Head Gardener - Solihull

The National Trust
Solihull, West Midlands
29,640 pa
Closing date
29 Mar 2023

Job Details

Head Gardener - Solihull


Will you relish the challenge of taking a historic garden forward into the 21st Century? As Head Gardener for Packwood, you’ll build on the legacy of its 17th century structure and historic yew garden.

Do you have the flair and artistry to take the modern mingled style of border planting to a new level that complements the house and garden features so well? This is a great opportunity to take a well-known garden forward building on its renowned horticultural excellence.

What it's like to work here

Reporting to the Property Operations Manager, you’ll lead a team of experienced, dedicated and artistic gardeners. Under the leadership of one of the Trust’s great gardeners, the profile of Packwood House has become a destination garden for 230,000 devoted visitors, many passionate about plants.

Packwood is more than herbaceous borders, with orchards, an imaginatively presented walled kitchen garden and a wider pleasure ground walk around the Great Pool. There are opportunities to develop these more and diffuse elements of the visitor experience as well as influencing the moves needed to respond to climate change and resilience in the flower garden itself.

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What you'll be doing

As the Head Gardener you will provide leadership for your team, setting horticultural standards and giving strategic direction. As a leader at Packwood House, you'll help make sure any visit is of outstanding quality and welcome.
Your role will entail strategic and seasonal planning of the garden and working hand in glove with the Rangers and outdoors. You'll work alongside your team, hands-on in the garden striking a balance with the timely delivery of the administration work required in the role.
You'll often engage with Regional and National Consultancy colleagues to deliver specific projects and initiatives and help implement National priorities.

Who we're looking for

You'll bring considerable horticultural experience and knowledge, a flair for plant display and a desire to share your knowledge with people.
We'd love to hear from you, if you have:
  • A passion for gardening in all its forms, dedication to high quality presentation and a creative, hardworking, and inspirational leadership style, being someone who can make things happen
  • An excellent knowledge of plants and plant care
  • The ability to engage with people at all levels, including key internal and external relationships with our partners
  • Experience of engaging with others with effective communication skills, both written and verbal
  • A track record of managing and motivating a team, setting high standards for yourself and those around you
  • Able to manage resources, budgets and work plans to ensure quality delivery
  • Significant practical experience in horticulture supported by appropriate qualifications, and a good understanding of the use and routine maintenance of garden machinery
  • Knowledge and experience of health and safety and compliance requirements

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary
  • Free entry to National Trust properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Tax free childcare scheme
  • Rental deposit loan scheme
  • Season ticket loan
  • Perks at work discounts i.e. gym memberships, shopping discount codes, cinema discounts
  • Holiday allowance up to 32 days relating to length of service, plus holiday purchase scheme, subject to meeting minimum criteria.
  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Employee assistance programme
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Independent financial advice

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.


The National Trust is committed to promoting and preserving those places of natural beauty and historic interest for which it has the privilege to be responsible for the benefit of the nation, for everyone for ever.

The Trust is proud of what has been achieved over the last 126 years and is determined to maintain those high standards of conservation, stewardship and curatorial care for which it has been recognised throughout the world.

Its achievements have enabled the general public and the Trust’s members and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside, coastline, gardens, historic buildings and collections, all of which encapsulate so much of the history of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a duty to tell that history in a complete, balanced and accurate way, and without judgement.

The National Trust continues as a guardian of the past, and for the future, to uphold its duty to maintain and enhance what has been entrusted to its care.

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