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Careers in Horticulture, Garden Design and Landscaping

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Are you interested in a career in horticulture, garden design or landscaping? For courses and job information visit the GROW website administered by The Institute of Horticulture.

If you have any questions or want to discuss a career in gardening with other Shoot members please add your questions to our new forum below.

Total number of topics in this forum: 14

A career in Horticulture and Landscape design

General post from David Griffiths

Be honest. When you were young, did you dream of a doing a 9-5 office job? Thought not.
How about a job that offers a mental and physical challenge, plenty of fresh air, and a real sense of personal achievement, not to mention the genuine appreciation you get from satisfied customers.
Yes, it's hard work, but to see a stunning garden, and to be able to say 'I did that', that's job satisfaction.
By the way, before the thought of spending years in the classroom puts you off, I don't have a single horticultural qualification - just lots of experience and bags of enthusiasm and a real desire to learn and improve my gardening skills.
David Griffiths

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  • Posted: Mon. 7th October 2013 18:35

Why I began a career in horticulture

Comment from Sue Jeffries

Although I've always loved being outside and am fascinated by plants, I never dreamt of working in horticulture as a young person. I thought life was about passing exams, then more exams, then more exams.... The problem is that a lot of exam certificates don't necessarily lead to an interesting or fulfilling career ;) After various office-based jobs my gardening mojo was rekindled when I did a 'make-over' of the garden in my first house in Manchester. I enjoyed the plant research, the planning, the designing and the physical building of the garden (see my photo of the finished garden). Most of all it was the fact I had a tangible 3D result at the end of all my work - something you rarely get in office jobs. About three years after that I took voluntary redundancy and set off on my horticultural adventures. Yes, I had do some more exams : ( and assessments, but this time I had a clear end in mind so I studied garden design at Reaseheath College, professional gardening at Myerscough College, completed a practical traineeship with WFGA and even did a teacher training qualification. But I couldn't be happier now; I get to work outside for most of the week and experience all the seasons, look after plants, grow (and eat) fruit and vegetables, teach adults, children and those with learning disabilities about gardening, write horticultural consultancy reports and design gardens. I love what I do and am able to do a wide variety of work as horticulture is so diverse. I also make time to volunteer with groups to help other people enjoy gardening and pass on my skills.

Horticulture is a great career as it challenges you physically and intellectually while still being fun and rewarding; there is always more to learn and discover about plants and growing them. People who work in horticulture are always generous with their knowledge and skills and will help you to develop your own expertise. So you can always start working in horticulture whatever your age.

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  • Posted: Mon. 7th October 2013 16:23

Careers in Horticulture - Go for it!

Comment from Adrian Valentine

Having packed an awful lot in over the last 20 years (from publishing the first ever dedicated Polo magazine, introducing goose fat to the UK with over 20 million jars sold to running my own Investment Company) I can safely say that messing about outside, dealing with great suppliers and the customer's enthusiasm, has been fantastic! If I knew then what I know now I should have studied garden design and landscaping at Uni and made a career out of it - would have saved a lot of sleepless nights!

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  • Posted: Mon. 7th October 2013 14:17

Reason for this forum

Comment from Nicola

Hi all, I spoke at the Institute of Horticulture on Saturday (5th Oct 2013) and the most common question I got was about how Shoot could help promote a gardening and horticulture as a career. This forum is one development we can help with right away.

I have also asked for content from the Institute of Horticulture to add to our blog about why a career in horticulture is a great career choice.

Thanks Nicola

  • Views: 493
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Mon. 7th October 2013 07:19
  • Last reply: Fri. 25th October 2013 07:50