One Year Horticultural Traineeship, Sept 2014 – Sept 2015

This traineeship, commencing in September 2014, will give the successful candidate a chance to experience the various aspects of working in a small botanic garden, gaining experience in practical horticulture and the management of a unique plant collection, with scientific research and educational applications, both outdoors and under glass.

Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the Society of Apothecaries to aid the botanical training of its members and apprentices. Since then it has developed as a small botanic garden growing some 5000 taxa within its 3.8 acres.  The Physic Garden’s microclimate allows a wide variety of tender plants from the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean to be grown outside.  The Garden also features botanic order beds, a medicinal plant quadrant, heated glasshouses and a cool fern house. The Garden is open to the public five days a week from April to October.

We aim to offer the trainee a comprehensive year of practical experience, working alongside five gardeners and a number of volunteers and interns. Training in practical aspects of garden management will include propagation, pruning, maintenance of the garden, turf care and machinery use. Trainees participate in weekly plant identification tests and undertake 4 projects including a work diary.

We aim to recruit an enthusiastic committed individual who is working towards a career in horticulture and is willing to get involved in all aspects of gardening. Some previous experience as a gardener is essential as are at least basic horticultural qualifications.

The trainee will work a 5-day week (Monday to Friday) 8 – 5 in the summer and from 8 – 4 in the winter with an hour’s lunch break (unpaid). Salary will be £15,001.00 per annum.  The annual leave allowance will be 25 days. In addition to this, time is allowed to attend events such as the RHS shows in Vincent Square and take part in week long exchanges with other partner gardens. The trainee will be expected to provide her/his own accommodation and transport.

To apply for this position please fully complete the application form  and send this, along with a CV and covering letter outlining your reasons for applying for this position to:, alternatively by post to Nick Bailey, Head Gardener, Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS.

Applications for the post close on the 25th July 2014.  Selected applicants will be invited to attend a formal interview on 12th August 2014 when they will also be asked to undertake a short gardening skills and plant identification test (please bring suitable workwear, including steel-capped boots).

For further information please phone: 020 7349 6454 or email


New Garden of Medicinal Plants takes shape – opened April 2014
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