In time, in addition to overseeing the upkeep of the garden, Pritchard, a former senior horticulturist at RBG Edinburgh, will lead visitors on guided tours of the garden, host educational trips from local schools and will work with staff in the Walled Garden Café and shop to ensure a regular supply of seasonal produce.
He said: "It is an honour to have been asked to join the team at Gordon Castle at what is a very exciting time in the development of the walled garden. The design for the garden is an ambitious modern interpretation of a traditional kitchen garden...I look forward to many happy years working with the team here to bring a new and inspirational visitor attraction to Moray."
Pritchard spent 25 years in the Royal Navy before retraining at Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon and the RBGE. Since then, he has held a number of horticultural positions including head gardener of The Beechgrove Garden in Aberdeen and also at Scone Palace, estate manager of a private estate in Alloway and a spell managing the gardens of a hotel in Ayrshire.
Garden owners Angus and Zara Gordon Lennox have been looking for the right person to take the helm in the walled garden since early 2013. They said they were delighted that he has joined them.
Angus Gordon Lennox said: "Our team has been busy all winter putting the bare bones of this enormous garden into place. Don joins us at exactly the moment we are beginning to fill it with fruit, vegetables and hardy perennials.
"He will work closely with the designer Arne Maynard and his team to select succession crops and oversee the planting of the hard and soft fruit. 2014 is likely to be a year of tree planting and green manure crops to really prepare the ground for vegetables and perennials in 2015. It is a hugely exciting time for this project and it’s great to finally have Don on board to guide us all through the next phase."