A Career in Horticulture
Horticulture is the cultivation of plants both for pleasure and for food. It is a topic that covers subjects as diverse as design, science, management, machinery, environmental studies, as well as growing plants.
Horticulturists work in many different areas – managing garden centres, designing gardens, growing fruit and vegetables, maintaining parks, working on golf courses or as horticultural therapists. Working in horticulture can help to improve the environment and the health of people.
Horticulture is a growing business and there is an increasing demand for trained horticulturists.
Commercial Horticulture Worker: Commercial horticultural workers grow, look after and harvest plant stock. They may specialize in fruit farms or orchards, for example, where the work involves spraying, mulching, pruning, picking and grading.
Garden Centre Assistant: Garden centre assistants sell plants and garden equipment. The work involves taking care of plants, arranging displays, keeping check of stock, retail duties and advising customers.
Amenity Horticultural Worker: Amenity horticultural workers are responsible for all stages in the care and planting of flower beds, trees, shrubs and lawns in public parks, sports fields, roadside verges and green areas around public buildings. The work may include general maintenance of green areas plus erecting fences and laying paths.
Horticultural Manager: Managers work in commercial or amenity horticulture. Large garden centres or nurseries may also have a horticulture manager.
Horticultural Scientist: Horticultural scientists study the science and technology of plant cultivation. They research and advise on techniques of crop growing such as improving plants and developing/testing fungicides and herbicides.
Horticulture courses are provided at various levels. It is advisable to undertake a short term gardening/horticulture course before embarking on a full time course of study in horticulture.