Horticulture Careers Discovery Week

We hope you were able to join us for Horticulture Careers Discovery Week (22 – 26 January 2024), where we hosted a series of online talks to give people of all ages and backgrounds an insight into  the variety of horticultural career paths available.

All talks from Discovery week were recorded and you can now watch on our playlist via our YouTube channel. Alternatively, please click on the individual talks below.

Landscape Creation for Film and Television Industry

Have you ever wondered where big budget movies like Barbie, Jurrasic World and The Little Mermaid get their physical sets built to resemble the location or environment in which the scene takes place? Greens Team Ltd provide natural set dressing for many blockbuster film and television dramas around the world. Discover this highly creative and niche area of horticulture.

Speakers: Justin Richards and Lydia Mathews
Duration: 40 minutes

Advisory Roles – Driving forward expert knowledge

Horticulture has a strong knowledge sharing culture and we need to inspire people to garden, share our knowledge globally, and invest in horticultural and gardening science to find solutions for 21st-century social, economic and environmental challenges. Hear from advisors Rebekah and Claire who are driving forward the sharing of expert knowledge via different routes from advisory clinics to digital services.  Discover their routes into this field and how you could follow in their footsteps. 

Speakers: Rebekah Mealey and Claire Lakey
Duration: 40 minutes

The hidden world of horticulture media

Explore the different production processes that goes into creating and publishing a magazine from concept to print. Join a team of speakers from the RHS media department who will share their role, diverse routes into the sector and what they love most about their job. A must listen for those looking to start a career in this field. 

Duration: 40 minutes
Speakers: Tom Howard, Melissa Mabbitt, Natalie Ashbee, James Armitage and Lia Hervey

Plant Health – Preserving Our Future

With increased focus on sustainability, biodiversity and environmental issues, a career in plant science has never been more important. The RHS Plant Health team, Andrew, Tracey and Helen provide insights into their work, why it is so important, and the varied roles available within Plant Health. 

Speakers: Dr Andrew Salisbury, Helen Latham and Tracey Bull
Duration: 50 minutes

From plot to plate – Turning a love of growing edibles into a career

Do you love growing your own fruit and vegetables and wonder how you can turn this passion into a viable career? Our inspiring speakers work in very different roles, but with a love of GYO at the core of what they do. Liz works hands-on in the World Food Garden at RHS Garden Wisley, and Gem guides people on how to grow their produce and turn them into award-winning recipes via her website The Mother Cooker. Discover their routes into what they do and how you could follow in their footsteps.

Speakers: Gem Morson
Duration: 40 minutes

No two days the same – Horticultural retail and buying

If you think that retail is just about serving customers, think again! As Deputy Manager at the largest independent garden centre in the UK, Jack has a hugely varied role that includes managing staff, understanding current market trends, forecasting, spreadsheets, online retail, buying seasonal plants and goods, with no two days being the same. Discover more about this fast-paced career and how a knowledge of horticulture is really important.

Speakers: Jack Shilley
Duration: 40 minutes

Safeguarding Animal and Plant Health

The work of the Plant Health and Seed Inspectorate (PHSI) within Defra's Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is to maintain and promote a high plant health status in England and Wales. Hear from the APHA team about their roles in contributing to APHA's overall strategy of safeguarding animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy and how they secured the job they love today.  

Speakers: Andrew Gaunt, Pauline Jordan, Beth Anderson, Lucy Carson-Taylor FLS
Duration: 45 minutes

Discover Plant-based Careers in Horticulture

Aimed specifically at years 7-12, this free and interactive session for Schools allows students to explore the world of horticulture and the type of roles available within the sector, from plant breeding, research, garden design, floristry, landscape construction and much more.  You will also hear about the different entry routes and learning opportunities available to kick-start a successful career.

Speakers: Faye Howell, Community Grow Horticulturist at Bridgewater
Duration: 20 minutes

If you have any specific questions about the Discover Plant-based Careers session, please contact [email protected].

Making a living growing plants

Ever wondered what kind career you can pursue growing plants? Sarah Millington, Director at Hillview Hardy Plants provides insights into the world of nursery production and the extensive work that goes into growing and caring for thousands of plants from seed and cuttings.  

Speaker: Sarah Millington
Duration: 40 minutes

Community Work: ‘A Hugely Rewarding Job’

People are at the heart of all community related work, and Alice Cornwell shares her journey to being a Community Development Officer at the RHS. She will provide an insight into a typical week and share some positive and transformational stories that make it a hugely rewarding job.

Speakers: Alice Cornwell
Duration: 40 minutes


Horticulture Therapy – Nurturing Plants Nurtures People

Horticulture therapist, Katie and Ed, share the growing value and practice of horticulture therapy to those who are most vulnerable. They will share their roots into therapy and what they love most about their role along with some heart-warming stories on how they have helped change the lives of those most in need.

