Jobs and careers


PlantNetwork maintains an email list to circulate job vacancies to our members (via the weekly newsletter) and also provides links to horticultural careers advice.

If you would like to become a member please join us.

Click on the ‘Funding, grants & courses‘ tab below for a summary of some of the main work-based training opportunities. Many more are publicised via the PlantNetwork newsletter.

Click on ‘Curating your career‘ for hints and tips on CV writing and preparing for interviews which are particularly relevant to anyone working in horticulture. While most of this information is only available to members, there is some freely available guidance.

For information on how to place recruitment notices with PlantNetwork, please click on the ‘Post a recruitment notice‘ tab below.

The tab ‘Useful information‘ is a repository of links, blogs and other resources that might be useful in forging your horticultural career.

We are able to post job advertisements via our weekly e-newsletter. The newsletter is sent out to PlantNetwork members every Thursday afternoon. Our e-newsletter is sent to over 500 gardens and individuals representing over 1500 horticultural staff.

We do not place publicly viewable adverts on our website.

PlantNetwork recruitment notices:

We place a large advert of about 300 words in the e-newsletter of your choice. The specific requirements for each large advert are described below, together with the cost.

We also include a shorter advert in each newsletter between the appearance of the large advert and the closing date for the advertised post. There is currently no additional cost for the shorter advert but a large initial advert is first required.

What we require:

  • Job title and location
  • Job description (300 words max.)
  • Salary – PlantNetwork supports the Professional Gardeners’ Guild salary guidelines.
  • Details of application process
  • Closing date

Text for the shorter adverts will be developed from the large advert. The format for the shorter posting is:

>Name of role, location. Salary and contract details (f/t or p/t, permanent or fixed term etc.). Closing date. Application process if not online. More information and application hyperlink.

Costs:

  • Members (institutional membership required) £125 (no VAT); non-members £250 (no VAT)
  • Invoices can be paid by BACS transfer, cheque or online payment.

Please email your advert to Rebecca Slack by 9am on Thursday for inclusion in that week’s newsletter.

We are not a recruitment agency and so cannot guarantee that advertising with us will lead to the recruitment of your ideal candidate. If you are unable to recruit a suitable candidate through one of our adverts, we are happy to re-advertise* the post FREE of charge. Please get in touch with us if you would like to re-advertise* any roles you have previously advertised with PlantNetwork. Terms and conditions apply*.

*We are only able to re-advertise a role for free if we are contacted within four weeks of the original deadline. After this time, it will be considered a new advert/role.

An interview with Misako Kasahara

Misako Kasahara, Head Gardener at Riverhill Himalayan Garden in Kent, loves woody plants and tells us about a theatre-going Metasequoia, being inspired to explore a career in horticulture through TV gardening programmes, and some horticultural differences between the UK and Japan.


Horticultural apprenticeships

Level 2 Horticulture (or Landscape) Operative Apprenticeship’s are offered by a number of gardens in collaboration with college and other training providers. Find out more about the scheme and look at one current apprenticeship being offered by Sculpture by the Lakes with Kingston Maurward College in Dorset.


An interview with Nick Fraser

Nick Fraser, Senior Gardener with the National Trust, talks about caring for three very different gardens in North Yorkshire including a garden that has been organic for over 20 years. Nick also talks about his interest in native plants and insects.


Recruitment notices

Looking for that next step? Log into the website to see what’s available.


Finding a new role

Looking for a new horticultural career but not sure where to start? This information should help.


CV hints and tips

Your CV is your record of all your career achievements – get it right and it will be a passport to your ideal job.


Vocational route into horticulture with RHS Qualifications

RHS Qualifications are an awarding organisation regulated by OFQUAL, offering RHS qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3 for those looking to career change into the horticultural industry. Learners can study part-time, and learn practical skills and theoretical knowledge at over 85 approved centres throughout the UK, or theory only via distance-learning.

Enrolment generally in September, in line with the academic year.


Great Dixter Student Placements

Including the Great Dixter Nursery Traineeship, Christopher Lloyd Scholarship, Anne Wright Scholarship, Chanticleer USA Christopher Lloyd Scholarship at Great Dixter and other placements.

Contact Great Dixter for closing date. Chanticleer Scholarship closes 30 November.


RHS Master of Horticulture

The Master of Horticulture (MHort) qualification is designed for those who wish to grow their career in a flexible way. It is an online degree-level award studied over three to five years, providing an affordable and high-quality learning experience, which links candidates to a range of professional networks and provides improved managerial skills.

