St Andrews Botanic Garden
Location: St Andrews, Fife
Website: St Andrews Botanic Garden website
St Andrews Botanic Garden was founded in 1889 and has developed on its present site since 1960. The impressively landscaped 18-acre garden holds a fully documented (IrisBG) botanical collection of 8000 taxa and is a registered garden of national importance. The collection is incredibly diverse and largely organised by habitat, with significant garden areas including rock garden, scree, aquatic and marginal gardens, rhododendron woodlands, European ecological demonstrations, large-scale perennial plantings, vegetable garden and herb gardens. The garden also holds an extensive systematics collection with a historical ornamental arrangement. The garden has nearly half an acre of glasshouses, arranged into tropical, subtropical, warm temperate, Mediterranean, succulent, alpine, tender rhododendron and rotational display houses. Significant research collections are held and the garden has full propagation, nursery and composting facilities and associated equipment and systems. The garden also hosts aligned environmental and growing organisations in a community garden hub, including a significant sustainable urban farming project. The garden has an extensive herbarium that is actively used and accessible.
We believe passionately in the ability of gardens to change lives for the better. We want our Garden to be full of life, at the heart of our community and reaching out to difficult and under-served audiences through our public programming, educational activities and day-to-day operation. We ensure that all horticulturists are a part of this with specific training for public interaction. All of our senior horticulturists (4 positions) have a formal training and outreach role in addition to practical horticulture delivery and have formal supervisory and/or coaching and mentoring training.
As a trainee at St Andrews, you will gain experience with tractors, trailers, ride-on mowers, strimmers, MEWPs and other garden machinery. You will be involved in day-to-day maintenance, restoration projects and hard landscaping. The garden has a significant number of small-scale projects, some of which the trainee will be directly involved in. In 2019-20 these will include: pond margin restoration and replanting; substantial tree renovation works; herbaceous border renewal; major interpretation and design work for a historic plant expedition; and systematic bed replanting for university teaching use.
The garden is going through a period of renewal and growth meaning that there are significant opportunities for gaining a range of skills beyond routine horticultural maintenance.
Placement opportunity: 1 year
Staff numbers: 8 full-time gardeners; 1 seasonal gardener; 70 volunteers
Ease of access: Leuchars railway station is 12 minutes’ drive away, or 25 minutes by bus. Edinburgh Airport is 2 hours’ drive away.
Accommodation: The Garden does not have property of its own but is likely to be able to assist with arranging or providing a room in a family home locally on a commercial basis. As a University town there is extensive property of all types available for rental.