Private Gardener Job Description

Considering a career as a private gardener? 

Here are our answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked by candidates thinking about becoming private gardeners:

Duties, Responsibilities & Skills

What are the duties and responsibilities of a gardener?

It’s always a very hands-on job. Depending on the role, it can involve:

  • Weeding

  • Propagation

  • Planting

  • Garden design

  • Lawn and hedge maintenance

It could also involve:

  • Soft & hard landscaping

  • Vegetable gardening

  • Woodland care

  • Maintenance of items such as fencing, garden furniture

  • General handyman duties

What skills are needed to be a gardener?

  • Varying levels of horticultural knowledge, depending on the role

  • Qualifications are needed for some of the more senior roles, but not all

  • A passion for plants and a knowledge of differences in soil and climate

  • A great work ethic and willingness to work outdoors in all weathers

  • Flexibility, and the ability to work on your own and with others

What are the main gardening tools?

  • Strimmer

  • Ride on mower

  • Chainsaw

  • Spade

  • Rake

are a few of the main tools of a gardener.

Gardener Career

How do you become a professional gardener?

  • A degree / diploma in horticulture or RHS qualifications can be an advantage

  • Start in a junior role and gain on the job experience

What kind of career can one expect to have as a gardener?

  • It can be very fulfilling if you love working outdoors

  • It can be varied and offer lots of scope for creativity, depending on the seasons and location of the garden

  • There are opportunities to look after the same garden for many years, and collaborate with your employer, helping to implement their vision and see it come to life

What is a professional gardener?

  • Someone who has an in-depth knowledge of plants and propagation, who has a passion for what they do

  • Someone who is creative and sees the plants as the focus of the garden

How can I be a successful gardener?

  • Get as much hands-on experience as possible and a thorough grounding in plants (where to plant and when)

  • Qualifications would help

  • Have a long term perspective, as gardens can take years to mature

  • Work hard and show commitment

  • Also common sense, creativity, vision and intellectual curiosity will get you a long way

Do you have to be qualified to be a Gardener?

Not always, it will depend on the role and what level of knowledge is required to do the job.

Why is gardening so important?

  • It creates a connection between the property and the outside environment

  • It creates a place to relax

  • It creates the first impression of an estate/property

What are the pros and cons of being a gardener?


  • Working outdoors in the summer; not desk-bound

  • Being able to use your creative skills and see your vision come to life

  • Creating a beautiful environment that gives pleasure to others


  • The Principals don’t always have the funds to realise the gardener’s vision

  • Working outdoors in all weathers, including rain and cold weather

  • Work can be physically demanding at times

Gardener Salary

What is the average pay for a Gardener?

Full time roles can vary from £23,000 for a lower level Under Gardener, up to £30,000+ for more senior roles (salaries tend to start at £20k in Scotland).

How many hours do gardeners work?

Gardeners can be full-time or part-time. Full-time would be 40 hours per week, but the hours in summer can be longer than in the winter.

Gardening vs. Horticulture

What is the difference between gardening and horticulture?

Horticulture is the science of growing plants for a purpose (eg. food, ornamental, medicinal), whereas gardening is the act or process of cultivating an environment where plants can flourish.

What are the 3 areas of horticulture?

The 3 areas are called: pomology, olericulture, and ornamental horticulture.

  • Pomology involves planting, harvesting, storing and processing fruit and nut crops

  • Olericulture involves the production of vegetable food crops

  • Ornamental horticulture covers the growth and use of plants for their beauty

Landscaper vs. Gardener

What is the difference between a landscaper and a gardener?

  • Landscaping involves planning and creating an outdoor space – it incorporates plants (including trees, lawns and shrubbery) with hardscapes, such as pathways, furniture, water features and fences

  • Gardening involves the design, planning and maintenance of the plants in a space. Gardeners are responsible for planting, weeding, cultivating, replacing and harvesting the plants

You can browse all our latest Gardner vacancies here.

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