Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £22,797 - £24,071 pro-rata, per annum

Location: Arduaine


Arduaine Garden requires qualified/ experienced gardeners to work closely with the Head Gardener and Assistant Head Gardener to restore and redevelop the garden after a project to remove the entire Larch shelterbelt due to Phytophthora ramorum and a secondary project to clear up storm damage and remove wind vulnerable trees from the remaining woodland.


Arduaine Garden was established in 1898 by Ethel and James Arthur Campbell and is renowned for its nationally important collection of Rhododendron species, many of which were collected at the beginning of the last century. Arduaine grows a broad range of plants from all around the world including many tender plants which thrive in the garden’s mild climate, influenced by warm Atlantic currents. The garden covers 20 acres, divided into two main areas, a semi formal garden of shrub beds, mixed borders, lawns and ponds and an informal woodland garden.
In 1971 the garden was acquired by nurserymen, Edmund and Harry Wright. The brothers greatly improved the infrastructure of the garden and added to the existing Rhododendron collection before donating the garden to the National Trust for Scotland in 1992.
The garden regularly attracts 15000 visitors a year and is about to reopen after a period of temporary closure in order to facilitate the completion of the Shelterbelt Restoration project and additional arboricultural work relating to the project.
The Shelterbelt Restoration Project felling stage is now complete and over 1000 mature Japanese Larch have been removed after an outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum. Strategic felling to remove wind vulnerable trees and clear up of storm damage sustained in early 2022 has been carried out and the project is now entering its restoration phase. The restoration phase will be particularly intense over the next 2 years and extra gardening staff are required to assist the core garden staff during this time.
For replanting to begin 9 acres of former woodland has to be cleared of brash, timber removed or stacked, stumps ground out or reduced, soils reinstated and improved, and natural regeneration of invasive species controlled. In addition, some temporary windbreak will be constructed, and access improved to allow staff to carry out this work and improve public access as well as after care of new plantings.
The new fixed term gardener positions will assist permanent garden staff to carry out these tasks as well as carrying out maintenance and gardening throughout this 20-acre site.


The Key Purposes of the job will be met by:
1. Ensuring the conservation and practical maintenance of the garden and policies – whether through delegation to other staff/volunteers, or personal participation – in terms of:
a. Practical horticulture (e.g. including managing trees and shrubs, herbaceous, pond plants and bulbs; turf care; pest/disease/weed control; composting and soil improvement; hard-landscaping and path care; soft landscaping and planting preparation; glasshouse care and plant propagation);
b. Garden Restoration/ Development (e.g planting and establishing newly introduced trees, shrubs and herbaceous; carrying out planting and hard landscaping; assisting with processing of timber and construction of temporary windbreaks and garden structures; control of regen and establishment of new plantings; .
c. Plantsmanship (e.g. the identification, knowledge and understanding of this high caliber plant collection with training.
d. health, safety and the environment in line with stated Trust policies and approaches to ensure the health and welfare of staff/volunteers;
e. machinery and equipment use with appropriate training in order to carry out this role.
f. recognition of the Trust’s Environmental Policy with respect to sustainable gardening activities, including energy, water, peat & pesticide-use;

g. customer service and care from garden staff/volunteers, and in the broader sense of facilities and “visiting experience”, to ensure that the properties’ reputation for excellence is maintained and enhanced;

3. Supporting the Head Gardener, Assistant Head Gardener, Operations manager & Visitor services manager strategically and practically with the operation of the property.


People Management
• Is not a Line Manager but may be required to supervise students, apprentices and volunteers.
 The team at Arduaine Garden consists of Head Gardener, Assistant Head Gardener, Gardener and Apprentice gardener. You will be expected to lead volunteers and students from time to time under the direction of Head and First gardener.
 Will be supported by Head Gardener and Assistant Head Gardener.
 Will have regular (daily) interaction with members of the public of all ages and abilities.
 Will have frequent interaction with suppliers and contractors.


 Will be a frequent user of hand-tools such as spades, forks, trowels, rakes, hoes, shears, and secateurs.
 Will be a frequent user of machinery such as chainsaws, brushcutters and excavators if already competent to do so or training is provided
 Will be a frequent user of IT equipment.


The above outlines the key skills the post-holder will need to possess and exercise. In addition, either knowledge of or experience in the following is required:


 An HND/HNC level qualification in amenity horticulture or related subjects (equivalent to NVQ/SVQ level 3), supported by qualifications and experience demonstrating practical horticultural knowledge (eg & Guilds Level 2/SVQ Level 1&2). Or demonstrably significant and high quality directly relevant experience.
 Good communication skills and willingness to engage with visitors and work as part of a team.
 Relevant practical experience in general amenity or heritage gardening.
 Knowledge and experience of plant cultivation techniques and ability to identify common garden plants and tree species.
 Experience in use of mowers, brushcutters and blowers or a willingness to train and use.
 Genuine interest in horticulture and enthusiasm for gardening.
 Sound knowledge of basic tool use and maintenance.
 Sound practical knowledge of Health and Safety processes and procedures and the ability to work effectively within these processes.
 Driving Licence, valid for driving within the UK.
 Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; confident in interacting and dealing with a wide range of people; and able to represent the Trust
 Competency and self-sufficiency in use of IT (email, internet, word-processing).
• Eye for detail and finish, quality standard and best practice.
• An understanding and commitment to the aims and objectives of the National Trust for Scotland.
• Living the values of the National Trust for Scotland and encourage colleagues to do the same
o The ability and willingness to understand others’ perspectives and to consider the impact of your actions on them and to adapt your actions as necessary.
o The ability and willingness to learn and try new things, to be flexible and step outside of your comfort zone.
o An open and honest way of communicating, ready to ask others for their ideas and to be open to hear and consider different points of view.
o A pro-active approach to taking initiative and to driving forward ideas and projects designed to improve daily operations and deliver an exceptional visitor experience.

• Training and certification and experience in chainsaw use.
• Pesticide certification, PA1, PA6a.
• Current First Aid certification (or willingness to train and use).
• Training or relevant experience in use of mowers, brushcutters and blowers.
• Experience of working in a mixed-team that includes volunteers.
• An appreciation of Scottish garden history in a general context.
• Experience of plant propagation.
• Advanced plant knowledge.

The Key Responsibilities, Scope of Job, and Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge reflect the requirements of the job at the time of issue. The Trust reserves the right to amend these with appropriate consultation and/or request the post-holder to undertake any activities that it believes to be reasonable within the broad scope of the job or his/her general abilities.

Application Deadline: Friday 14/04/2023