The South West London Gardener

How to Get Your First Job in Gardening


Are you someone with a passion for nature who feels a pang of envy every time you see a gardener transforming someone’s outside space?

If this sounds familiar, then you may be thinking about turning your desire into a career.

So how do you take them first few steps?

Well, here is a guide from the team at The Southwest London Gardener to help you, with seven tips on how to take your first few steps up your gardening career ladder.

Let’s take a look.

planting bulbs from a book

The Joy of Joining a Gardening Team

Last year in the UK, there were just over 140 thousand people who classed themselves to be employed as a gardener.

This isn’t a huge number when you consider the entire population, but as interest in gardening grows and the many benefits of taking it up as a career become more apparent, the numbers are rising.

If you’re thinking of applying, then you’re in for a treat.

Whether already highly skilled, or a complete beginner (and there’s space for you in the team as well so don’t be put off by a lack of experience) you’re sure to love the first few weeks and months as you cement your place as a vital member of the team.

You’ll find yourself immersed in a world of new discoveries and get great insight into how beautiful garden transformations are done.

This phase sets the foundation for your career to grow and for you to blossom (pardon the pun) in your new role.

Sounds good? Well, here are seven tips on things you should be doing right now to give yourself the best chance of joining a team.

lady revising about plants

7 Tips for Landing Your First Gardening Role

Choose Your Career Path

One of the key things you need to decide is what kind of gardener you want to be. There is nothing wrong with being an all-rounder, but if you have specific goals and interests then it may work better for you to have a more tailored approach.

For example, if you love all things horticulture, then going down the soft landscaping route would be perfect. For something who wants to build garden structures then hard landscaping is better.

Working out what you want to do with your career will help you find the best place for your skills and passions and ensure a long and enjoyable career.

Build Your Experience

Experience is always handy in any job, and gardening is no exception.

There are many ways to gain this, starting with getting outside and getting your hands dirty on your own space.

If you want to venture away from home, why not look into volunteering or searching for local community groups who often do great work on local parks and public gardens.

This experience doesn’t just look great on your CV, but it also introduces you to the world of gardening and will teach you many new techniques and methods that you didn’t know beforehand.

If you can grow your portfolio whilst also growing your skillset, it’s a win-win situation.

Get Networking with People in the Business

Which leads me nicely on to the next point, which is about getting to know local gardeners who may be able to help you forge your career.

By doing things like volunteering and reaching out to local gardening companies and communities, you are starting a dialogue.

If you get to work with them, that’s great as you can listen to how they got started and gain loads of invaluable advice on this front.

And even if they don’t have a space for you, they may know someone that does who can lend a hand in getting your career moving.

Networking is always good and the relationships you build in this first stage could be very worthwhile in the future.

man trimming leaves

Prepare for Interviews

A key aspect of the job application process may be an interview, so you must prepare yourself for this so that you can perform to your best ability.

Some key things you need to look into here are the company you are applying to join. For example, they may be passionate about natural gardening, so you should know this before you speak with them.

Be ready to showcase your passion for gardening, and be able to prove your knowledge in certain aspects.

Different companies have different requirements for new employees, so try and work out what you think the business in question would like to see and make sure you can show examples of this through your previous work and your character and personality.

Keep Your Eye Out for Opportunities

There are many ways that a job opportunity may appear, and you have to make sure you are keeping your eyes peeled at every possible avenue so you don’t let the perfect role slip through the cracks.

Look on popular job sites where some may be posted, and also sign up for updates and newsletters from local companies to keep up to date with their business events and news.

Search through websites to see if they have a careers section, and also look on social media.

Most companies have their own accounts where they may reach out to potential new employees, but you may also find recommendations and job advertisements in local pages.

There are many ways to look for new roles, so don’t be shy about reaching out to companies with a quick email enquiring if they are looking to hire at the moment.

The worse they can say is no and you may find it’s your lucky day and there is the perfect space just waiting for you.

Attend Events and Workshops

Gardening events and workshops are a great way of ticking off many of the hints we have already listed above.

These are a place where potential employers could be on the lookout for the next bright and upcoming gardener to join their team.

They also are a brilliant way to grow your skillset, with many presentations and exhibits which won’t just ignite your interest for gardening more, but may also teach you a few things along the way as well.

They’re also a great place to network, and just by chatting to a few other attendees or speakers, you are growing your network and soon enough one of these new contacts may have the perfect opportunity for you.

Grow Your Knowledge

The final step is to make sure you are always looking to grow your knowledge and become a better gardener.

Whether you’re physically working on some outside space yourself, or you’re sat at home watching television or reading books, there are always ways of learning about the craft which will help you land a job and excel once in it.

Growing your knowledge and honing your skills is crucial for success in the gardening industry, and there are many ways of getting it.

From the ones mentioned above, to formal education such as colleges and universities where there are many courses on all aspects of this industry.

You can also pick this up from seminars, workshops, webinars, and more, so if you’re desperate to become the greatest gardener you can be, don’t rest on your laurels and start to build your knowledge right now in preparation for the role.

man planting bulbs

Join The Southwest London Gardener Today

If you have a desire to become part of a natural gardening team, then why not apply to join us today.

We are currently looking for new recruits to our ever-growing team and would love to hear more about you.

From beginners to experts, send in your CV today and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Want to know more? Then get in touch with us today.