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Beginning a career in gardening

hell hello everyone, so I’m currently looking to have a career in gardening/horticulture. I’m currently studying the RHS level 2 and really enjoy gardening, and help other people with their gardens (before this covid stuff of course!). I prefer softcore than hardcore landscaping though understand a knowledge of hardcore could be a bonus. I only know what I know from my own garden and I’m currently trying to ID as many plants as possible (as some of you may know by my posts 🙂) the only thing that daunts me is remembering the pruning times and requirements for the huge amount of trees and shrubs out there! So what is the best way to get into a career in horticulture?

Thanks for reading and apologies for the long essay!


  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,633
    I am sure this will sound horribly rude, but from the number of posts asking help with identification [ of often very common plants ] I don't think you know enough [ at the moment, at least ]
    I think you need a lot more knowledge, unless you intend to be a lawn mower only sort of gardener.

    Sorry if this offends, it is meant to be helpful.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,744
    Don't be afraid to say " I don't know , but I'll find out " . Far better than getting it wrong as  you'd be found out in the end. 
    @WonkyWomble might be able to offer some tips as she's done the same fairly recently

  • @punkdoc it’s okay I understand where you’re coming from though there’s still time to learn. 
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,584
    We are none of us born with an innate knowledge of plant names and if you don't ask, you won't find out.
  • @Hostafan1 I always say if I don’t know and have managed to find out a lot of plants recently (hence the barrage of plant IDs even if they are common)
  • Ceres said:
    We are none of us born with an innate knowledge of plant names and if you don't ask, you won't find out.
    That’s exactly why I bombard this site with ID questions haha. Thanks for the support Ceres :smile:
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,744
    As Confucius said 
    " He who asks a question is a fool for a minute. 
    He who doesn't ask the question is a fool for life"
  • @Hostafan1 thanks for the inspirational quote. This is exactly why I ask all these questions as it’s the only way I’m going to learn.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,264
    Hello @margaret005,

    Some good advice already given, I would just add a couple of things ....

    Read every garden book and magazine you can get your hands on. If you're nervous about pruning, there are a number of useful guides. You won't remember everything you read ... but at least you'll have an idea where to look when you do need to know something specific.

    Also, there's lots of boring stuff you'll need to know about setting up as a business. Things like tax, insurance, liability, health and safety, marketing etc etc.
    Here in Scotland we have Business Enterprise offices to help people with all that stuff, there may be something similar where you are.

    Good luck,
    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • When I started work as a gardener (having been to college in my 40s to get various qualifications), I used to look things up all the time when I hadn't grown a plant before - I kept the 2-volume RHS A-Z of garden plants in my car... and wasn't afraid to admit to my customers that I was newly qualified, and therefore would be looking up some pruning techniques etc to ensure I got them right.  I had a wall-trained peach tree to care for in one of my first gardens, and had a pruning book open to show me exactly how to do it, to start with.  Your customers will appreciate your honesty, and you'll quickly learn.   :)
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
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