Benton End is on the lookout for a head gardener to take on an exciting new project, leading the revival of their historically important garden.


For over 40 years, Benton End in Suffolk was home to the esteemed artist plantsman Sir Cedric Morris and his lifelong artist partner, Arthur Lett-Haines. Together they ran the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, welcoming many students, the likes of which included Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling.

The garden was revered for its huge collection of rare and unusual plants. Morris famously bred bearded irises, naming 90 different cultivars many of which carry the ‘Benton’ prefix.

Benton End irises
Cedric Morris bred bearded irises at Benton End

The appointed head gardener will begin the transformation of the grounds at Benton End, with the sensitivity and vision to develop a garden that shares the spirit, values and ethos of Morris and Lett-Haines for a contemporary audience.

The role will involve researching the plants that were collected and cultivated by Morris and, where possible, to repatriate them back into the garden. There will also be a focus on the walled garden, which Benton End aspires to open to the general public from 2025. The role has been funded for three years by the Linbury Trust.

The right candidate will need to be a keen plantsperson with an NVQ Level 3 or equivalent, and a passion for horticulture heritage.


The closing date for applications is 10 October 2022 at 12 noon and the salary is £40,000 per annum full time, but a pro rata option will be considered. To apply you need to read the job description carefully at the link below and email a CV and a covering letter. See the link below for exactly how to apply.

If this sounds like you and you want to find out more about the role click here.

A garden course outside
© Getty images


Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.