Sunday February 9 2020

Attraction Plants the Seeds for New Head Gardener

Attraction Plants the Seeds for New Head Gardener

The Alnwick Garden is digging deep to find a budding replacement for one of the most high-profile gardening positions in the UK.


Trevor Jones, Head Gardener at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland is retiring after dedicating 12 years of his life working for the charity. His replacement will need to have pot loads of flexibility and be as fresh as a daisy to keep up with the day to day challenges associated with the job.  

For instance, Trevor is no longer surprised at any of the requests made by his boss – The Duchess of Northumberland.  From growing cannabis in the world-famous Poison Garden to modelling for The Alnwick Garden calendar, the “any other duties” part of his job description has been flexed to the max on many occasions.

 “In my 12 years working at The Alnwick Garden, I have donned a white chemical suit to conduct tours of our Poison Garden, flown around the world to deliver horticultural educational talks and hosted World Naked Gardening day.  It’s fair to say that my job is somewhat multi-faceted.”

The Alnwick Garden is the brainchild of Jane Percy, The Duchess of Northumberland and a multi-award-winning visitor attraction based in Alnwick, Northumberland.  The 12 acres of meandering and magnificent gardens are home to the world’s largest Taihaku Cherry Orchard, a Grand Cascade comprising 120 water jets, a Poison Garden filled exclusively with around 100 intoxicating and narcotic plants, the world’s largest Treehouse Restaurant and one of the largest rose gardens in the world.

With Trevor’s departure early in the spring, the hunt is now on for someone who will not only trim the edging but will push the boundaries even further and take The Alnwick Garden onto another level.

“Whoever takes over from me will have the best gardening job in the world but the role isn’t just about having a vast amount of experience and knowledge of plants,” he said. “As every day is different here, they will also need to be open minded, able to drive change and think outside of the box. The quirkier the better as that is what our visitors love.”

Indeed, The Gardens are seen by thousands of visitors and guests every year who have been delighted by an assortment of special events including a Halloween Garden of Screams which saw people being chased by clowns and masked characters, a Christmas spectacular and even a medieval knight jousting competition. 

“When I retire, I’ll miss the gardening aspect of the job but I’ll also miss the buzz of being part of something very special. I’ll look back at my time here with a great deal of affection and hope that my replacement beds in well.”   

To apply for the position contact Ann.norman@alnwickgarden.com

"Whoever takes over from me will have the best gardening job in the world "
Trevor Jones - Head Gardener The Alnwick Garden

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