Horticultural consultants are specialist advisers who identify and assess horticultural problems and provide appropriate technical or business advice to commercial and public sector clients.
As well as technical advice, the role may involve business consultancy on issues regarding the successful development of products and resources, and on finding effective solutions to problems.
Clients may include:
- commercial growers specializing in protected growing and field crops, or flowers
- plant and tree nurseries
- leisure and conservation organizations or public bodies involved in the restoration, operation and maintenance of parks
- botanical and public gardens and other public spaces.
Employers of Horticultural Consultant
- commercial companies supplying products, equipment and services to the industry
- environmental and conservation bodies
- farming and horticultural co-operatives
- food companies processing packaging and distributing fresh and processed fruit and vegetables
- horticultural consultancies
- local authorities
- national park authorities.
- developing and maintaining a set of client contacts
- visiting clients on site
- undertaking environmental assessments
- analyzing horticultural yields
- designing garden plans/planting layouts
- advising about tree planting schemes
- planning restoration projects
- organizing horticultural trials
- making presentations
- writing technical publications, advisory leaflets and reports
- attending conferences
- maintaining an awareness of industry developments
- undertaking research
- maintaining financial and administrative records
- developing, advertising and marketing services.
It is common for a horticultural consultant to specialize in one area. The main areas of horticultural consultancy are:
- business consultancy
- technical consultancy in commercial horticulture, e.g. offering specialist advice on crop management
- technical consultancy in amenity horticulture, e.g. offering suggestions for the maintenance of public parks
- sports turf consultancy
- landscaping and interior landscaping.
The following degree and diploma subjects are considered the most relevant for this career:
- agricultural engineering
- crop and plant science
- environmental science
- soil science.
- excellent communication skills, selling ability, initiative and tact
- a high level of competence in project management, to meet agreed deadlines and operate within agreed budgets
- business awareness and a practical approach to problem solving
- an awareness of the problems encountered in commercial horticulture and/or the leisure and amenity industry
- knowledge of practical solutions to environmental and conservation issues
- an interest in, and awareness of, the environmental and sustainability agenda and its implications
- a full driving licence.