A day in the life of a landscaper

on 31st May 2022

Landscapers are who you call when you need help shaping and transforming your land. Whether it’s a private garden, a large hotel estate, or commercial sports grounds, landscapers work as a team to create structure and form to your site. 

It’s an extremely varied job, where each day and every project is very different from the next. This requires landscapers to exhibit resourcefulness and skills across many areas.

What does a landscaper do?

Typically, a landscaper starts their day at around 7.30am and finishes between around 4.30 to 5pm.

During the day, a landscape gardener could be doing anything from timberwork, decking, sculptures, clearing ground, laying paths and patios, plumbing, drainage, building walls, digging ponds, installing irrigation or planting. As well as building garden structures such as pergolas, garden rooms or children’s play areas.

Carrying out the ongoing maintenance of plants (pruning, feeding, weeding) and grounds (mowing and treating lawns, mulching, and nourishing soil) is another important part of the role.

Landscapers regularly co-ordinate work with suppliers and liaise with other garden trades such as garden designers, landscape architects and engineers. They also consult with clients so they can draw up plans and designs.  So they need to possess good communication and project management skills.

They use their knowledge of plants to choose what best suits a situation, and offer help and advice for looking after them and making sure they flourish. Choosing and working with different landscaping products and materials is also part and parcel of daily life. 

Operating heavy machinery such as tractors, mowers and chainsaws is also part of day to day activity, so understanding how to work these safely is an essential part of the landscaper’s role. Holding relevant training and qualifications in using this equipment and Health and Safety is a must.

Increasingly projects require landscapers to work in harmony with the natural environment, helping to improve wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Day to day, landscapers could be building elaborate bug houses to choosing organic alternatives to maintaining and feeding a garden.

Just take a look at our Instagram feed to see how different each day is from the next.

Why we love being landscapers

At Thames Valley Landscapes we’ve been providing landscaping services to local clients for many years. During this time we’ve developed a huge appreciation of our role and pride in what we do. Here’s exactly what gets us excited about our jobs:

  • Every day is different, each clients needs vary, each project presents fresh opportunities and challenges. This variety fuels our passion for creativity in coming up with new and unique solutions.
  • You’re not stuck in an office and tied to a desk. It’s a great job for active, practically minded people who love being in the great outdoors every day and enjoy working with their hands.
  • Working as part of a landscaping team builds a strong sense of camaraderie where everyone is willing to help out and get stuck in.
  • Landscaping is hard physical work – there’s no denying it.  So, by default you can’t help but build fitness levels as part of your everyday work. No need for the gym – a day of garden landscaping gives you a good full body workout instead.
  • The sense of pride and accomplishment after completing a project is addictive. You know that once you walk away from a garden it’s going to be there for the next 25, 30, 40 years, growing, maturing and being loved.  
  • There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a client take occupancy of a garden you’ve built – exploring it and enjoying it with their family.

Landscape gardener FAQs

We hope this overview of a day in the life of a landscaper has helped you understand what it is we do. But we know you may have some more questions about the role. So, we’ve pulled together a few FAQs to help you find out more, or help you start a career as a garden landscaper.

While the garden designer provides a vision for a garden transformation, the landscaper gets their hands dirty bringing this vision to life by sculpting the space to the design.

We’ve covered the difference between these two roles in a separate blog which you might be interested in reading.

What is a landscape gardener? 

Salaries start from around £16,000 per year for labourers, progressing up to an average annual salary of £28,000 as you gain more experience and skills.

Highly experienced landscape gardeners can earn up to £40k + per year.

There are several ways in which to start and progress your career as a landscape gardener.

1. Take a college course

This is good way to build the necessary skills and knowledge you’ll need. Suitable courses include:

  • Level 1 Diploma in Skills for Working in Horticulture Industries
  • Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture
  • Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Horticulture
  • T Level in Agriculture, Land Management and Production

2. Become an apprentice

Becoming an apprentice allows you to gain valuable practical experience as you learn. Start with a horticulture and landscape operative apprenticeship. From here you could then move onto a landscape supervisor advanced apprenticeship. Before completing the full set with a horticulture and landscaping technical manager higher apprenticeship which equips you with the skills to become a landscaping project or site manager.

BCA (Berkshire College of Agriculture) near Maidenhead runs a number of suitable horticulture courses and apprenticeships.  

3. Apply directly and work your way up

If you hold some relevant work experience or skills, you could start as an assistant landscaper or labourer and work your way up.

Most landscaping companies, including ourselves, will require that you have some basic horticulture knowledge and skills to start. But often provide on the job training, supplemented with relevant courses and qualifications such as health and safety training.

These are a few useful website where you can find out more about the different landscaper careers.

BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) – the UK’s leading landscaping Trade Association.

The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) – the UK’s leading gardening charity who have a useful guide to the various different careers in horticulture.

GoLandscape – show what it’s like to have a career in landscaping.

GrowCareers – by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture is a guide to the various different careers in horticulture.

 

 

Looking for a landscape gardener job?

We’re always on the look out for new talent to join our team. If you’re an experienced garden labourer, landscaper or grounds maintenance operative, based close to Marlow, Windsor and Maidenhead, we’d love to hear from you.  Please feel free to check our our latest vacancies, or drop us your CV and we’ll be in touch.

A day in the life of a landscaper

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