Do you love getting your hands dirty?
Hate spending time stuck in an office and long to work outdoors?
Well, have you ever considered a career as a gardener?
A huge 42% of Brits claim to enjoy gardening, and why wouldn’t they? It gets you out under the sun, works you physically, as well as being proven to drop stress levels and anxiety.
For a lot of people though, they imagine gardening to be mowing the lawn and digging up weeds. In reality, the life of a professional gardener is very different.
Let’s take a look.
A Day in the Life of a Gardener
If you’re thinking about becoming a gardener, you may be wondering what an average working day entails.
Well, here at The Southwest London Gardener, we’ve done this for many years. So, here is how an average day pans out for one of our team.
The idea of gardening often makes a job-hunter think of early mornings rising with the sun. The truth, though, is that our team begin the working day at 8 AM, which puts it at about average.
So, what does the morning start with? Well, this depends on the job at hand.
If you’re mid-way through a garden renovation, you may be able to pick up your spade and get to work straight away.
If it’s a new job or a new section of work, a quick debrief with the boss will fill the team in on what is needed of them today (over a hot cup of tea of course).
If you’re just at the beginning of your career, you will be assigned tasks that involve working with other members of the team, helping out with manual tasks and picking up the tricks of the trade that will be valuable in the future.
When dinner time comes around, what’s better than sitting in the sun, admiring the morning’s work, and tucking into a homemade sandwich and a cup of tea?
After dinner, the afternoon’s work begins.
This will be similar to the morning’s work, as you strive to achieve your goals that were set in the morning.
The work is hugely varied. If you’re in the early stage of landscaping a garden, you may be digging up unwanted grass, levelling out an area ready to put something down, or taking up plants to be replaced.
Maybe the project is coming to an end, and you’re laying pavers, installing decking for a lovely new seating area, or putting the final touches on a brand-new fence.
As the day goes on, and the job gets closer to the end, home time often arrives before you know it.
Usually around 5 PM, but this can vary on the work that needs doing, it is time to tidy up your gardening equipment and head home with another hard day’s work in the bag.
The joy of the job doesn’t end as you leave the garden.
When at home, feeling the ache of a hard day’s work and taking stock of what you’ve achieved today, there aren’t many feelings better.
5 Benefits of Being a Gardener
If you’re the right person, gardening can be a fulfilling and enjoyable job. Here are the top 5 benefits of being a gardener from The Southwest London Gardener team.
Work in the Great Outdoors
No one wants to be stuck in the office, do they?
A study found 87% of indoor workers declare themselves lovers of the great outdoors, and if you fall into this bracket then maybe a role as a gardener is ideal for you.
The sound of birds singing, the feel of the summer sun on your face alongside a soft breeze to cool you down all combine to provide the perfect environment in which to work.
Being outside is known to increase happiness levels, make people feel more energetic, and to come with tons of health benefits.
Gardening by nature is almost entirely outdoors, and not only that, the trees and plants you grow are having a good effect on the environment and providing a home for wildlife.
It’s a win-win situation!
No Need for a Gym Membership
One thing many people suffer with is finding the time to exercise. After a busy day at work, more often than not, the last thing you want to do is head out to the gym for a workout.
Gardening is physical, and you’re sure to burn off a load of calories every day as you get to work. If you’re not, then you’re not doing it right.
Digging, planting, lifting, and sawing, are all regular jobs that are sure to work up a sweat.
When you get in from work and take off your boots, you can enjoy a well-earned rest, safe in the knowledge your workout for the day is already done.
Have the Freedom to be Creative
No garden is the same.
Now imagine what you can do to that place.
Want a seating area? Some decking? A flowerbed brimming with bright and boldly coloured plants?
If you’re starting a new project, and looking to renovate a garden, one of the most important aspects of this is garden design.
This patch of grass is an empty canvas, and together with the team, you can let your creative side loose when coming up with some great ideas to make the most out of this outside area.
Make Work that You are Proud Of
Some projects we work on take weeks, maybe even months, to complete.
One of the greatest feelings I get as a gardener is when I look back on what the area looked like when we started, as we’ve finished.
Every bead of sweat is worth it when the final product is finished, and you can look back at the work that you have done with pride.
There’s something special about being able to see your plans and designs come to fruition, and to step back and admire the final product is one of the most satisfying parts of the garden renovation journey.
See the Smile on a Customer’s Face
One aspect of gardening that is often overlooked is client management.
Remember, this is someone’s garden you are working on, and they probably have an image in their head of how they want it to look.
It’s your job to make that image come to life.
When the work is done and the client finally sees the finished project, they’re sure to be nothing short of delighted at your work.
This is another huge benefit of putting a lot of work in as a gardener, and often makes it all worthwhile.
How to Become a Gardener
So, if you’ve read this blog and like what you see, then maybe your next thought is how to become a gardener.
Well, there are plenty of skills and characteristics that make a good gardener.
Firstly, you must love being outdoors. At The Southwest London Gardener, we have a passion for nature and the environment. If you share this love, it’s a great start to beginning a career in this industry.
Being handy with tools and physically fit are also important characteristics. Gardening isn’t always easy, and can be physically tough, so someone with a can-do attitude who has experience working with the necessary equipment would be ideal.
As mentioned earlier, you will be dealing with clients, so learning how to communicate with these and how to build a relationship is very important.
If you would like to focus on plants, being able to showcase some knowledge on this topic would be a huge plus. There are plenty of university degrees and other courses that provide a great insight into how to nurture and care for plants.
Want to focus more on landscaping? Well, there are plenty of trades involved in soft and hard landscaping. If you can show expertise in one (or even better, several) of these then you’re sure to be a great addition to any gardening team.
But, if you just want to get started on your gardening journey, there are ways to begin with no experience.
Signing up as an apprentice is the perfect way to work with a gardening team and to learn the craft. Whether planting flowers or landscaping large areas, as long as you’re willing to learn and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, there’s a position waiting for you.
Join the Southwest London Gardener Team
We are currently seeking new members to join our team.
If you are interested and would like to talk to us about how you could fit right into our company, then visit our careers page, where you will find all of the roles currently available plus all the information you need to enquire.
Whether you have tons of experience or none, we’d love to hear from you.