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Venturing into the gardening world...

I hope no one minds me hijacking this site to get a bit of job hunting advice? I completed my RHS Level 2 Principles in Horticulture last year with a view to changing my career (I am currently a PA). However I have since discovered that I cannot get a role that pays the amount I require to cover my mortgage, bills etc without experience in the gardening world. I was wondering if I could combine my PA skills along with my gardening skills and knowledge and if anyone knew where I could start? I have tried various websites including Horticulture Jobs & Gumtree. Any advice welcome please.


  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    What area of horticulture do you wish to get a role in, garden maintence, garden design, raising plants etc?

  • sharon_76sharon_76 Posts: 5

    Ideally propagation or garden maintenance but I enjoy most aspects of gardening so am open to ideas. PA to a Garden Designer perhaps??

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I hate to shatter allusions but am puzzled as to why you want to enter a notoriously low paid profession if you have over overheads that wont be met-as to a PA to a garden designer such jobs are few and far between and probably only the really top people need a PA

    To me you have two choices stick with what you are doing now or bite the bullet and go down the horticultural role-talk to the rhs about career advice

    Sorry if all this sounds brutal and is not what you wanted to hear but at the present moment in the uk recession, job shortage situation, it is going to be a struggle.

  • sharon_76sharon_76 Posts: 5

    Great thanks for your help!

  • sharon_76sharon_76 Posts: 5

    You know I was hoping to come on here and get some constructive advice on how I can get into something that I enjoy combined with the skills that I have already.

    Please if you don't have anything positive to say then don't post a comment.


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Just being realistic- I did say you wouldn't want to hear it-or instead I could have said there are plenty of jobs for you- but there aren't.





  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I would definitely look at PA jobs in the gardening world, are there any horticultural colleges near you? they probably use a number of secretarial staff.

    What about working in a GC at weekends?

    Do you like the boring maintenance work, cutting lawns and trimming hedges? Lots of demand for that around here but obviously you would need all the equipment.


  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 988

    If you want to go into design then you will have to go back to college and take design courses.Build up experience and a portfolio of what you have created etc. This will probably working for friends and family initially (probably for nothing) to build up your reputation and skills. Working for a landscaping company as a 'labourer' will give you experience in 'making the earth move'.

    I too completed my RHS Level 2 - I maintain my 'day' job but garden for my local school for fun/volunteer status. Sotongeoff is right  I'm afraid. In this climate of recession, there is little money for niceties even for proven pros. I wouldn't give up your day job - but try to get more qualifications/experience and do more research as to where you could fit it in the horticultural world. Maybe PA for RHS....a gardening or nature based organisation may satisfy both your sets of skills.

    You unfortunately will not make a fortune in gardening unless you are very talented - Chris Beardshaw; Dermot Gavin; Alan Titchmarsh; Carol Klein and they have all diversified from being just 'a gardener' or 'designer' or 'nurseryman/woman' to TV presenter, author etc.

  • Maybe start looking at high-end glossies like The Lady (and the other one I can't remember the name of), they will sometimes have classified ads for PA's on large estates, and maybe make friends with the gardeners there, and volunteer your help in the garden at weekends?  That way you will still be doing the 'day job', but may enjoy it more if there is more of a garden/estate management part to the job.  Not where you ultimately want to be, but you may enjoy it more than your current job.

  • sharon_76sharon_76 Posts: 5

    Thanks for the ideas all much appreciated.


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