Speakers: Ed Bowring and Katie Andrews
Duration: 40 minutes

My Career in broadcasting

Pippa Greenwood, gardening expert, plant pathologist and familiar voice on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time shares her journey into horticulture and what life is really like working in front of the camera and on the radio. A talk not to be missed by those aspiring a career in this field.

Speakers: Pippa Greenwood
Duration: 35 minutes

Horticultural entrepreneurialism –The Rose Press Garden subscription service

Listed as one of the Telegraph Natwest Top 100 Female Entrepreneur to Watch, Lizzie founder of The Rose Press Garden, will share with you her business journey from concept to growth and how she is expanding her successful business model.  She will also provide some insights into what she would do differently if she knew then what she knows now! A must watch for anyone who is considering starting a horticultural business. 

Speakers: Lizzie Munson
Duration: TBC

From Head Gardener to Freelance Writer, Author and Podcaster

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a published author or create your own podcast? Lucy shares with us her horticultural career to date, and how her chosen path automatically opened new doors leading to her diverse role today. Lucy will provide insights into the media world and what life is like writing for magazines and publishing books.

Speaker: Lucy Chamberlain
Duration: 40 minutes

Arboriculture: 'A Passion for Trees'

Trees provide food and shelter to wildlife, help alleviate the effects climate change, improve our wellbeing, and look magnificent.  Arboriculture is the science and practice of the cultivation, establishment and management of amenity trees for the benefit of society. Hear from the CEO of the arboriculture association about the profession, and arboriculture Team Leader at RHS Garden Bridgewater about their day-to-day practice, to discover if this area of horticulture is one that inspires you.

Speakers: John Parker and Josh Corbett
Duration: 40 minutes

Garden Design

Join award winning young garden designer Emma, to hear what it takes to create an outdoor space to help people get the best out of their garden for their specific needs and budget. Learn about a typical day for a designer, what key skills it takes to be successful and top tips on how to enter this area of horticulture.

Speaker: Emma Tipping
Duration: 40 minutes 

Training at RHS Garden Wisley – Reflections from the class of 2022

The RHS offers a two-year fully paid Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice qualification at RHS Garden Wisley. An amazing opportunity to work hands-on alongside passionate professionals in a world-class garden and excel your horticultural career. Hear from some of our 2022 graduates on what they learned, what student life was really like, the road ahead and future ambitions. 

Speakers: Jack Aldridge, Owen Hayman, Joe Dransfield, Lucy Bidgood. Chaired by Garden Manager, Sheila Das.
Duration: 60 minutes

Discover for Your Future

Navigating the best route to work in the horticulture sector can seem daunting. The RHS has a broad range of learning opportunities available for all ages, backgrounds and skill sets, so whether you are looking to kick-start a career, or stretch your horticultural expertise for personal interest, we have a range of talks that cover all the essentials you need to know.

Discover RHS Apprenticeships

With no previous experience or horticultural qualifications necessary to apply, apprenticeships are a brilliant starting point for people of all ages to launch their career in horticulture. Delivered at all five RHS Gardens, apprentices gain essential hands-on horticultural skills and knowledge to prepare for life in the industry.

Duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about our Apprenticeships

Watch now  

Discover RHS Professional Work Placements (PWPs)

Are you enthusiastic about a specific area of a garden? Do you have an existing Level 2 horticultural qualification and at least three months’ work experience in horticulture? Our one-year Professional Work Placement programme enables budding specialists to focus on a specific group of plants, garden practice or style. Work alongside our knowledgeable, skilled and experienced staff developing, enhancing and deepening your understanding of a particular area.

Duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about our Professional work placements

Watch now  

Discover RHS Level 3 & Level 4 Diploma in Horticultural Practice

Suitable for Level 2 qualified horticulturists, our two-year renowned programme delivered at RHS Wisley is an excellent option for those seeking to further their career in horticulture. An opportunity to advance your skills and knowledge working alongside horticultural experts resulting in a formal qualification.  

Duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about our Diplomas or hear what some of our students have to say

Watch now*  

Discover RHS Taster days, Work Experience, Volunteering and Internships

Our one-day or short introductory programmes are a great opportunity to gain an insight into the horticultural industry and a taste of working in a public garden. Whether you are looking for information about careers in the sector, considering your options between education and starting a career, want to bring a job role you heard about to life, or are considering a brand new career change, there is something for everyone.

Duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about our New Shoots programme

Watch now  

Discover RHS Qualifications

RHS Qualifications are highly regarded by employers and offered nationwide by approved third-party organisations. Delivery is part-time and can be centre-based or remote learning, making them a flexible option for those looking to study alongside other commitments. A perfect starting point for those looking to switch careers into horticulture.

Duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about Qualifications

Watch now 

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.