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Grow a career in horticulture (part 2)

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Comment from Ben's Botanics

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Horticultural retail is a fairly fast-paced environment; after a lull over the coldest part of winter there is usually an explosive increase in trade during spring, especially around Easter. You go from standing almost still to running at full speed in a matter of days. Every customer is different, and no two enquiries are the same. Customers expect a very high standard of service; they might need a plant identified (regardless of whether or not you sell it), advice about a pest problem, or inspiration and guidance about what to buy. Even the most skilled and accomplished gardener will find themselves tested daily in horticultural retail. You can also be creative in the retail environment, creating eye catching displays of plants to entice customers to buy, ordering a range of plants that will excite anyone who sees them, as well as being creative with colours and textures when advising customers. Add to the mix that your plants also need to be cared for; pruning, training, watering, feeding... these all need to be done to keep sales stock in tip-top condition.

Working in retail and production horticulture requires passion. You will know as a customer that a member of staff who is clearly not interested will not inspire you to buy their plants! I've been to a few retailers where the staff have horticultural knowledge and enthusiasm that runs as far as “it's a bush. £10”, and I've never bought from any of them. Knowledge of the subject and passion for it will stand you well, and there is room to carve out your perfect career. I wanted to finish this piece with a list of skills that you will need (or pick up) in horticulture, but to be honest the list would be too long. If you've got what it takes just throw yourself in, you're in for great adventure!

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

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  • Posted: Sun. 27th October 2013 16:26