Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Gardens Partnership

Winner - Chiswick House & Gardens Trust with Gavin Jones

The grade I listed Chiswick House gardens are the birthplace of the English Landscape movement. The 26ha site combines grand vistas, architectural delights, water features and wilderness, many of which have been restored in recent years. The 19th century conservatory also houses an important heritage camellia collection.

The gardens are managed by Chiswick House & Gardens Trust (CHGT) with grounds maintenance subcontracted to Gavin Jones. To safeguard the future of the restored landscape and buildings, a strong relationship between the trust and Gavin Jones is essential. Their collaborative partnership is known as "The One Team".

The objectives are to balance the integrity of the historic environment with the modern-day demands put on the gardens, including the provision of sporting and community spaces. The team aims for high horticultural, historic conservation and sustainable standards as well as an environment where knowledge and resources are shared.

The partnership was implemented through a competitive tendering process and Gavin Jones was awarded a 10-year contract in 2014. Teams consist of 2.5 Gavin Jones and three CHGT gardeners plus an apprentice along with 40 volunteers. Weekly meetings see the gardening teams plan ahead. Progress is monitored at monthly, quarterly and annual meetings with senior managers.

Both organisations share each other's equipment, which reduces overheads. All equipment is serviced by Gavin Jones mechanics. Gavin Jones gardeners and a CHGT ranger work together at weekends to keep the area safe and provide a presence for the community. Co-branded uniforms for both teams and volunteers act as a visual representation of the partnership.

A wide programme of training is provided for the teams and the CHGT apprentice spends one week in six with the Gavin Jones team. The One Team approach has enhanced the sustainable management of the gardens. Standards have been raised, evidenced by a silver award from London in Bloom and positive public feedback, while cricket matches are increasing due to more intensive cricket square preparation.

Gavin Jones head gardener Jamie Cook says: 'We are two small teams with different tools but we are working towards the same goals and together is the only way it can work."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

What's new in walk-behinds and ride-ons?

What's new in walk-behinds and ride-ons?

A striped finish, rapid zero-turning and tenacious flails are strengths in these new mowers, writes Sally Drury.

Can autonomous and robotic mowers handle commercial work?

Can autonomous and robotic mowers handle commercial work?

The newest robotic models offer a less labour-intensive, less strenuous, safer and cheaper solution for many amenity jobs, Sally Drury reports.

Opinion... Open horticulture students' eyes to opportunities

Opinion... Open horticulture students' eyes to opportunities

The number of full-time students entering colleges for land based studies currently stands at 800, an unbelievably low number for the whole of the country. Colleges offering a wide range of agricultural and horticultural subjects have dropped and horticultural courses are being lost at a quite frightening rate.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Products & Kit Resources