Training

You can receive training, education and career support from the National Trust for Scotland, and learn from some of our most respected and experienced gardeners.

Garden apprenticeships 

Our Garden Apprenticeship programme started in September 2018, placing young trainees in gardens across Scotland. An apprenticeship with us is a great way to get into a career as a professional gardener as it combines training in a heritage garden with a salary. We’ll be recruiting again in spring 2019, so if you’re interested keep an eye on our vacancies page.

The School of Heritage Gardening

The Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening has been training generations of gardeners since 1961. Students learn the art, craft and science of horticulture – from pruning, grafting and glasshouse cultivation, to plant identification and the use of gardening machinery and tools.

At Threave Garden, in Dumfries & Galloway, our trainees learn how to be professional gardeners and can acquire nationally recognised qualifications in the process. They learn how to manage different types of gardens, ranging in style and using varied plant content. 

To find out more and to apply, visit the School of Heritage Gardening page. Applications for new students open in February 2019.

For more information on our courses, please get in touch using our contact form.

Gardening vacancies

Trust gardeners have the privilege of working in some truly inspiring gardens and designed landscapes, filled with plants and history. We offer many incentives to our staff – a great salary, pension benefits, generous holidays – but working for the Trust is about so much more.

Our gardeners engage and inspire visitors, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm. If you think you’d like to work as a gardener for the Trust, have a look to see if we have any vacancies. If you’ve got the right qualifications and experience for a role, we’d love to hear from you.

Volunteering in gardens

We’re always looking for people to help us in our gardens on a voluntary basis and we have roles for all ages and abilities. You might be looking to gain practical experience of gardening, learn some new skills, meet people or just get some exercise in a beautiful environment. From helping us research or map our gardens and record our plant collections, right through to hands–on weeding and digging, there’s something for everyone to do. Why not get in touch with your local property to see what opportunities are available locally? We also have volunteering groups and working holidays, both of which offer garden projects too.

GROW careers initiative

The National Trust for Scotland supports GROW – an online resource that offers advice for anyone considering a career in horticulture. The website provides helpful information and guidance, whether you’re interested in garden design, plant science, tree surgery or groundskeeping. 

Visit the GROW website to learn more and get inspired.