How to become a Garden Centre Worker
What does a Garden Centre Worker do?
Horticultural workers are involved in the large-scale
cultivation of plants.
They work in the following
- production horticulture - producing and
selling plants for either food or ornamental
- garden centres – producing plants for sale
to the public along with related products such as tools
and garden furniture
- amenity horticulture –
maintaining areas such as parks and public and botanic
Their tasks may include:
- producing young or new plants by sowing seeds or
planting bulbs, transferring seedlings, growing from
cuttings, or by grafting
- plant care such as watering,
weeding, pruning, feeding and spraying
sorting and packaging produce to be sent to
- arranging displays of plants and
- mowing grass, cutting dead growth and
branches and general tidying
- laying paths and
tending ornamental features
- retail sales and advising
customers in garden centres.
The work involves
the use of a range of hand tools, such as forks and
spades, and (depending on the type of job) machinery,
such as chainsaws, mowers, tractors and crop-
What's the working environment like working as a Garden Centre Worker?
It is usual to work a 40-hour week, although some jobs
are seasonal, with longer hours during the summer.
Weekend and evening work may be required,
particularly in garden centres.
The work is physically
demanding, involving bending, kneeling, lifting and
carrying, and outdoor work involves exposure to all
What does it take to become a Garden Centre Worker?
To be a horticultural/garden centre worker you should:
- be interested in plants and their care
physically fit and able to do practical tasks
- be able to
understand and follow health and safety regulations
when using chemicals, tools and machines
- be able to
operate or drive machine tools and vehicles, and perform
simple repairs or maintenance
- be able to work either
alone for long periods or in a team
- be able to give
information and advice to visitors or customers
some experience in customer service and handling
money for garden centre work.
Garden Centre Worker Career Opportunities
In commercial horticulture, nurseries and garden centres
are to be found nationwide, while production horticulture
is concentrated in certain areas, depending on the
climate and type of soil. In amenity horticulture, jobs are
mainly in larger towns and cities, working for local
authorities in maintaining public parks, gardens and
playing fields. Councils increasingly employ private
contractors to do this work, so opportunities exist with
Larger employers offer the chance to progress
to supervisory and managerial posts for those with
experience or further qualifications. It may be necessary
to change employers to reach the more senior jobs.
Promotion could also be possible with specialist skills,
perhaps in caring for trees or sports grounds.
employment is possible by setting up a nursery or
garden maintenance business. There may be
opportunities to work abroad. Some gain higher
qualifications and move on to horticultural lecturing or
journalism, landscape or urban design, horticultural
therapy or quality inspection for supermarkets as a food
If you would like to know anything about Garden Centre Worker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.Lantra
Tel: 0845 707 8007
Lantra career advice sites:
National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC)
Tel: 024 7685 7300
Scottish Skills Testing Service (SSTS)
Tel: 0131 333 2040
Royal Horticultural Society
Horticultural Training Officer
Facts and Stats:
- Napoleon Bonaparte once called England a "nation of shopkeepers".
- Consumer expenditure per head in the UK is £8,053.
The phrase "The customer is always right", was coined by H Gordon Selfridge.
- The annual sales of digestive biscuits, if stacked on top of each other, would reach 275 miles high That's 4,500 times the height of Nelson's Column or 1,400 times the height of the Eiffel Tower.
- Britain's first department store was Selfridges, which was opened in 1909.