What does a gardener do?
Gardeners design, manage, plant, and tend gardens. There are many different ways and places you could be working as a gardener, although your work will tend to be outdoors. You could be:
- a self-employed gardener – where you work as a sole trader for a number of clients, often across a residential area
- employed directly by a big house, stately home or commercial property to manage their gardens
- employed by a garden centre or nursery
- employed by a council or public body to maintain their gardens and grounds
If you’re working for yourself, you’ll need a good head for figures in order to manage your accounts. Depending on where you are employed, you may be working alone or as part of a large team. You’ll need excellent organisational skills to ensure tasks are done at the right time of year.
What do I need to do to become a gardener?
You do not need specific qualifications to become a gardener, though physical fitness is often considered important.
You can study gardening qualifications to help you get a foot on the ladder and if you are interested in specialising in an area of gardening, for example the maintenance of historic gardens. You may also want to consider a gardening apprenticeship.
Some specialist colleges offer full-time level 2 and 3 courses in horticulture that would provide some useful background knowledge.
- BTEC or NVQ in gardening
- Gardening apprenticeship