If you enjoy gardening, you may like to start a career as a Landscape Gardener.
Landscape Gardeners are patient, artistic, detail oriented, creative people, with good manual dexterity, as well as a good sense of color and shape. They have extensive knowledge about the needs of plants. If you get a job as a Landscape Gardener you must be in good physical condition as the work involves constant digging, lifting, carrying, kneeling, and bending. You will spend most of your day outdoors, in all weathers, working a regular eight hour day or as the job requires.
Landscape Gardeners work in greenhouses, private estates, nurseries, parks, public gardens, cemeteries, and public buildings. Because they deal with clients of all kinds as well as landscape architects, Landscape Gardeners must have good communication skills. They must also be comfortable working alone when necessary.
The work of a Landscape Gardener requires a great deal of careful planning as it may involve, along with the planting of trees, bushes, flowers, ground cover, and vines, the layout and construction of rock structures, ponds, waterfalls, walls, and walkways.
The creations of Landscape gardeners must appeal to the eye at all times of the year, so Landscape Gardeners must have intimate knowledge of plant growth and change, as well as the needs including light, pest control, moisture, soil, and fertilization.
If you become a Landscape Gardener, your duties will vary depending on your place of employment. The first step in any job, usually involves a visit to the site and meeting with the client to ascertain their wishes and needs. You must understand if the planting area is just for the clients wishes or must it serve as a background for other activities such as weddings, sporting events, public events, or family activities. You will draw up a plan, complete with visuals, to present for your client’s approval. Once any necessary revisions are made and final approval is obtained, you may order and pick up supplies. You may be required to restore neglected gardens, analyze soil, prune existing growth, fertilize, transplant, and treat for plant or garden pests. You may lay sod, prepare soil for planting, plant seedlings or mature plants, put in irrigation systems or build walls, pools, and walkways.
If you get a job as a Landscape Gardener, you will use a variety of tools, all of which need to cleaned, repaired, and properly stored.
If you have a passion for gardening and think you would like a career in this field, start to prepare in high school by taking courses in English, computers, botany, chemistry, and any other related subjects. Get a part time job around plants in a nursery, garden shop, or in a public garden, or park. Volunteer to help senior facilities or seniors in your areas to beautify their gardens. Make your parents garden the envy of the neighborhood.
‘Shadowing” a landscaping professional for a day or two, is a great way to find out what the work really involves. Most professionals are only too happy to share their knowledge.
After obtaining your high school diploma or GED, you may choose to take formal training in horticulture or landscape gardening. These courses are available in colleges and junior colleges. Most of these programs lead to a diploma.
You may also choose to enter an apprenticeship program. These are advantageous as they provide on-the-job training along with academic knowledge.
Although most Landscape Gardeners today prefer not to use pesticides, sometimes pesticides are the only solution to a garden infestation. For safety reasons, Landscape Gardeners, who use pesticides, must be certified.
With sufficient education and experience, Landscape Gardeners may advance to become arborists or landscape architects or open their own businesses.
If you love gardening, beauty, and the outdoors, a career as a Landscape Gardener may be the perfect choice for you.