If you love plants and have always wanted to live at Buckingham Palace, then this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. The Queen is looking for a gardener who will live on site and make sure that the large gardens at this central London palace always look their best.
So what kind of employee is the Queen looking for? Naturally an extensive knowledge of horticulture is required. Anyone working on the Queen’s gardens would need to have specialist knowledge of the plants in her gardens and be passionately dedicated to their health and appearance.
It is a big job taking care of the Buckingham Palace gardens as they cover more than 40 acres of land, and the gravel pathways are around two and a half miles long in total. The person chosen to take care of them would need to be aware of their history and realise they are there as custodians of the gardens and living heritage. With a Grade II listing, the gardens are part of the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
But for any gardener who is intrigued by exotic and unusual plants, this is a dream position. Among the many valuable plants in the gardens, there is a mulberry tree which dates from the time of James I. Other features of the gardens include a tennis court, a helicopter pad and a lake developed in the 19th century.
Though the gardens are not generally open for the public to wander through, in the summer months when the palace allows visitors, the public does have some access to this green space. The gardens are also the place, of course, where the Queen holds her famous garden parties. During special celebrations such as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the gardens are also the site of events and performance and large numbers of guests may be present.
Anyone applying for the gardener’s job at Buckingham Palace should feel really enthusiastic about keeping the gardens looking immaculate for the Royal Family and any visitors they may host. A passion for making lawns look great would be helpful, as caring for these gardens would involve keeping a lot of grass looking impeccable.
The job would entail tasks such as making sure the lawns look velvety, which can involve precision mowing, regular maintenance of the borders and edging, inspection for pests, raking, top dressing when necessary and reseeding when appropriate.
Apart from lawn care, other horticultural duties would encompass planting displays of seasonal flowers, making sure bulbs are planted at the right time and curating the shrubbery. Exciting parts of the position will include devising creative displays to showcase the beauty of the palace and spectacular centrepieces to complement special events.
The team that cares for the gardens is a busy group of people, so anyone who joins them must be self-motivated, disciplined and extremely efficient at managing their time. The ability to work closely and communicate clearly with others is also an advantage.
Apart from working outdoors in a beautiful setting, this position also offers opportunities for exploring new ideas in making the gardens look wonderful. For any gardener who wants their work to have an international audience, this job has it all.
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