- Spend your days working in gardens, creating and maintaining them for others
- The work is physical and outdoors, but also requires creativity and care
- You could run your own business or work for a park, stately home, charity or local authority
As a gardener, you could work for local authorities, private companies, the Royal Parks and conservation charities like the National Trust.
- Raise plants from seeds or cuttings
- Dig, plant and weed flower beds and borders
- Prune shrubs and trees
- Check the health of plants and control pests
- Use machinery like lawn mowers and hedge trimmers
- Look after the appearance of plants and the surrounding landscape
- Clean and maintain equipment
- Basic building tasks like laying patios, or putting up sheds and fences
Gardening is physically demanding. You'll be lifting, digging and carrying loads. You may wear safety equipment like gloves and a hard hat.
To be a gardener, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to work well with others, ambition and a desire to succeed, sensitivity and understanding, physical skills, the ability to work well with your hands, and customer service skills.
You could start as an assistant gardener and work your way up. Related work experience may help you to get a job as would volunteering experience with organisations such as The Conservation Volunteers, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts. To directly apply for a gardening job, you would need to be able to prove to employers that you have the gardening skills, knowledge and enthusiasm they are looking for.
The Royal Horticultural Society offers courses which are suitable if you want to learn more about gardening, or if you want to get qualifications that will help you get a job in horticulture.
You could do a college course in gardening or horticulture to get the knowledge and practical skills needed for this job.
You can also become a gardener through a horticulture and landscape operative intermediate apprenticeship. The Royal Horticulture Society offers apprenticeships in some of its national gardens for 16 to 19 year olds.
With experience, you could become senior or head gardener. You could move into other work like landscaping, green-keeping or the care of trees and shrubs (arboriculture). You could also set up your own business, offering a service to private customers.