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A mansion garden landscape

A groundskeeper is a person who maintains landscaping, gardens or sporting venues (and their vegetation where appropriate) for appearance and functionality. In British English the word groundsman (occasionally groundswoman if appropriate) is used much more commonly. In Australian English, the word curator is often used for a person undertaking this job, especially those involving cricket pitches. At university campuses, groundskeepers are often called horticulturists. The equivalent on a golf course is a greenskeeper.

Contents

Job description

A groundskeeper's job requires a wide range of knowledge of horticulture, pest control, and weed abatement. As many institutions (especially schools) are moving away from the use of chemical pesticides and toward integrated pest management the experience, knowledge and scholastic requirements of top groundskeepers are increasing. While groundskeepers usually follow a site plan created by a landscape architect, there can be many opportunities for creativity in detailed design and presentation.

In fiction

Groundskeepers have appeared occasionally as minor characters in fiction and moving images. They are usually presented as comic or peculiar characters, often exhibiting a compulsive or obsessive personality defect.

Some examples of fictional groundskeepers include:

  • Groundskeeper Willie is a gruff speaking Scot in the television animated series The Simpsons.
  • Ben Weatherstaff in the The Secret Garden, is the only adult in the story to have some idea of the children's doings.
  • Carl Spackler is an assistant groundskeeper played by actor Bill Murray in the movie Caddyshack, who obsessively pursues the destruction of a gopher on the golf course that he maintains.
  • Boothby is the longtime Starfleet Academy groundskeeper and grandfatherly figure to many cadets in the Star Trek series The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
  • Chauncey Gardiner, played by Peter Sellers in Being There. In this case the character is central to the plot. Although of limited intelligence (from our viewpoint) he uniquely mirrors all who interact with him and so becomes a popular persona, even to the point of being suggested by others as a possible United States presidential candidate.
  • Rubeus Hagrid is the half-Giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter book series.

References

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Simple English

A groundskeeper is a person who maintains landscaping, gardens or sporting venues (and their vegetation where appropriate) for appearance and functionality.

File:Cowen Park
Some people working in a park

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