Landscape gardeners plan, construct, renovate and maintain parks, gardens and public green spaces.
The duties of a landscape gardener include, but are not limited to:
- Maintaining the grounds and landscapes of private clients and businesses.
- Constructing small scale builds, such as decking areas and installing water fountains.
- Seeding and sodding lawns.
- Planting and maintaining lawns, flowers and shrubberies.
- Ensuring soil is kept in good condition by using suitable fertilisers.
- Clearing away leaves and snow from pathways.
- Using heavy equipment such as chainsaws.
The following job titles also refer to landscape gardener:
Landscape gardeners are required to travel to each client’s home or landscape space on a daily basis. This could involve numerous journeys each day.
Landscape gardeners are usually on a standard 9 to 5 basis. Hours can be flexible. Self employed gardeners can fix their own work hours. Their work is based outside.
No formal educational credential is generally required to work as landscape gardener.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Landscape gardener is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Landscape gardener career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to landscape gardener.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of landscape gardener. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of landscape gardener with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of landscape gardener.
- Environmental legislation in agriculture and forestry: Awareness on environmental legislation, policies, principles relevant for agriculture and forestry. Awareness of the impact on the environment of local agricultural procedures and practices. Means to adjust the production to new environmental regulations and policies.
- Design principles: The elements used in design such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, symmetry, space, form, texture, colour, light, shade and congruence and their application into practice.
- Plant species: The variety of plants, trees and shrubs and their special characteristics.
- Pest control in plants: Types and features of pests in plants and crops. Different kinds of pest control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
- Ecology: The study of how organisms interact and their relation to the ambient environment.
- Pruning techniques: The techniques of selectively removing parts of trees and plants to foster better growth and regeneration.
- Landscaping materials: Field of information which distinguishes certain required materials, such as wood and wood chips, cement, pebbles and soil for landscaping purposes.
- Horticulture principles: The standard horticultural practices, including but not limited to planting, pruning, corrective pruning, and fertilisation.
- Plant disease control: Types and features of diseases in plants and crops. Different kinds control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
- Principles of landscape construction: Principles and techniques to prepare ground or site for construction of wooden and brick terraces, fences and ground surfaces. This includes knowledge on how to measure and plan out the site, lay stone and tiles.
- Pruning types: Different approached to pruning trees, such as thinning, removal, etc.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of landscape gardener.
- Perform pest control: Carry out crop spraying pest and disease operations in line with National industry and customer requirements. Carry out slurry and fertiliser spreading in accordance with local environmental regulations
- Work in outdoor conditions: Can cope with the different climate conditions such as heat, rain, cold or in strong wind.
- Transport physical resources within the work area: Transport physical resources such as products, equipment, materials, and liquids. Carefully load, transport and unload resources safely and efficiently, keeping the load in good condition.
- Prepare the ground: Prepare the ground for laying turf or seeding by clearing the area, choosing the optimal soil, choosing the ground deepness and the appropriate fertilisers.
- Prune hedges and trees: Cut and prune trees and hedges in ornamental forms, considering botanical and esthetical aspects.
- Maintain ground: Mow grass, rake leaves, and remove fallen limbs and trash. Remove weeds from landscapes in parks, greenways and other properties. Maintain the grounds and landscapes of private clients and businesses. Perform maintenance such as fertilising; spraying for weed and pest controls; planting, pruning and removing trees and shrubs; mow, trim, edge, cut and clean up uncontrolled weeds.
- Prepare planting area: Prepare planting area and soil for planting by for example fertilising, mulching by hand or using mechanical tools or machinery; prepare seeds and plants for sowing and planting by ensuring the quality of seed and plants.Sow and plant by hand, using mechanical tools or machinery and in accordance with national legislation.
- Operate landscaping equipment: Operate a variety of landscaping equipment such as chain saws, line trimmers, tillers, back hoes, bobcats, bed edgers, mowers, blowers, dump trailers, tillers, sod cutters, weed eaters, plant augers, and drills.
- Nurse plants: Determine the need for nursing activities and carry out nursing by cultivating, maintaining, watering and spraying the plants and trees manually or using appropriate equipment, taking into account the plant species and following safety requirements.
- Propagate plants: Carry out propagation activities by applying appropriate propagation methods, such as grafted cutting propagation or generative propagation considering the plant type. Carry out propagation control considering the required terms and conditions for specific plant type.
- Handle chemical products for soil and plants: Handle chemical products for soil and plants includes cleaning the equipment used for spreading and spraying, mixing of chemicals, preparing pesticides and herbicides for spraying, preparing fertilisers for spreading.
