How to Start Your Own Gardening Business An Insider Guide to Setting Yourself Up as a Professional Gardener is a useful tutorial if you want to set up a gardening business. I recommend you consider your aspirations and limitations carefully and either set up a ‘Life Style business’ or consider becoming a qualified, professional career gardener.
Life Style Gardener
- There are many jobs from spring onward for jobbing gardeners. Lawyers hang out a shingle but for gardeners a post card in the post office usually suffices.
- Labouring on hedges and lawns for the infirm or doing small construction and garden maintenance projects are within the grasp of most hobby gardeners.
- If your work is good then word of mouth should get you lots of referals.
- Hourly rates in the North of England vary from £6- £20 per hour depending on the level of horticultural skill, experience and quality of garden. Ask around amongst those already in business.
- You need to have some formal qualifications and on the job training. See Alan Titchmarsh’s list from How to be a Gardener.
- At the Royal Horticulture society there is a progression from the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture through the Level 3 Advanced Certificate and Diploma qualifications, to the Master of Horticulture.
- Here is a comprehensive list of qualifications but there are many local courses, correspondence courses and ways of getting training.
- Specialisation is probably worth considering once the basic skill sets are in place.
- Landscaping and design are often areas that attract premium income.
- Learning on the job with a Parks and Gardens department will help with the cost of education.
- You also need a basic business skill set to cover getting paid, sorting taxation and keeping records. So try Business Link for start up advice.