Applications open on 1 May until 31st July each year for October start.


Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme

The Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme provides practical and theoretical training in the skills needed to work in a historic or botanic garden. The programme provides specialist training through written projects, plant idents, a daily journal, tools training and work experience as part of the garden team.

Applications usually open 1st March – 1st April for September start


Professional Gardeners’ Guild

The PGG Traineeship is an opportunity to gain practical skills in the workplace at three world class historic or botanic gardens for those seeking a career as a professional gardener/ horticulturist.

Deadline for applications usually around 10th May for August/September start


Work-based training with the Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS School of Horticulture has been at the forefront of horticultural training for over 100 years. Apprenticeships, Specialist Horticultural Placements (SHP’s) and RHS Level 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice are available across world-class RHS Gardens: Bridgewater, Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall, and Wisley working alongside knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff.

All applications open on 01 December, and close on 01 February for Diploma Students & SHP’s, and 01 March for Apprentices.


Kew Diploma

The three-year Kew Diploma offers broad-based training in amenity and botanical horticulture. The curriculum provides a unique combination of practical and theoretical study, providing the opportunity to study scientific and technical subjects, whilst gaining practical experience and responsibility working with one of the most comprehensive botanic collections in the world.

Deadline for applications: 31st January for September start


The Elizabeth Hess Scholarship at Tresco Abbey Gardens

A year’s practical training for up to three students who plan a career in Botanic Gardens. It is very valuable for those who already have a basic training and qualification in practical horticulture and are ready for the next step which will enhance their personal skills.

Deadline for applications: 1st March


The Professional Gardeners’ Trust

The Professional Gardeners’ Trust was established in 2004 to fund training and study for working gardeners in the UK and Ireland.

The PGT provides gardeners with the opportunity to acquire skills and gain qualifications through part-time courses and work placements. This enhances their careers and benefits the horticulture profession as a whole.


The School of Heritage Gardening

The National Trust for Scotland’s School of Heritage Gardening at Threave Garden has been training generations of gardeners since 1961. Students learn the art, craft and science of horticulture – from pruning, grafting and glasshouse cultivation, to plant identification and the use of gardening machinery and tools. Applications open in the New Year.


Grow Careers

Grow your own career in horticulture: the website provides a source of information for entering into, or progressing within, the horticultural industry. It exists to support new entrants into the sector, and inform progression and diversification of careers within the industry.

Grow Careers is here to help, by providing profiles of those already working within the industry, responding to careers questions via email, or sharing the advice collected from experienced horticultural professionals.


Chartered Institute of Horticulture

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture is open to any professional within the horticultural industry, from those at the beginning of their education or career, to those already well established within the field. Its membership comprises, and represents, those that are involved in amenity horticulture, parks, landscaping, botanic/heritage gardens, and the full range of horticulture within leisure industries as well as those producing, managing, growing and marketing all edible and decorative horticultural crops, allied research, education and consultancy. It also includes those working in associated supply industries and students taking their first steps into horticulture.

The Institute runs an annual Young Horticulturist of the Year competition and is involved with Grow Careers, a non profit initiative set up with a group of influential organisations to inform people about horticultural careers and the range of fantastic opportunities on offer.



This page contains links to useful career development material as well as hints and tips for curating your career. It is constantly being updated and added to – and if you have suggestions for content that would be useful to you, please do get in touch.

How do you ‘curate your career’?

There are a number of steps and measures you can adopt into your everyday working life that will help your career pathway – whether it is simply carrying on in your current role, applying for a promotion or looking for a new role. Not all will apply to you, but many are worth considering:

  • Ask for an annual review or appraisal
  • Record your achievements as you go along
  • Ensure you take part in some form of recognised training every year
  • Get your name/work recognised
  • Get involved in additional activities
  • Keep your CV up-to-date

To read more about each of these measures, click on the link to the PDF document below. You can also catch up with the April 2021 webinar which looked at different ways of developing your horticultural career.


Keeping your CV up-to-date

You might not need or want to apply for a new role but by keeping your CV up-to-date, you will be well-prepared should your situation change. An up-to-date CV is also useful for annual appraisals, salary reviews or additional opportunities.

Read more about how you can create and update your CV at:

CV hints and tips

Your CV is your record of all your career achievements – get it right and it will be a passport to your ideal job.



