Osborne (English Heritage)

Location: East Cowes, Isle of Wight

Website: Osborne (English Heritage) website

Osborne is Queen Victoria’s and Prince Albert’s Garden at their seaside home on the Isle of Wight. The garden consists of pleasure grounds with shrub and herbaceous borders, and many stately trees. There are Italianate terraces with large scale seasonal bedding displays. Swiss Cottage, the royal children’s garden, is laid out with small plots where the children grew fruit, vegetables and herbaceous plants. There is a walled garden growing trained fruit and flowers, with two display glasshouses. In addition, Osborne has a small nursery with 3 glasshouses, polytunnel and standing-out grounds. Osborne also has around 100 acres of meadow and a similar amount of woodland.

Trainees will get an introduction to everything typically found in a large Victorian garden (except large scale vegetable production), including propagation, seasonal bedding planting and maintenance, shrub border maintenance, herbaceous border maintenance, fruit pruning, turf care, glasshouse management, composting, and a small amount of woodland/estate work. Trainees will experience using a range of machinery and will typically operate pedestrian lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, strimmers, tractors and trailers (under supervision until qualification gained), leaf blowers and vacuums, scarifiers and aerators.

Toby Beasley, Head Gardener: “We have taken trainees at Osborne for more than 15 years. Following their time with us they have found employment in all areas of horticulture, from nursery work and landscaping to becoming head gardeners in this country and abroad. I’m sure our friendly and welcoming team helps trainees to get the most out of their time with us”.

Placements available: Two

Staff numbers: 7 full-time horticulturalists; 2 part-time; 2 HBGTP trainees 45 volunteers

Ease of access: Osborne is 1 mile from East Cowes, where Red Funnel ferries from the mainland dock. The bus links on the island are excellent, and there is a train station at Ryde Esplanade, 7 miles away.

Accommodation: We can help with advice about local accommodation, but none is offered on site.


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