Trainee Gardener

  • Company: The Knole Estate
  • Location: Knole House, Sevenoaks
  • Salary: circa £16,000 - £17,000
  • Contact Email:


Trainee Gardener

The Knole Estate are seeking an enthusiastic trainee gardener to work in the private gardens of the Right Hon Lord Sackville. The trainee gardener will be employed on a rolling contract, working 40 hours per week.

The Role

The trainee gardener will be based in the Grade 1 listed private gardens at Knole House in Sevenoaks. The 26 acres of walled garden contain many historic features, including the longest wisteria in the world, the oldest wild garden in the country and a snail mound. The trainee will have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of garden tasks including maintaining the wild flower meadow, vegetable garden, borders, turf, decorative hedges and water features. The trainee will also help to establish a new apple orchard in the old Kitchen Garden in Knole Park. The trainee may be required to assist with maintenance work in the 1000-acre medieval deer park from time to time with the Park Keeper.

The trainee will report directly to the head gardener or the assistant head gardener. You will be working in a private family garden, it is therefore important to maintain and respect the privacy of the family. Members of the public are able to view the garden for one day per week during the summer months and you will be required to interact politely with visitors, answering questions and talking about your work.

You will be required to perform any duties or tasks to help with the smooth day-to-day running of the garden under current Health and safety at work regulations. As the training progresses, you will be given responsibility for maintaining your own area of the garden.

Day to day duties will include:

  • Lawn maintenance.

  • Maintaining formal boarders.

  • Maintaining informal boarders.

  • Pruning (trees, shrubs, climbers and fruit).

  • Hedge cutting (formal and informal).

  • Vegetables production for the house.

  • Production of bedding plants.

  • Production of herbaceous perennials.

  • Weeding.

  • Watering (pots and beds).

  • Maintaining water features (formal and informal).

  • Use of garden machinery (ride on mowers, pedestrian mowers, hedge cutters, brush cutters, compact tractor and any other when required)

  • Glasshouse production/management.

  • To ensure all health and safety procedures are adhered to.

  • Composting.

  • Mulching.

  • Fruit production.

  • Cut flower/ pot plant production for the house.

  • Any other duties that may arise during the working day. 


The Knole Estate will cover the cost of comprehensive training, including the Royal Horticultural Society practical Horticultural Qualification (this is a 30-week course and you will be required to spend 3-4 hours per week studying with a local training provider).

The Knole Estate will also cover the cost of the training courses detailed below:

  • Tractor driving  and trailer operation

  • Ride on mowers

  • Brush cutter/strimming

  • Pedestrian mowing

  • Hedge cuttering

  • Spraying (Pa1-Pa6)

  • Chainsaw ( Cs30-Cs31)

  • First Aid

There is potential for additional training depending upon your interests.

Salary and working hours

The gardening trainee will receive a competitive remuneration package. Working hours will be 8am to 5pm on Mondays to Fridays, with a break of one hour for lunch between 1pm and 2pm.

Candidate Qualifications

You will have at least five G.C.S.E’s (or equivalent) at A*-C (or Grade 9-4).  Ideally, you will hold a full, clean, driving licence.

Trainee Qualities

We are looking for an enthusiastic, diligent and hardworking trainee; who will be happy to take instruction and is keen to learn. We are hoping to recruit a trainee who is comfortable working as part of a team as well as independently. It is essential that the trainee is willing to work outside in all weather conditions. Ideally, you will have an interest in, and basic understanding of, horticulture. 

How to apply

Please send a cover letter and a curriculum vitae addressed to The Head Gardener, Knole Estate c/o Frances Reed, Strutt and Parker, 201 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NR or via email to by midday on August 23rd 2018.

If you have any queries about the role then please email:

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.