The South West London Gardener

How to Build the Perfect Gardening Portfolio

lady building portfolio on laptop

If you’re looking to forge a career in gardening, one of the best ways to sell your skills is through a portfolio.

This is where you can compile a collection of your work to showcase to potential employers and clients.

A portfolio is a valuable way of showcasing what you do and can be a key tool when applying for roles within gardening.

So, how can you make a portfolio that will stand out amongst your competitors?

Well, here at The Southwest London Gardener, we know a thing or two about creating a portfolio. Just check out our projects and gallery page to see plenty of examples of our work.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you build yours.

Let’s take a look.

lady holding camera

10 Tips to Growing Your Garden Portfolio

Document All of Your Work

Every project you work on could end up becoming a valuable piece of your portfolio, so make sure you are capturing it with high-quality images that really showcase the work you have done.

These visual representations are key for showing first-hand what you can do, and if you can show that you have been working regularly and creating aesthetically pleasing and functional gardens then it is sure to help you climb your gardening career ladder.

Every aspect of the job should be documented from start to finish, so don’t be afraid to get snap happy and capture every moment.

Show a Bit of Variety

A good portfolio should showcase a wide range of skills.

If you’re looking for a role where you may be asked to help out in several different aspects of gardening, then make sure you showcase a bit of each of the skills required throughout your work.

Whether it is creating a lovely flower bed, or building a fence, showing you can do both proves more than just your skills, but also showcases a flexibility and willingness to try your hand at anything which is a vital skill for a gardener to possess.

Shine a Light on Key Projects

You will probably have a few projects that you have worked on which really stand out in your mind.

Maybe they took a lot of work to get finished, or the final product was really something special.

These are a great way of showing what you can do so make sure you highlight your key projects.

If you can show the gardens that best showcase your skills, creativity, and ability and can give a brief explanation as to why (maybe there were issues on the way you had to overcome) then this will be a key component of your portfolio.

seating area in garden

Use Before and After Shots

To portray the full effects of the work you did, having before and after shots next to each other is ideal.

This can help anyone viewing your portfolio to visualise the scale of the job and the work that would have been done to achieve the final product.

Some projects may be complete garden transformations, and these are perfectly shown by allowing the viewer to see what the garden was like before you got your hands on it, and how you left it in a much better way.

Include Testimonials and Reviews

If you’re trying to sell your services, then having certified reviews and testimonials is a must.

95% of potential customers read reviews before making a purchase, making positive ones a valuable weapon when you are looking to showcase your skills.

Try and amass a large selection of reviews as this is a great way of building trust with future employers and clients.

If you can get some information as well on the job you did, and a written testimonial then even better as this adds a personal touch and some more positive effects to the review.

Don’t Cut Out the Details

A portfolio should be more than just images.

If you can include plenty of information about all of your projects, then this can help you to explain the process you carried out and the work it took to get it completed.

Try containing information such as how long the garden transformation took, the cost of it, the materials used, and the different aspects of gardening that were needed to carry it out.

This is a good time to mention if you faced any challenges and what strategies you took to overcome them and is a great way to showcase your expertise and can-do attitude.

Twickenham pergola

Contain Various Gardening Sections

There are many different elements to gardening.

If you are an all-rounder who loves nothing more than taking a garden and completely changing the entirety of it, then show this in your portfolio by giving examples of landscaping, horticulture, garden design, and more.

This will provide evidence of your mixed skillset which is a great thing to be able to show future employers.

Also, mix in different kinds of gardens. If you can have a portfolio filled with gardens of many different sizes, shapes, and materials, then this is a great way of proving you are a jack of all trades.

Keep it Up to Date

If your portfolio has no projects carried out in the last few years, then this may look rather odd, and questions will be asked.

It is a really powerful thing to be able to show a job you finished within the last few months, as this will mean any older jobs which don’t showcase your skills as much can be removed.

As you work on more and more jobs, then your skillset will grow and you will become a much more accomplished gardener. This will show in the work you have done, which should continue to get better, so make sure your best and latest work is always front and centre.

Go Behind the Scenes

The projects you work on are much more than just a couple of before and after photos.

Add in images of all of the processes that led to the garden being transformed, including behind-the-scenes shots of the work being done and the garden in upheaval to really make the final product more impressive.

Want to show your design capabilities? Then why not add your concepts so the viewer can see how you stuck to the brief and delivered on your promise?

This will also allow your creativity to shine through and show you have plenty of feathers to your bow when it comes to gardening.

Showcase your Specialities

If you have certain areas that you put a lot of focus into, then make sure these are visible in your portfolio.

If you love natural gardening, use sustainable techniques, or have a real talent for urban gardening then don’t be afraid to highlight this within the work you have done.

Think about splitting it into sections where you can have specific projects that showcase each specialty.

If you love working with flowers, contain close-up images of the beds you have nurtured, or if you love a bit of hard landscaping, make sure your structures are always on show in your portfolio.

handshake

Start Your Gardening Career with The Southwest London Gardener

Building a portfolio is a great way to kickstart your gardening career.

Not only does it help you catch the eye of employers, but as you fill it your skillset will naturally grow.

If you would like to get into gardening, why not get in touch with The Southwest London Gardener.

We would love to hear more about you and why you would make a valuable member of the team.

Want to know more? Then check out our blog or apply now.