horticultural aspects of managing a garden include, (but are not limited to):

  • Propagation,
  • Productive growing,
  • Commercial horticulture,
  • Landscaping,
  • Staff management (which can include hiring and firing),
  • Pest, disease and plant health management,
  • A sound understanding of plant passport (import and export) regulations as well as a global understanding of preventing the spread of invasive diseases, plants and pests,
  • Managing a team of volunteers.

Depending on the household, the role of Head Gardener can be amalgamated with those of Dog Walker, Horse and Dog Sitter, Ranger, Site Manager and Cook. Gardeners can also be asked to be involved in helping on shoot days.

Your typical hours will be from 8am to 4pm, though this can be seasonal. You will be expected to work as and when is necessary though, to meet the needs of the garden.

The role requires you to perform tasks as and when are necessary, to maintain, develop and expand the garden.

Why become a Head Gardener?

If you love to work outside and prefer grass and plant-life over wall-to-wall carpeting and computer terminals, consider a career in Gardening. And if you’re considering moving into horticulture, Head Gardener is at the top of the pecking order.

The progress of the plants, trees and garden in general – and the way the whole place is run year-round – is entirely in your hands.

Be outside in all the elements – the glorious sunshine, the crisp early mornings and the autumnal breezes. If you’re not afraid of hard work or getting your hands dirty, but thrive in an outdoor environment, then a gardening career could be for you.

Why hire a Head Gardener?

Your garden is the first impression visitors, colleagues and clients get of your home. For that reason alone it’s extremely important that it is constantly maintained and is always looking its best. But beyond that, having a Head Gardener allows you to have an expert onsite all the time, to discuss your horticultural ideas and suggestions with, and who will be always be on hand to talk about the development of your beautiful garden.