New head gardener wanted at Scots castle

Winton Castle in East Lothian is looking for a head gardener to build on a legacy that stretches all the way back to the 16th century.

Both a family home and a hospitality venue, the castle, set in 16 acres of colourful gardens, has even had a facelift during lockdown.

The previous head gardener, Toby Subiotto, retired last year after 14 years of transforming Winton’s gardens. Often followed by Jack, the Winton Terrier, Toby was a highly experienced plantsman from his years at Kew Gardens, The Royal Botanic Garden and private gardens. His talents were reflected in his restoration and replanting of the terraced gardens, walled garden and wild gardens at Winton.

The mixed borders reflect his interest in Mediterranean style planting, and now have a vibrancy and colour throughout the year, making Winton a garden for all seasons.

Francis Ogilvy, owner of Winton Estate, said: ‘The setting alone should be tempting to an ambitious gardener: a historic landscape with woodland gardens, a loch, wild garden and flower meadow. The warm, south-facing terraces have a rose garden, dahlia borders and mixed herbaceous and shrub borders. Add to the mix a 2.5 acre walled garden with extensive colourful borders and a wisteria pergola. The Walled Garden is linked closely with the recently rejuvenated Potting Shed events venue which is popular for garden parties and weddings.

Toby Subiotto, former head gardener for Winton Castle relaxing in the Terraced Gardens

‘We want visitors to be wowed as soon as they drive through the gates and sweep down the drive.

‘Progressive gardening ideas are encouraged – this is not a static space or team, even if the day job of maintenance still needs attention with energy and enthusiasm. Resources include a poly tunnel, glasshouse and a wide compliment of machinery. Winton benefits from a warm microclimate and already has a grounds team and forester. So, the new Head Gardener should feel well supported to enjoy making a difference to the grounds and the lives of visitors.

‘The head gardener is expected to know the job and be keen to continue the development of the gardens. Winton hosts gatherings throughout the year, which means there are opportunities to show off to guests in all seasons. Consider the red carpet coming out to the gardens and allow them to take centre-stage!’

Winton is opening its gardens to the public on the April 3 under Scotland’s Garden Scheme, as it has been since 1932, longer than any other garden in Scotland.

Those interested in the post can apply on Winton’s website The closing dates for applications is February 18.