It’s no surprise to many that
while the horticulture sector prides itself on a wide range of seasoned and
highly qualified practitioners, there is a growing skills gap.
The reasons for this are many
and varied; we are faced with an ageing workforce and many small businesses are
struggling to survive in the wake of a global pandemic.
So, while taking on trainees
or apprentices and sending them to horticultural college once a week is a nice
idea, it’s perhaps too costly at the moment, along with the expense of
trainees’ paid absence from the workplace.
It may be that horticulture
is not your core profession; for example, many property developers and builders
find themselves needing to either design and create gardens or improve and
maintain existing ones.
This can certainly present a
challenge. There is a clear need for the
gardens to look as good as the property, but with an exposed location or (as is
often the case) soil types that do not lend themselves to the desired flora, it
starts to get complicated.
Help is of course at hand. There are any number of gardening books and TV
shows which could steer you towards greater gardening knowledge.
Also available are online
gardening courses to suit most requirements, skill levels and budgets.
But it may be an idea to
avoid watching some of those online ‘self-help’ video channels provided by that
well known ‘u tube’ site. While some of
the advice given is excellent, other tips should be taken with a pinch of salt.
You tend to find out the hard way.
The best plan to supplement
your knowledge is surely to listen and learn from an experienced gardener - we
all know at least one.
Offer them some help, ask
advice, have a cup of tea or coffee with them.
Your time and theirs could be
one of the best investments you ever make.