How to start up as a landscape gardener
Did you know that the amount of landscape gardeners in the UK has been steadily rising? In 2021, there were around 157,300 people self-employed as gardeners or landscape gardeners, whereas 2010 had approximately 136,800. Often associated with good wellbeing, gardening and landscape gardening jobs have a great reputation for someone who wants to swap corporate life for something that connects you with nature – there are lots of different jobs that centre around gardening that you also might find interesting.
For now though, let’s delve into how you can get started as a landscape gardener.
What is a landscape gardener?
In a nutshell, landscape gardeners create and maintain gardens. The scale in which they do this can vary. Some will create their own designs from scratch, while others will follow plans created by a customer or landscape architect. This usually depends on the size of the project you’re taking on, as well as how commercial it is.
What’s the difference between a gardener and a landscape gardener?
Gardeners tend to focus on maintaining the health of plants, while landscape gardeners get more hands-on by building fencing, walls or patios. This is also referred to as ‘hard’ landscaping. They also involved in the initial design if required.
Where do you start?
If you have a passion for gardening and design, you’re off to a good start, as building this into your personal brand will help to establish your reputation. Depending on the direction you want to take your business, advertising your services locally and online is a good place to start, as well as making sure your website is up to scratch.
Then of course, you’ll need to acquire the right materials. These might include materials like paving slabs, fencing, compost and more, as well as the right tools for the job.
What skills do you need?
In terms of technical skills, landscape gardeners will need to be clued up on how to maintain outdoor areas, from gardens to parks. You can always enrol onto a college course or apprenticeship if you feel you need to brush up on your skills. This will help with your credibility too.
But it’s more than just technical skills. Admin, project management and keeping tabs on the full workflow, from the initial design to the maintenance is key.
Why is it important to vet and be confident in your suppliers?
Vetting your suppliers will mean you can help to manage challenges and risks more easily. Getting the best value for money from reputable and reliable suppliers will help massively with the smooth-running of your business.
On top of this, meeting them in person and undergoing site visits will help you maintain a good relationship. Being in the gardening and horticultural industry, it would be beneficial to look into suppliers that take sustainability seriously. This will also offer you a great USP.