Reading this article (below) had me nodding and agreeing in the most part. I come up against the same issue time and again, in the occasional garden that I am asked  to manage and in ensuring that gardens I have designed, once built develop as the client expects and reach their full potential.

Gardens grow. It’s an obvious statement but gardens grow in ways we often cannot imagine. Soil is not uniform in pH (acid, alkaline), content (clay, chalk, loam, builders rubble etc), plants are not all perfect specimens, full of life and vitality and ready to do battle in sometimes less than perfect conditions. Even within one garden you can find several variations. And then there is the light an aspect. Sun, shade, exposed, sheltered, dry, damp and on we go.

One element I have found  is that a competent horticulturalist can make much more of your existing garden asset. For example dividing and propagating plants to fill gaps as needed, no more costly runs to the garden centre for a dozen new plants.


They can advise on good times to be sourcing elements like Spring and Summer bulbs so that you get what you want not just what’s left.

And they are totally undaunted by your impulse buys, your yearning for a cut flower patch, vegetable patch or wildlife meadow, no matter how unsuitable. A qualified gardener will be honest about what’s possible and likely give you far more than you thought possible let alone asked for.

The article beautifully outlines the way a horticulturalist sees your garden, their mind analysing and problem solving as they go. Which is pretty much how a designer sees the garden spatially and if like me you’re also a trained horticulturalist you’re thinking plants as well. A lot goes on in the head of both horticulturalists and designers.


If you’re looking to find a qualified gardener try your local agricultural college, an RHS garden, National Trust volunteers or even local gardens that open to the public. All maybe able to put you in touch with new and well qualified individuals.

What ARE horticultural qualifications that you might see?

And if you are interested in getting into Horticulture as a career try these

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