A future as a green fingered worker
Gardeners are responsible for growing and cultivating all types of plants like flowers, trees, shrubs and lawns in a variety of green spaces.
If you are passionate about nature and the environment, this could be the varied and fulfilling career that you’re looking for.
To be a gardener, you’ll need to enjoy a practical, outdoors lifestyle.
Creativity and an eye for detail will help you to grow gardens that offer enjoyment and interest all year round.
There is no set entry route to become a gardener. Employers look for gardening skills and knowledge, and experience. You can study towards qualifications before you look for work.
There may also be opportunities to become a gardener through an Apprenticeship scheme.
Gardening can be a varied and rewarding job. Your work could involve a number of different tasks which could include: • Raising plants from seeds or
cuttings. • Digging, planting and weeding
flower beds and borders • Pruning shrubs, checking the health of plants by identifying any pests or diseases and controlling them • Applying nutrients to plants and
maintaining moisture levels • Using machinery such as lawn mowers, rotovators and hedge trimmers • Maintaining high levels of presentation in public parks and gardens • Cleaning and maintaining tools and equipment. You could also be involved in designing planting schemes for gardens. You would use your plant knowledge to make sure that your garden had something to offer all year round. This could include positioning plants so they work well together, matching plant sizes and planting so that flowers bloom or shrubs come into leaf at different times.
You may also carry out basic building tasks, such as putting up sheds and building walls, fences and patios.
If you have a job with a local authority, you will usually work 37 hours a week. Your working hours could vary depending on the time of year. You may be able to do overtime, weekend and parttime work, particularly during busy times.
If you are self-employed you can arrange your own hours. You may need to be flexible if your work is disrupted by the weather.
There is no fixed entry route to become a gardener. To work as a gardener you would need to be able to demonstrate to employers that you have the gardening skills, knowledge and enthusiasm they are looking for. Experience in gardening or a horticultural role is highly valued by employers.
As a gardener working for a local authority you could earn between £12,000 and £18,000 a year.
A head gardener, for example, at a heritage attraction or landscaped park, could earn £25,000 a year or more.