Logo: National Trust for Scotland

National Trust for Scotland

First Gardener

Hours: 40

Location: Falkland Palace

Salary range: £21,389 - £23,599 per annum

Key Purpose

To ensure that the garden, grounds and related policies of the gardens are managed and maintained as a nationally recognised garden of outstanding historical and horticultural importance; contributing to the properties’ overall conservation and development, and its enjoyment by visitors and supporters.
The role of ‘First Gardener’ will be heavily involved in the day to day maintenance and operation of the garden, supervision of garden staff and volunteers and assisting and supporting the Head Gardener in implementing development plans for the gardens and wider designed landscape.

Key responsibilities and accountabilities

  • Practical horticulture. This includes tree management; managing herbaceous plants, annuals and bulbs; lawncare; pest/disease/weed control; composting and soil improvement; hard-landscaping; glasshouse care, plant propagation; biosecurity
  • Resource management. Ensuring effective and efficient use of machinery, equipment, materials and all other resources,
  • Participating fully in the property’s wider “management team”, deputising for the Head Gardener as required.
  • Plantsmanship. e.g. the identification, knowledge and understanding of this high calibre plant collection, including recording and labelling of individual plants and recognised collections
  • Staff and volunteers. Assisting with recruitment, induction, supervision and direction, development and performance management to ensure they are fully equipped, organised and motivated to undertake their duties to required standards
  • Input into daily, weekly, yearly and longer-term operational work plans to ensure that activities are prioritised and planned to optimise the use of resources and meet the Trust’s objectives.
  • Ensuring compliance with the Trust’s health, safety, and environment policies and procedures to ensure the health and welfare of staff/volunteers/ visitors/ service providers
  • Working to the Trust’s Strategy and policies with respect to sustainable gardening activities, including energy, water, peat and pesticide use
  • Customer service and care delivered to a high standard to ensure that the property’s reputation for excellence is maintained and enhanced
  • Research and development. eg. research into historical precedents and practical contemporary solutions to inform proposed activities and projects; support to the design and implementation of restoration and/or development projects
  • Interpretation. eg through the development and delivery of events, projects, literature, signage, talks, demonstrations etc.
  • Administration to enable gardening activities to be undertaken and recorded efficiently
  • Undertaking such other reasonable duties as may from time to time be required to ensure the smooth running of the property as required by the Operations Manager.

Preferred method of application: Application form - found at

Closing date: 1st July 2022

Closing Date: 01/07/2022  Location: Falkland Palace

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