Dyffryn Gardens is looking for an Assistant Head Gardener
Do you want to work in beautiful surroundings with the chance to leave the legacy of a lifetime? We're looking for an Assistant Head Gardener to join the team and revive the gardens at Dyffryn back to their Edwardian splendour.
About the role
Full time. £27,735 per annum. Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan.
Garden restorations thrive on the passion, enthusiasm and dedication of the people involved in them and Dyffryn is no different. We’re looking for a skilled horticulturalist that relishes a challenge, has a great eye for detail and loves to lead from the front. As this is not just a maintenance garden, there will be lots of opportunities to be involved with projects of varying complexity as well as helping to build a team for the future. If you’ve ambitions of taking on a big garden yourself in the future, then the Assistant Head role here is a great place to hone your skills ready for the next big step.
Dyffryn boasts a wide array of varying horticultural elements and has the potential to house one of the most diverse plant collections in the National Trust. The Assistant Head Gardener will bring with them their broad plant knowledge, and maybe a specialism or two. Over the coming years they will help to develop, along with the rest of the team, a plant collection that will elevate Dyffryn to one of the top destination gardens in the UK.
The successful candidate will need to be highly organised, Dyffryn is a large site with a team and equipment to match. You will need to have an efficient and measured approach to get the best for our people and from them. We’ve a great team of staff and volunteers with wide ranging skills and experience so excellent interpersonal skills are a must.
About the garden
The Dyffryn estate has existed in various guises since 1648 with its most exciting period coming nearly 200 years later when the Cory Family took ownership. Plans for grand gardens to the south of the property were completed by eminent Edwardian Landscape Architect, Thomas Mawson in 1906, but the garden as we know it extended beyond the masterplan and were a collaborative celebration of Edwardian exuberance and passionate plantsmanship.
Reginald Cory and Thomas Mawson worked in partnership to plan and create the gardens which were then developed and maintained by Reginald’s Head Gardener, Arthur Cobb. Dyffryn became known for its creative design, exotic new plant introductions and Edwardian flair. Although the Cory family had left Dyffryn by 1937, after a relatively short period, the legacy of Reginald’s love of horticulture and fascination with plants has left the blueprint for one of the greatest gardens in Wales.
Today much of the fabric of the Cory/Mawson collaboration still exists, along with copies of the Mawson Masterplan. Thomas Mawson’s acclaimed book The Art and Craft of Garden Making, along with two sets of photographs of the estate dating from the Cory Period and a series of watercolours painted in 1923 by Edith Adie, show a rich garden full of strong design and bold planting.
All of these resources lay the platform for an incredibly ambitious revival plan for the property that will see the existing gardens and northern parkland returned to their Cory Period aesthetic. This will later be followed by the re-instatement of some of the garden features from the period that are now missing. Though the garden is Edwardian in its character, the plant collection is not stuck in a time capsule. We are committed to developing the plant collections with the same passion and excitement that Reginald had, continuing to bring in new and unusual plants from across the world and to make Dyffryn a place of pilgrimage for years to come.