Becoming a garden designer is just one of the garden focussed jobs you could pursue as a career and can certainly be an interesting and rewarding direction to move in. The benefits of getting out and about in the fresh air and tending to the garden on a regular basis are vast. Including reducing stress, boosting self-esteem, reducing the risk of stroke and dementia, improving memory skills and reducing depression and anxiety.

Being a Garden Designer Involves all aspects of the design and build process, everything from surveying to hard landscaping and plant selection. If you are looking to turn your passion for gardening into a fulfilling career, take a look at the steps and useful links below.

Sowing the seeds

As a good first step, think about going on a garden design course, as this will help expand your knowledge of all the different plants and materials there are. This is obviously essential if you’re to advise your clients on the best options available to them, based on their specific requirements and desires.

In terms of qualifications, a general horticultural knowledge Level 2 is required as a minimum and some kind of garden design qualification. It would also likely be beneficial to have some kind of working knowledge of CAD software, as well as horticultural training and experience.

Going on a gardening course is a great idea, as it also means that you’ll be more likely to meet other professionals in the niche you’re interested in joining. So start networking immediately and asking lots of pertinent questions. Don’t forget to see if there are any work experience opportunities going that could help you kickstart a new career.

What’s next?

Once your course is completed, think about how to make a name for yourself as a designer - a great way to go about this is by entering yourself into lots of competitions and garden shows. The perfect opportunity to showcase any newly acquired skills.

Once you feel confident to really get your career going, the next step would be to decide whether you want to fly solo and become a self-employed garden designer or if you’d rather find a business to employ you.

Being self-employed may seem like a great idea but there are extra responsibilities that come with running your own company. including factoring in tax, accounting, finance, insurance and so on. It may be wise at the beginning to hone your skills and understanding of the business with an already established firm.


See our Garden Designer profiles for more inspiration on how they became garden designers, their passions, favourite industry figures and gardens to visit.

Keep an eye out for garden shows, these offer fantastic inspiration for design and keep you in the loop of what is trending at the moment. Shows also offer a great chance to network! Next up is RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Useful Links

Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) - The APL provides customers with a greater assurance when selecting a landscaper. APL landscapers have to meet APL prescribed professional standards and adds credibility.

British Association Landscape Industries (BALI) - promotes, supports and inspires over 900 Accredited members including landscape contractors, landscape architects, garden designers and suppliers to be leaders of an environmentally, ethically and commercially sustainable landscape services industry.

Society of Garden Designers (SGD) - representing leading names in the industry and offering accreditation to garden designers.

RHS Flower Shows - links to all the upcoming shows, bursting with inspiration.

The National Trust - A list of Britain's most famous gardens to explore.

Great British Gardens - A list of the top garden designers through the ages. - The best garden designers. and landscapers in Britian.