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How to start your own gardening business: A complete guide

Whether you have a green thumb or simply have a passion for creating outdoor spaces, starting a gardening business can be a rewarding and profitable venture.

In this blog, we will provide you with essential information, step-by-step guidance, and helpful tips on how to start your own gardening business to help you get started on the path to becoming a successful gardening entrepreneur.

Industry information

To begin, let’s explore some industry information to give you a solid foundation for starting your gardening business in the UK.

Understanding the current landscape, trends, and potential market opportunities is essential. Here are some key insights:

  • The gardening industry in the UK is thriving, with ornamental horticultural and landscaping in the UK making an estimated £ 28.2 billion contribution to national GDP in 2019. It encompasses various sectors, including landscaping, garden maintenance, garden design, and plant nurseries.
  • According to the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), the demand for gardening services has seen a significant increase in recent years due to an aging population, busy lifestyles, and a growing interest in outdoor living spaces.
  • Sustainable gardening practices and environmentally friendly solutions are gaining traction, as customers are increasingly conscious of their ecological footprint.

For further information and in-depth analysis, you can refer to reputable sources such as the Horticultural Trades Association and the Royal Horticultural Society.

Services offered and pricing

As a gardening entrepreneur, you can offer a range of services tailored to meet your clients’ needs. Here are some popular service types you can consider:

  • Garden maintenance: Regular lawn mowing, weeding, pruning, and general garden upkeep.
  • Landscaping and design: Creating or renovating outdoor spaces, including planting, hardscaping, and garden layout design.
  • Planting and plant care: Selecting and planting trees, flowers, and shrubs, as well as providing ongoing care and maintenance.
  • Pest and disease control: Identifying and managing garden pests, diseases, and invasive species.

When determining pricing for your services, factors such as the complexity of the job, the size of the garden, and the level of expertise should be considered.

It’s essential to conduct market research to understand the average pricing in your area and set competitive rates that reflect your skills and the value you provide.

What you'll need

Starting a gardening business requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Finance: Determine the initial investment required for equipment, marketing, and any necessary licenses or certifications. You can explore traditional funding options, such as loans or personal savings, or seek support from government grants or business development programmes.
  • Knowledge and skills: Develop your gardening skills and knowledge through horticultural courses, workshops, or practical experience. Enhancing your expertise will instil confidence in your clients and set you apart from competitors.
  • Insurance: Obtain appropriate insurance coverage, including public liability insurance to protect yourself, your clients, and their properties.
  • Equipment and supplies: Acquire the necessary gardening tools, machinery, and supplies to efficiently deliver your services. This may include mowers, trimmers, hand tools, and fertilisers.

Is the gardening business for you?

Before embarking on a gardening business, it’s essential to evaluate whether it aligns with your skills, interests, and aspirations. Consider the following factors:

  • Skills: Assess your gardening skills, ability to work outdoors, and willingness to continuously learn and adapt to new techniques and trends.
  • Earning potential: The earning potential in the gardening industry can vary depending on factors such as location, client base, service offerings, and business model. While it is possible to earn a comfortable income, it may take time to establish a solid client base and reputation.
  • Industry accessibility: The gardening industry offers a relatively low barrier to entry, allowing individuals with a passion for gardening to start their own business. However, it requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to delivering excellent service to stand out in a competitive market.

Checklist for starting your gardening business

To ensure a smooth start to your gardening business, it’s essential to complete various legal and administrative tasks. Here’s a checklist to guide you:


  • Choose a suitable business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited company).
  • Register your business with Companies House if operating as a limited company.
  • Obtain necessary permits or licences, such as waste carrier registration if handling garden waste.

Tax and finance

  • Register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for self-employment and tax obligations.
  • Set up a separate business bank account for financial transactions.
  • Keep detailed records of income, expenses, and receipts for accounting purposes.

Data protection and GDPR

  • Familiarise yourself with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if handling personal data.
  • Implement measures to ensure compliance, such as obtaining consent, securely storing data, and providing clear privacy policies.


  • Obtain public liability insurance to protect against claims arising from accidents or property damage during work.

Marketing and branding

  • Develop a professional brand identity, including a logo, website, and business cards.
  • Establish an online presence through social media platforms and a website to showcase your services and attract clients.

Equipment and supplies

  • Purchase or lease necessary gardening equipment and supplies.
  • Ensure equipment is well-maintained and regularly serviced for optimal performance.

Starting your own gardening business in the UK can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. By understanding the industry landscape, offering the right services at competitive prices, and addressing the essential requirements, you can lay a strong foundation for your business.

Remember, it requires dedication, continuous learning, and exceptional service to succeed in this field. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying committed to your goals, you can embark on a rewarding career as a gardening entrepreneur.

If you’re inspired to start your own gardening business and want to acquire the essential skills and knowledge to succeed, Open Study College is here to support your journey. Explore our range of gardening and business courses designed to equip you with the expertise needed to thrive in the industry.

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