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11th Jan 2013

How To Be A... Gardner

BE YOUR OWN BOSS WITH SOME GREEN FINGERS

IF you enjoy the outdoors, don't mind getting dirty and fancy the idea of being your own boss then a career in gardening could be the perfect choice.

No particular qualifications are needed but experience and enthusiasm for the job are invaluable.

You will need some basic tools to get started but most of the equipment you can purchase as you go rather than starting off at a loss.

You should also have:
-A keen interest in plants and nature
-Good practical skills and patience
-A good level of strength and fitness
-Creativity and an eye for detail
-An interest in current horticultural trends
-Awareness of the importance of health and safety
-Good business sense if self-employed.

Think about possible sources of work. Make up some business cards and distribute them among friends and family.

Consider using social network sites to promote your business or placing an ad in a local newspaper. As a self-employed gardener many of your jobs will come from word of mouth advertising and building your reputation as you go.

Try to forge links with local garden centres as they may recommend you to their customers. On average gardeners can earn from around £11,000 to £19,000 or more a year.

At least initially it is probably better to charge clients at an hourly rate until you have experience of how long certain tasks will take.

Prepare for the fact that gardening is a physically tough job and you must be willing to work in all weather conditions. Self-motivation, a passion for the job and determination are the key to success.

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