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  • Horticulture is where art, science, design and commerce meet – with challenging and rewarding careers no matter what your background or interests. (Credit: National Trust Picture Library – Paul Harris)
  • Parks and urban green spaces help cool temperatures, reduce wind speeds and absorb pollution and flood water.
  • Horticulture is creative, changes by the seasons and makes places interesting, vibrant and healthier.
  • A top-quality football pitch contains 150 – 200,000 leaf blades in every square metre. Every one of them needs skilled care and attention.
  • Nurturing a seed as it turns into a flower is watching a small miracle every day. Horticulture is full of magic and mystery.
  • 37 million people enjoy visiting and sitting under the 135,000 trees in London’s Royal Parks each year. All those trees need expert care and pruning.

Arts & Design

 

Set your imagination free by designing fabulous gardens, green spaces and floral displays. Help shape the physical environment around us, which has a huge effect on our everyday moods and health. You can also express yourself in art and the media – painting pictures, taking photographs, broadcasting online, on radio and TV, and writing books and magazine articles.

As well as those listed below, other related jobs include Lecturer.

 

Florist

What they do: Floristry combines a love of plants with artistic talent, and an opportunity to be involved in some of the biggest occasions in people’s lives – from weddings and funerals to a useful way of saying sorry with a bunch of flowers. You will need good people skills to be able to cope with the highs and lows of clients on their big days, but the main talent you’ll need is bags of creativity, including having a good eye for design and colour.

Where they work: From independently owned florist shops to major chains (eg Interflora)

Career path: There are various opportunities to learn the skills of working with flowers. Many Local Education Authorities run basic flower arranging courses as night classes. These are normally from a term to a year in length (ie 3-9 months). Professional qualifications range from an NPTC/City & Guilds ‘National Certificate in Floristry’ to NVQs in Floristry to HND/HNC/Foundation Degrees.

More info: Society of Floristry, Horticulture Week Careers

VIDEO: A day in the life of a florist

Find out what opportunities are available if you work as a florist. Natalie Stanyer, Gold Medallion winner at WorldSkills 2009 takes you through her day to day role and explains how important taking part in skills competitions has been to her career.

 

 

Garden Designer

What they do: Garden design is the craft behind turning a boring patch of lawn into a beautiful garden. Garden designers combine art, design and horticulture to provide a complete design service, including planting plans, so-called hard landscape elements (paths, walls, paving, decking) and special features such as water features, lighting and garden furniture. They can produce design-only work for clients, or may team up with a garden contractor to see the job through to completion. Other specialised skills could include historic garden restoration, public spaces or school grounds design.

Career path: Short courses, diplomas and distance learning are all available from various organisations such as the Royal Horticultural Society , English Gardening School  or the Oxford College of Garden Design  as well as horticultural colleges like Capel Manor , Merrist Wood, Writtle University CollegeFalmouth University College of Arts, in collaboration with Duchy College in Cornwall, offers a BA (Hons) Degree in Garden Design  

Where they work: As one-person businesses, within larger garden contracting/maintenance firms or for the big house-building firms.

More info: Society of Garden Designers, Horticulture Week Careers

 

 

VIDEO - day in the life of a garden designer

Follow Selina Golfin as she takes you through her day to day job and find out how you can get a similar job.

 

PART 1

 

 

PART 2

 

Horticultural Journalist

What they do: Horticultural journalists write about plants, landscape and the business of horticulture. Most newspapers and lots of magazines have gardening sections which talk about how to garden, what to do when, and which plants to buy, and there is a strong trade press within the sector. Gardening programmes are very popular on TV, with some of the presenters like Alan Titchmarsh or Chris Beardshaw becoming household names, while gardening books are often on the best-seller lists.

Career path: To become a horticultural journalist you'll need to know about both horticulture and journalism. Many people start work as trained horticulturists and move into journalism, while others train as journalists and then learn about the world of horticulture.

Where they work:

  • National and local newspapers
  • Consumer magazines (eg Gardeners World) of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) magazine ‘The Garden’
  • Press officers, eg for the RHS or Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Book authors
  • Broadcasters (eg the BBC)
  • Professional/trade press (eg Horticulture Week)
  • Websites (eg http://www.gardening.co.uk )

 

More info: Garden Media Guild , Guild of Agricultural Journalists

 

Interior Landscape Designer

What they do: Even the dingiest office space can be livened up by living plants. A developing market exists for indoor plants that brighten surroundings and generally improve the quality of life, served by interior landscapers. They bring colour and greenery indoors by designing indoor planting schemes in offices, atriums, shopping centres, restaurants and health clubs.

Career path: Qualifications range from NVQs to MAs in interior landscaping.

Where they work: Within private interior landscaping or landscape maintenance firms, including franchise opportunities.

More info: European Federation of Interior Landscaping Groups , Urban Planters, Horticulture Week Careers

 

Landscape Architect

What they do: If architects design the buildings where we live and work, landscape architects create the open spaces inbetween: places where people can live, work and relax, as well environments in which plants and animals can thrive.

Landscape architects study, plan, design and manage spaces which are both sustainable and beautiful. They work with architects, town planners, civil engineers and lots of other professionals.

Some British landscape architects live and work abroad and many of those based in the UK have overseas clients. Travel can be an important part of the job.

Career path: Landscape architecture is a chartered profession like architecture, accountancy or surveying. This means that in order to pursue a career in the profession, you will need a degree followed by a period of study at work in order to qualify fully as a chartered landscape architect. You will also need to be a member of the Landscape Institute, the professional body, qualifying authority and regulator for the profession.

Where they work: Around half of landscape architects in the UK work for private companies. Other employers include local authorities and government agencies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Countryside Council for Wales and environmental charities such as Groundwork.

More info: http://www.bealandscapearchitect.com/, Landscape InstituteHorticulture Week Careers

Related job titles: Landscape Designer, Urban Designer, Landscape Manager, Landscape Ecologist

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Career Profiles

Me & My Job - Stuart Charles Towner, garden designer, Hambrooks

How did you get started in the industry? Before Hambrooks I was at a local garden centre - Keydell Nurseries...

 

Me & My Job - Frances Tophill, presenter, Love Your Garden

How did you get started in the industry? Love Your Garden is my first time appearing on television. I'm studying...

 

Me & My Job - Colin Hambidge, gardening writer

How did you get started in the industry? I was the very first employee of Mr Fothergill's Seeds in 1978....

 

Me & My Job - Linda Carless-James, plant adviser and garden designer, Webbs Garden Centre

- How did you get started in horticulture? I used to be a bank manager in a big High...

 

Me & My Job - Daniela Coray, owner, Daniela Coray Landscapes

How did you get started in the industry? I was a florist in the US and every Tuesday the plant...

 

Me & My Job - Sue Moss, floral section gardener, RHS Wisley

- How did you get started in the industry? After deciding to move away from a career in archaeology,...