Horticulturists help enhance our everyday lives by providing us with healthy,
delicious foods. They also create and maintain beautiful, practical landscapes.
Horticulture is the science and art of growing ornamental trees, fruit
trees, flowers, vegetables, grasses and bushes.
"Basically, we specialize in the study, growth and maintenance of all the
kinds of plant life you might find in a backyard," says horticulturist Leanne
Horticulture is a broad field. People who graduate with university degrees
in horticulture are qualified to do a variety of jobs.
These include food and plant production, marketing, management and sales
in the horticulture industry, field inspection and landscaping. They can be
arborists or urban foresters. They can also be involved in park management
Some horticulturists work in nurseries, greenhouses and garden centers
as "retail horticulturists." They cultivate the plants and trees sold and
advise customers on plant care and maintenance.
Employment in this career is year-round. Hours vary, depending on the retail
Another specialty for horticulturists is "landscape horticulture." These
people design, create and maintain green spaces such as yards, parks and gardens.
Landscapers must have a good eye for designing gardens and a strong back
to help them carry out the design. Employment for landscape horticulturists
is seasonal, and work usually begins early in the day.
Horticulturists also find employment in golf course development and maintenance.
These horticulturists must keep the course looking top notch.
That doesn't mean just mowing the lawn. Turf managers must also be knowledgeable
about fertilizers, grass varieties, pesticides and groundskeeping techniques.
Whatever the specialty, horticulturists must be able to identify different
trees and plants, and be knowledgeable about their care. They need to know
how much fertilizer, water and sunshine each plant needs to thrive.
Most horticulturists work outdoors. The job will appeal to you if you're
well organized, responsible and artistic, and not afraid to get your hands
Horticulturists are often involved in hands-on, heavy work, such as digging,
planting and weeding.