Growing Careers in Horticulture

Hi res images available on request

Just what can be gained by entering a career in horticulture? That’s the poser to be addressed when the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) hosts a Grow Careers Afternoon on Tuesday, February 21.

 With the ongoing rash of television and radio gardening shows and the burgeoning of commercial outlets dedicated to outdoor living, there can be little doubt that interest is thriving in all things green. Yet, there remains confusion over the prospects of those signing-up to work in the sector. So, what are the possibilities? Is there room in the marketplace for a flood of new talent? Or, are horticulturists an endangered species?

Instigated by RBGE Associate Director of Horticulture Leigh Morris, the careers afternoon brings together experts from the commercial sector and private gardens, as well as other leading organisations including the Institute of Horticulture (IoH), National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and the International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS).


While gaining insight into the learning opportunities available through institutes such as RBGE and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), there will be a chance to hear from serving horticulturists who have already graduated from that system. In addition, there will be talks from two former RBGE HND in Horticulture students who transferred to Science and now serve as Assistant Herbarium Curators.


Morris, who is also President Elect of the IoH and Chairs its Grow Careers initiative, explained why he believes such a forum is important: “Horticulture is often perceived as a career for less able and ambitious individuals and this image is perpetuated by many careers advisors and teachers”, he said. “Yet, while there is certainly no denying that there are manual jobs within the sector, there are also some fantastic career opportunities in areas of horticultural commerce, design, technology, sports turf and landscapes. What’s more, it can often be difficult to find people to fill these posts. Horticulture is giving me a wonderful life and I believe that many others could also be enjoying their lives more by working in horticulture. The Grow careers initiative and this forum at RBGE aim to demonstrate some of these great opportunities and answer a few questions”.


The Horticultural Careers Afternoon takes place in RBGE Lecture Theatre, 20A Inverleith Row, running from 13:00 to 16:30. Booking is advised and more information and  a programme can be found by visiting the Events section at or calling the Education team on 0131 248 2937. The event is open to all who are interested.



For more information, interviews and images call Shauna Hay on 0131 248 2900 or Sandra Donnelly on 0131 248 1037

Leigh Morris managed commercial nursery operations in the UK before moving into horticultural education at the Welsh College of Horticulture. He joined RBGE in 2004.

Institute of Horticulture, Grow Careers initiative

RBGE is committed to lifelong learning and international capacity building. It provides a diverse range of formal and informal education programmes for people of all ages and at all levels, from primary school to PhD, and offers both amateur and professional courses.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), dating back to1670, is a Non Departmental Public Body established under the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985, principally funded by the Scottish Government. It is also a registered charity, managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by Ministers. Its mission is “exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future” and its primary functions are as a centre of scientific and horticultural excellence, keeper of the national collections and promoter of science in the public domain.


The four Gardens of RBGE - Edinburgh, Benmore, Dawyck and Logan - are numbered among the most popular visitor attractions in Scotland, bringing together many inter-related cultural areas of activity.    


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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)