Landscape gardeners are the creative and practical workhorses who create functional, beautiful and relaxing gardens for all kinds of clients, from local councils and universities to private companies and individual customers.
Using their talent for design and passion for practical work, landscape gardeners are responsible for designing, crafting, regenerating and maintaining outside spaces.
The creative side of a landscape gardener’s job involves two main stages: briefing and design. First things first, the landscape gardener will meet with their client to discuss their wants and desires for the proposed landscaping project. They will then produce a series of sketches, plans and designs before presenting them to the client.
Once the designs are finalised, the landscape gardener will be responsible for taking care of the business side of things: hiring equipment, recruiting additional labourers where necessary, and procuring all of the required materials, such as wood, cement, wood chippings, pebbles and soil.
When it’s time to get down to business, landscape gardeners are not scared of getting their hands dirty. They’ll be planting trees, bushes, flowers, shrubs and all kinds of other greenery. They’ll also be responsible for treating lawns and soil with nourishing chemicals.
A landscape gardener’s job, however, isn’t simply all about the plants. These guys will also be experts at building fences, erecting gazebos, constructing rockeries, laying decking and positioning patio slabs. They might even be in charge of adorning the garden with lighting, furniture and other finishing touches.
Salary & benefits
Entry-level landscape gardeners tend to earn between £16,000 and £20,000 per annum. Some senior landscaper gardeners can earn up to £32,000.
Early morning and weekend work is common. Landscape gardeners work in the great outdoors all year round, so be prepared to encounter wind, rain, hail and snow (and that’s just during the lovely British summer).
You don’t need any specific academic credentials to break into this line of work. Generally, employers place more emphasis on the importance of hands-on experience rather than academic qualifications.
However, completing a BTEC, HNC, HND or foundation degree in a relevant subject, such as horticulture or landscape management will boost your chances of securing employment.
Training & progression
The majority of your training will be completed whilst on the job. However, some employers may support you to complete a relevant vocational qualification or degree on a part-time basis.
If you’re using dangerous chemicals and equipment, such as chainsaws or loppers, you will usually be required to complete a relevant proficiency test and obtain a certificate of competence.
As you progress in your career, you will most likely move into a managerial position. Alternatively, once you have gained a wealth of experience, you could start your own landscaping business or complete further study and become a landscape architect.