The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Garden Management

Head gardener

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1669. On being appointed to a situation as head-gardener, the first thing to be done, in that capacity, is to survey the extent of the field of operations, and to ascertain any peculiar products or objects desired by the master, so as to determine the number of permanent hands that will be required. Then the number of implements of every kind must be fixed on and procured, and an estimate formed of the occasional hands, men or women, that may be necessary as extraordinary assistants at particular seasons. If only two or three permanent men are required, then one of them should be appointed foreman, to act as master during absence or sickness, and to have constantly the special charge of the hothouses, or forcing and exotic departments. If, however, the situation is of such extent as to require a dozen permanent hands, or upwards, then it will generally be found best to appoint a foreman to each department; as one to the artificial climates of the kitchen-garden, another to the open garden, one to the flower-garden and shrubbery, pleasure-ground, &c, (when there are plant-stoves and collections of florists' flowers, these departments should be divided), and one to the woods and plantations, unions there is a regular forester directly under the control of the master. To each of these foremen a limited number of permanent men should be assigned, and, when occasion requires, assistance should be allowed them, either by common labourers or women, or by a temporary transfer of hands from any of the other departments from which they can be spared.