Five Careers in Garden Design You Should Explore

With almost 50% of London being green space and increasing evidence to show that gardens have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing, there has never been a better time to become a garden design professional.

Capel Manor College has been a centre for horticultural studies since 1968. Over the years, we have built a strong reputation for high-quality training and education, helping thousands of students pursue their dreams in garden design.

It is a unique profession that combines the sciences of our semi-natural world with art and aesthetics. It requires you to have strong listening, communication and drawing skills combined with creativity, a passion for plants and a desire to influence the future landscapes of our environment.

If you are passionate about a career in garden design but not sure which route to take, explore these five options to find a career path that inspires you.

Five Careers in Garden Design

Garden and landscape designer

A professional garden or landscape designer combines their knowledge of plants, horticulture and creative design with global influences such as the challenges of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, genuine sustainability and essential improvements for biodiversity, ecology and wildlife in both urban and rural environments.

The range of work available for a garden designer continues to grow, especially as our urban environments continue to change and adapt to increasing populations.

You can expect to be commissioned to create spaces inspired by nature that go beyond traditional requests, ranging from private residential spaces to multi-functional community garden areas where there is a need to provide for different demands and expectations.

Understanding how people use their spaces and what it means for their health and wellbeing is the key to success for any future professional garden designer. The availability of green spaces has always been important – but it is even more so now that we are living in a global pandemic.

Planting design specialist

With more than 400,000 known plant species on our planet, you may want to focus your future career in the area of horticulture and planting by becoming a planting design specialist. This is one of the most satisfying professions because living and growing entities will always require management and maintenance.

Learning about plants and understanding how they thrive in their environment is a life-long challenge. Planting design is more than selecting plant stock based on their form, colour, texture and habits – it requires an understanding of composition, how plants may grow and the benefits that the plants may bring to a particular space.

Garden design and build contractor

Do you prefer to be hands-on and practical? If so, you could choose to become a garden design and build contractor. You will be responsible for implementing the designs that you create and the success of your approved design will be solely in your hands from start to finish; from the initial feasibility and getting your client’s approval on your brief, design and specs, through to supplying the materials and labour for the implementation work. 

This is an ideal career choice if you want to work in an office and the great outdoors.

Historic and heritage garden design consultant

The UK’s gardens and landscapes have an extensive and prodigious history of tradition and heritage.

A professional twenty-first century garden designer not only needs to understand and appreciate how the traditions, history and heritage of the country’s landscapes have evolved over time, but they also need to be able to incorporate the most important aspects of the past, present and future within their designs.

As a historic and heritage garden design consultant, every single garden and landscape you design will need to bear twenty-first century relevance to the present and the future and not remain cemented in a particular period of time.

Garden design lecturer or writer

Channel everything you have learned about garden design by becoming a lecturer or writer and inspire the next generation of garden designers to enter the profession. 

In today’s media-driven world, there are countless opportunities for you to educate other people by sharing content that helps people learn new skills. You could start your own gardening blog or newsletter, create online videos or podcasts to share on your own social media channel, or you could develop your writing skills by researching and writing feature articles that go to press or feature in well-known gardening publications.

Study a Garden Design Course in London at Capel Manor College

Be inspired to grow and discover your potential here at London’s environmental college.

Our expert garden design tutors will help you gain nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, and you will have the chance to participate in high-profile national competitions such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to give you practical, hands-on experience that will enhance your CV.

Choose from a variety of part-time garden design courses at our Crystal Palace Park, Enfield and Regent’s Park campuses. Future part-time courses will soon be available at our Gunnersbury Park and Mottingham campuses.


Man drawing a gardens design plan