- Use gardening equipment: Use gardening equipment such as clippers, sprayers, mowers, chainsaws, complying to health and safety regulations.
- Build fences: Put up fences using a pothole digger, shovel, tamper, and other manual tools.
- Plant green plants: Plant seeds manually or by using ground equipment.
- Prepare planting area for planting: Prepare planting area and soil for planting by fertilising, mulching and performing weed control. Take the conditions of the area, soil and plant type into account.
- Perform weed control operations: Carry out crop spraying for weeds and plant disease operations in line with national industry and customer requirements.
- Put up signs: Put up signs using a posthole digger, shovel, tamper, and other manual tools.
- Prune plants: Carry out pruning with relevant tools, related to the different purposes like maintenance pruning, pruning for growth, pruning for fruiting, debudding and volume reduction.
- Grow plants: Carry out plant growing activities. Carry out grow control considering the required terms and conditions for specific plant type.
- Maintain landscape site: Maintain the site by mowing, applying fertiliser, controlling weed, aerating, trimming and pruning. Perform clean-ups according to needs and requirements.
- Execute disease and pest control activities: Execute disease and pest control activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the climate, plant or crop type, health and safety and environmental regulations. Store and handle pesticides in accordance with recommendation and legislation.
- Nurse trees: Plant, fertilise and trim trees, shrubs and hedges. Examine trees to assess their condition and determine treatment. Work to eradicate insects, fungus and diseases which are harmful to trees, assist with prescribed burning, and work on preventing erosion.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of landscape gardener. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Organic farming: Principles, techniques and regulations of organic farming. Organic farming or ecological agriculture is an agricultural production method, which places a strong emphasis on environmental protection and ecological balance.
- Crop production principles: Principles in growing crops, the natural cycle, nursing of nature, growth conditions and principles of organic and sustainable production. Quality criteria and requirements of seeds, plants and crop.
- Herbicides sprayers: Types of equipment used to spray herbicides on a surface, used both manually and mechanically.
- Agronomy: The study of combining agriculture production and protection and regeneration of natural environment. Includes the principles and methods of critical selection and adequate application methods for sustainability in agriculture.
- Rainwater management: The characteristics of water sensitive urban design methods such as wet basins, dry basins, drainage and surface infiltration.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of landscape gardener. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Manage time in landscaping: Plan and implement work schedules to fit in landscaping activities, which include the briefing phase where the landscape project is discussed with a client after which follow a series of sketches, plans and designs.
- Prepare site for construction: Prepare ground or site for construction of wooden and brick terraces, fences and ground surfaces. This includes measure and plan out the site, lay stone and tiles.
- Work in a landscape team: Direct the activities of one or more members in a landscape team, or work as an individual part of such a team.
- Manage agricultural staff: Recruit and manage staff. This includes defining the job needs of the organisation, defining the criteria and process for recruitment. Develop the competences of the staff according current and future needs of the company and individuals. Ensure health and safety of the staff, including the implementation of all relevant health and safety procedures and relations with regular follow-up procedures.
- Prepare flower arrangements: Prepare and arrange flower compositions according to design by applying necessary techniques and using necessary materials.
- Build garden masonry: Create types of masonry specific for gardens such as walls and stairs.
- Assist in interior plant projects: Assist in or carry out the planting, maintaining, watering and spraying of flowers, hanging baskets, plants, shrubs and trees in interior decorations according to the work description or project
- Establish vertical gardens: Construct vertical gardens including attachment of the garden to the wall or other surfaces. Select and plant suitable plants for the wall and maintain the wall.
- Manage rainwater: Implementing water sensitive urban design elements such as wet basins, dry basins, drainage and surface infiltration.
- Make decisions regarding landscaping: Resolve problems by making decisions regarding projects and installation tasks for landscaping sites.
- Develop architectural plans: Draft a master plan for building sites and landscape plantings. Prepare detailed development plans and specifications in accordance with applicable laws. Analyse private development plans for their accuracy, appropriateness, and compliance with laws.
- Establish green roof: Establish vegetation on roofs, taking into account water and drainage, filters and soil. Plant suitable grasses, and possibly bushes and trees. Establish the green roof with regards to health and safety regulations.
- Supervise landscape projects: Supervise larger projects carried out by landscape architects.
- Create garden areas in cemeteries: Plant out garden areas within cemeteries.
- Manage landscape design projects: Make preparations for the development of parks, recreation areas and roadside landscaping. Prepare designs, drawings and specifications for such projects and estimate the costs.
ISCO group and title
6113 – Gardeners, horticultural and nursery growers
- Landscape gardener – ESCO
- Landscape gardener – GradIreland
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