The interview and beyond

If you apply for a job and submit an excellent CV and covering letter/completed application form – and meet the specifications of the job, chances are you will be invited for interview. This requires preparation – to reassure your potential employers you are the right person for the role and make sure you understand as much as possible about the role t ensure itis right for you.

Even if not applying for a job but facing a salary review or promotion interview, preparation is still key.

Read more about interview technique and how to prepare before and on the day.


Finding that perfect role

PlantNetwork regularly feature recruitment notices in our weekly newsletters for positions in public gardens. Check these notices regularly for all the information you need to apply.

Read more for advice on finding your ideal job.

Finding a new role

Looking for a new horticultural career but not sure where to start? This information should help.


A number of funding resources are listed here but please do check the requirements of each carefully before applying as guidelines are continually changing/being updated.

Bursaries, grants and awards

There are lots of funding opportunities available to horticulturists in Britain and Ireland to help support travel and career development. A ‘quick view’ guide is provided here.


The School of Heritage Gardening

The National Trust for Scotland’s School of Heritage Gardening at Threave Garden has been training generations of gardeners since 1961. Students learn the art, craft and science of horticulture – from pruning, grafting and glasshouse cultivation, to plant identification and the use of gardening machinery and tools. Applications open in the New Year.


The Professional Gardeners’ Trust

The Professional Gardeners’ Trust was established in 2004 to fund training and study for working gardeners in the UK and Ireland.

The PGT provides gardeners with the opportunity to acquire skills and gain qualifications through part-time courses and work placements. This enhances their careers and benefits the horticulture profession as a whole.


Kew Diploma

The three-year Kew Diploma offers broad-based training in amenity and botanical horticulture. The curriculum provides a unique combination of practical and theoretical study, providing the opportunity to study scientific and technical subjects, whilst gaining practical experience and responsibility working with one of the most comprehensive botanic collections in the world.

Deadline for applications: 31st January for September start


Work-based training with the Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS School of Horticulture has been at the forefront of horticultural training for over 100 years. Apprenticeships, Specialist Horticultural Placements (SHP’s) and RHS Level 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice are available across world-class RHS Gardens: Bridgewater, Harlow Carr, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall, and Wisley working alongside knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff.

All applications open on 01 December, and close on 01 February for Diploma Students & SHP’s, and 01 March for Apprentices.


Professional Gardeners’ Guild

The PGG Traineeship is an opportunity to gain practical skills in the workplace at three world class historic or botanic gardens for those seeking a career as a professional gardener/ horticulturist.

Deadline for applications usually around 10th May for August/September start


Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme

The Historic and Botanic Garden Trainee Programme provides practical and theoretical training in the skills needed to work in a historic or botanic garden. The programme provides specialist training through written projects, plant idents, a daily journal, tools training and work experience as part of the garden team.

Applications usually open 1st March – 1st April for September start


RHS Master of Horticulture

The Master of Horticulture (MHort) qualification is designed for those who wish to grow their career in a flexible way. It is an online degree-level award studied over three to five years, providing an affordable and high-quality learning experience, which links candidates to a range of professional networks and provides improved managerial skills.

Applications open on 1 May until 31st July each year for October start.


Great Dixter Student Placements

Including the Great Dixter Nursery Traineeship, Christopher Lloyd Scholarship, Anne Wright Scholarship, Chanticleer USA Christopher Lloyd Scholarship at Great Dixter and other placements.

Contact Great Dixter for closing date. Chanticleer Scholarship closes 30 November.


Horticultural apprenticeships

Level 2 Horticulture (or Landscape) Operative Apprenticeship’s are offered by a number of gardens in collaboration with college and other training providers. Find out more about the scheme and look at one current apprenticeship being offered by Sculpture by the Lakes with Kingston Maurward College in Dorset.


If you are a member of PlantNetwork, you will be able to view the current job notices via the link below. Please log in to access the page or see the latest notices in the weekly newsletter.

Recruitment notices

Looking for that next step? Log into the website to see what’s available.


This page includes resources to support you in your current role. You might need additional health, wellbeing, financial or general support but not know where to go. There are a number of resources available here – if you are aware of others, we would very much like to hear about them!

Perennial provide support to all horticulturists and anyone working in the horticultural industry. Perennial provided the session which is available via the link below. Please also visit their website for more information: https://perennial.org.uk/ or call their helpline at 0800 093 8543.