Gardeners grow and tend plants in public parks, private gardens and areas around shopping centres, schools, large offices and similar buildings. They may also be involved in garden design and gardening construction.
Gardening tasks include sowing and raising plants, pruning, weeding, mowing and tidying pathways. This will involve using hand tools, such as spades, shears and saws, and mechanical tools, such as rotavators and ride-on mowers.
Some gardeners perform basic building tasks such as erecting sheds, and help with the upkeep of garden machinery. In public and historic gardens they may have to answer enquiries from members of the public.
Gardeners who work for local authorities work a 36 or 37-hour week. Overtime, weekend and part-time work is available, particularly during busy times. Self-employed gardeners set their own hours.
Most of the work is outdoors, in most weather conditions. A certain amount of flexibility may be required, as work is often disrupted by the weather. For some jobs safety equipment such as gloves, eye protectors and a hard hat will need to be worn. Gardening can be a very strenuous profession requiring lifting, digging and carrying.
A driving licence is needed for self-employed gardeners.
To be a gardener, you should:
There are nearly 90,000 gardeners in the UK, employed by local authorities, private companies or private households.
Voluntary sector organisations such as the National Trust, the Royal Parks and botanical gardens are large employers. Some gardeners also work for garden centres. Self-employment prospects are good.
If you would like to know more about becoming a Gardener that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
Horticultural Training Officer
Tel: 01483 224234
Tel: 0845 707 8007
Scottish Skills Testing Service (SSTS)
Tel: 0131 333 2040
Horticultural Correspondence College
Tel: 01249 730326
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row
Tel: 0131 552 7171