Arts & Design
Set your imagination free with horticultural arts and design by creating fabulous gardens, green spaces and floral displays. Help shape the physical environment around us, which has a huge effect on our everyday moods and health. You can also express yourself in art and design within the media by taking photographs, broadcasting online, on radio and TV, and writing books and magazine articles.
What they do: Garden design is the craft behind turning a boring patch of lawn into a beautiful garden using skills in arts and design. Garden designers combine art, design and horticulture to provide a complete design service, including planting plans, hard landscape elements, such as paths, walls, paving, decking, and special features such as water features, lighting and garden furniture. They can produce design only work for clients, or may team up with a garden contractor to see the job through to completion. Other specialised skills could include historic garden restoration, public space or school grounds design.
Where they work: For themselves, within larger garden contracting/maintenance firms or for the big house-building firms.
What they do: Floristry combines a love of plants with art and design talent which gives you the opportunity to be involved in some of the biggest occasions in people’s lives such as their wedding day. You will need good people skills to be able to cope with the highs and lows of clients on their big days, but the main talent you’ll need is bags of creativity, including having a good eye for design and colour.
Where they work: From independently owned florist shops to major chains like Interflora
Career path: There are various opportunities to learn the skills of working with flowers. Many Local Education Authorities run basic flower arranging courses as night classes. These are normally from a term to a year in length (ie 3-9 months). Professional qualifications range from an NPTC/City & Guilds ‘National Certificate in Floristry’ to NVQs in Floristry to HND/HNC/Foundation Degrees.
More info: British Florists Association
What they do: Horticultural journalists combine arts and design to write about not only plants, but landscapes, the environment and the business and sometimes the scientific side to horticulture. Most newspapers and magazines have gardening sections which talk about horticulture and the importance of gardening for health and well being. Gardening programmes are becoming increasingly popular on TV, with some of the presenters like Alan Titchmarsh or Chris Beardshaw becoming household names, while gardening books are often on the best-seller lists.
Career path: To become a horticultural journalist you’ll need to know about both horticulture and journalism. Many people start work as trained horticulturists and move into journalism, while others train as journalists and then learn about the world of horticulture.
Where they work:
National and local newspapers, Consumer magazines (eg Gardeners World) or the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) magazine ‘The Garden’, Press officers eg for the RHS or Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Book authors, Broadcasters (eg the BBC) and Professional/trade press (eg Horticulture Week)
Interior Landscape Designer
What they do: Even the smallest office space can be livened up by living plants and a passion for arts and design. A developing market exists for indoor plants that brighten surroundings and generally improve the quality of life, served by interior landscapers. They bring colour and greenery indoors by designing indoor planting schemes in offices, atriums, shopping centres, restaurants and health clubs. Studies have shown the importance of having living plants in the office and their effect on staff productivity in the workplace and bringing horticulture into the home improves overall health and well being.
Career path: Qualifications range from NVQs to MAs in interior landscaping.
Where they work: Within private interior landscaping or landscape maintenance firms, including franchise opportunities.
What they do: If architects design the buildings where we live and work, landscape architects create the open spaces in between using their passion for arts and design. Places where people can live, work and relax, as well environments in which plants and animals can thrive.
Landscape architects study, plan, design, and manage spaces which are both sustainable and beautiful. They work with architects, town planners, civil engineers and other professionals to create these impressive environments. Some British landscape architects live and work abroad and many of those based in the UK have overseas clients so travel can be an important and exciting part of the job.
Career path: Landscape architecture is a chartered profession like architecture, accountancy or surveying. This means that in order to pursue a career in the profession, you will need a degree followed by a period of study at work in order to qualify fully as a chartered landscape architect. You will also need to be a member of the Landscape Institute, the professional body, qualifying authority and regulator for the profession.
Where they work: Around half of landscape architects in the UK work for private companies. Other employers include local authorities and government agencies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Countryside Council for Wales and environmental charities such as Groundwork.
Related job titles: Landscape Designer, Urban Designer, Landscape Manager, Landscape Ecologist