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Can anyone recommend a gardening/landscaping qualification??

(6 Posts)
plipplops Wed 05-Aug-15 15:25:44

I'm a decent amateur gardener rethinking my life. I work part time now (4 days a week, term time only) but would love to work in gardens. I'm thinking to start fairly soon doing gardening for old people on my one spare day - mowing lawns, edging, weeding etc but ultimately it'd be great to be able to plan planting schemes and design, potentially full time(ish). I know a reasonable amount through trial and error in my own tiny garden but am thinking I need to get some proper qualifications of some kind if I'd like to make career of it. (I had another thread in Chat to see if any of this seems like a good idea).

There's quite a range of courses - RHS, City & Guilds etc. I think I'd probably need to do distance learning unless I could find an evening course locally (which seems unlikely). Does anyone have any experience of any of these or anything else I've not thought of?

HaveYouSeenHerLately Fri 07-Aug-15 16:47:34

I'd be interested to hear from anyone with experience too smile

deplorabelle Fri 07-Aug-15 19:10:32

Can't give you any useful tips but just to say my next door neighbour did this and has made a go of it for many years. smile

plipplops Sat 08-Aug-15 13:25:51

Thanks - I think it's a goer but I'd like some more training on things like planting schemes and planning etc.. It's hard as there are quite a few different options but I don't really want to waste time doing something that is all a bit theoretical and no practise (although maybe that's exactly what I need as I can get the practice out there, who knows?) And as I plan on working for myself it's not like I need to impress an employer it's just about getting the knowledge to do it right in other people's gardens smile

StaceyAndTracey Sat 08-Aug-15 20:01:22

You should be able to get regular work doing garden maintenance - weeding, cutting grass and hedges . Around here that pays about £15/ hour. You've be able to work from perhaps Easter to October . What would you do for money November - March ?

From that money you have to pay travel time, running costs of a vehicle and equipment, insurance . It's not as much as it sounds .

Personally I'd find it very boring. Most clients don't want your creative input , they want their grass cut and edged neatly and a few geraniums in a pot at the front door .

It's quite hard to make a living doing garden design . I know several garden designers and it's not what you'd call a steady income . The money's not so much in the design, but in the project management , where you take a percentage cut .

You'd need to live in a area with a reasonable number of people who have ?? £50k to spend on their garden

All but one one the garden designers I know are reasonably well off themselves and it's kind of a well paid hobby ( they'd be very insulted to hear me say that ) . But TBH none of them are waiting for a cheque to clear to lay the bills each month IYSWIM, they mostly have another income in their household that pays the bills .

shovetheholly Mon 10-Aug-15 10:27:39

I know nothing about this, but reading with interest that it's hard to make a living on the design front of things.

It strikes me that there are jobs that don't involve being a self-employed garden designer, e.g. working for parks departments (though I imagine that's not that well paid?) or for private gardens (though I imagine the latter are like hen's teeth?) Have you thought about other roles connected with horticulture - e.g. breeding and developing plants on the science side of things, or studying the impact of temperature and climactic changes?? It seems like we're going to need some amazing people on that side of things as we wise up to the realities of climate change. There must be increasing amounts of policy stuff, too, for gardening charities and organisations??

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