Horticultural Apprenticeship

Location: Fullers Mill, West Stow, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6HD
Working Pattern: Full time
Contract: 24 months
Responsible to: Head Gardener

Apprentice Gardener Role Summary

The Garden

Fullers Mill Garden is an enchanting and tranquil waterside and woodland garden, situated on the banks of the River Lark at West Stow in Suffolk.  It combines a beautiful site of light dappled woodland with a fabulous collection of rare and unusual shrubs, perennials, lilies and marginal plants, collected over the course of 50 years by the creator of the garden Bernard Tickner MBE.

In 2013 the garden was gifted to Perennial, the only UK charity dedicated to helping all those who work in or are retired from horticulture, in times of need. Head Gardener Annie Dellbridge and her team of gardeners and volunteers now maintain the garden for the enjoyment of visitors from April to September. Apprentices are taught and assessed as they work alongside and learn from our experienced gardens team.

Overall Purpose

To learn and undertake a range of gardening tasks in the maintenance and care of Fullers Mill Garden, reliably and to a high standard.

The Role

You will undergo a practical work based professional apprenticeship under the guidance of the Head Gardener and other staff members. You will develop skills and knowledge in horticulture working alongside experienced gardeners and volunteers.

The NVQ Level 2 Work Based Apprenticeship is taught with the guidance of a tutor from Easton and Otley College who will set coursework so that you can achieve the required standards to obtain this qualification.

Key Responsibilities

Horticultural Duties:

To learn and undertake daily and seasonal gardening tasks to an exceptional high standard, under the general direction of the Head Gardener, including but not limited to:

  • Pruning – pruning of trees shrubs using the correct horticultural methods
  • General garden maintenance – maintaining paths, leaf clearing, tidying and weeding.
  • Propagation/seed sowing – Using various propagation techniques to increase both garden and nursery stock
  • Plant husbandry – Watering, pest and disease control and glasshouse house management
  • Lawn care – Mowing, feeding and seeding.
  • Nursery work – Re-stocking plant sales, re-potting and ensuring plant are of the highest quality for the Garden and nursery.
  • Planting – Both Tree, shrub and perennial layers.
  • Plant knowledge – Learning the plants in the garden and beyond

Operational Duties:

 To support the opening of the garden, including dealing with and helping the public.

  • To support other activities taking place in the garden e.g. volunteering, special events etc. by good teamwork and willingness to undertake practical tasks associated with those activities
  • To adhere to all relevant policies i.e. those relating to Health and Safety at all times
  • To undertake other duties within the broad scope of the job as may be required by the line manager once adequate training has been given
  • To undertake occasional weekend and evening work during the garden open season.

Apprentice Gardener Person Specification


  • Demonstrate that you are motivated and committed to pursuing a career in horticulture
  • Flexible and friendly approach to working in a garden
  • Experience of working outdoors

Skills required

  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work efficiently and methodically in a safe manner
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team


  • Practical experience of working in horticulture whether paid or voluntary is desirable but not essential


  • Willing to undertake training as identified

Please follow this link to apply for the role:


Closing date for applications:

Thursday 26th of September 2019 at 9.00am.

Interview date and location:

Monday 30th September 2019 at Fullers Mill, West Stow, Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk IP28 6HD