Training in management of horticultural resources -gardens, farms, nurseries, turf facilities, parks. Great course for Horticulturists wanting to take the next step into supervision or management positions.

Course Code: BHT203
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Manage a Horticultural Business
  • Good Managers are always in demand
  • Management is all about control, and by exercising control, achieving better results.
  • Good management only occurs when the manager is well-informed, hence the first task for any manager is to get to know the organization they are responsible for.
Key functions of management are planning, organising leading and controlling the work/activities of the members of an organisation. A manager’s effectiveness, or lack of it, can be judged from the way in which they carry out these key functions.
Some graduates may manage their own horticultural business; others may find employment in either the public or private sector; either in production or amenity horticulture. This course is applicable to all situations.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Horticultural Business Structure
    • The legal structure of business
    • Business names
    • Starting a business
    • What services can be offered
    • What is required to offer horticulture services
    • Marketing guide
  2. Management Practices
    • The role of management
    • Business planning
    • preparing a horticultural business plan
  3. Horticulture and the Law
    • Quality management systems
    • Contracts and offers
    • Consumer law
    • Structure of small businesses
    • Legislation of small businesses
    • The law and business
    • Protection of consumers
    • Stamp duty
  4. Staff Management
    • Managing staff
    • managing as a leader
    • Interviewing, recruitment and staff induction
    • Staff training
    • Visual and resource for induction and training
    • Job descriptions
  5. Supervision
    • Role of the supervisor
    • Supervision
    • Communication with employees
    • Communication Barriers
    • Improving leadership skills
    • Giving directives and introducing change
  6. Financial management
    • Budgets
    • Financial assistance
    • Taxation
    • Liquidity
    • Costing guide
    • Billing
    • Summary of market for landscape services
    • Ways of buying business
  7. Improving Plant Varieties
    • Where cultivars come from
    • Plant variety rights (PVR)
    • Owning plant names
    • Genetics and plant breeding
    • Self-pollinating species
  8. Productivity and Risk
    • Improving productivity
    • Problem solving and decision making
    • Group decision making and problem solving
    • The planning process
    • Time management
    • Planning expenses
    • Monitoring, evaluating and regulating the progress
    • Sensitivity Analysis
    • Insuring the business
  9. Managing Physical Resources
    • Managing equipment, buildings and machinery
    • Using flow chart to improve productivity
    • Record keeping
    • Filing
    • Keeping records of business activities
  10. Developing a Horticultural Business Plan
    • Developing a business
    • Managing business growth
    • Business plan for nursery
    • Marketing guide for gardening ana landscape businesses


  • Compare the organisational structure of three different horticultural enterprises.
  • Determine the value of a business plan to a specific horticultural business.
  • Determine the significance of consumer law to a specified horticultural business.
  • Determine the duties of two different supervisors, in a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Describe how a budget is applied to managing a specific horticultural enterprise.
  • Determine the criteria for selecting staff to work in an horticultural enterprise.
  • Explain the system for controlling the collection of royalties on a plant which is covered by plant variety rights.
  • Monitor and recommend improvements to a specified work task in a horticultural enterprise.

Managing Amenity Horticulture Sites
Who manages amenity horticulture sites? These days many different professions are involved in the management of natural and designed landscapes, including architects, town planners, engineers, landscape architects, environmental scientists, sport and recreation specialists, botanists, biologists, horticulturists and agronomists. Depending on the size and nature of the site, and the inputs required to manage that site, people from these (and possibly other) professions might be employed as specialist consultants, as site managers or as team leaders.

One important trend in the management of amenity horticulture sites is that issues are no longer confined to financial and personnel management, but also to social, environmental and cultural aspects which have to be taken into account to make decisions. This is now named as ‘sustainability’ and ‘social responsibility’.

The management of a horticultural site typically includes the following tasks:
1. Defining a mission, vision, goals and activities planning
2. Ensuring that the above are reached or planned within a specified timeframe
3. Managing budgets
4. Managing human resources
5. Managing material resources
6. Managing natural resources

What that means is that the manager must define where the organisation is going or, if that is already defined, how to get there with the resources available, in the time available. This usually means looking for more resources and solving problems related to the running of the amenity site together with the team that he or she is leading.

Below is an example of the responsibilities that a manager might have to perform in his or her job. The activities may be directly carried out by the manager or completed by one or more teams under the direction of the manager.

1. Defining a Mission, Vision, Goals and Activities Planning
Examples of activities to be performed here are:

• Design, put into action, monitor and evaluate the Strategic Business Plan  

• Manage your own resources and professional development 

• Determine policies for the development of amenity horticultural sites 
o Identify and confirm the need for the development of land-based sites
o Determine and agree policies for the development of land-based sites

• Provide information to support decision making 
o Obtain information for decision making
o Record and store information
o Analyse information to support decision making
o Advise and inform others

• Promote the organisation and its values (marketing)
o Promote the characteristics and values of the organisation 
o Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of promotion (marketing campaigns)

2. Managing Budgets
• Prepare, approve and control budget for landscaping areas
• Estimate the resources required by programs
• Search for funding
• Prepare funding applications
• Control expenditure and adjust budget to annual variations
• Develop, negotiate and agree proposals to offer/subcontract landscaping services and products 
o Interpret specifications and evaluate capacity to act
o Prepare/analyse proposals to offer/accept services and products
o Negotiate proposals and agree service and product provision

3. Managing Human Resources
• Provide leadership which means provide vision and direction to others
• Recruit, select and keep colleagues  

• Develop procedures for Health and Safety in the Workplace
o Ensure a healthy and safe workplace
o Conduct risk assessment in the workplace

• Identify areas of improvement for yourself (the manager) and others
o Develop yourself to improve your performance
o Identify and plan the development needs of teams and individuals
o Assess and improve the development of teams and individuals
o Identify and resolve difficulties with colleagues

• Involve, motivate and retain volunteers
o Promote volunteering to potential volunteers
o Involve and motivate volunteers in the organisation
o Help volunteers change or conclude their role and contribution

4. Managing Material Resources
• Plan, monitor and evaluate the establishment and management of planted areas 

• Design landscaped areas and specify materials and components 
o Prepare designs for landscape projects
o Specify plants, materials and installation details

• Design irrigation projects and monitor their efficiency for landscaped areas

• Plan and manage the control of weeds, pests and diseases 
o Collect information for planning
o Plan the use of pest control measures
o Implement plans for pest control
o Monitor and review the use of control measures

5. Managing Natural Resources
• Plan and implement activities to improve environmental performance 
o Plan activities to improve environmental performance
o Implement plans to improve environmental performance
o Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation
• Develop and maintain and Environmental Policy 
o Review and evaluate the environmental impacts of the organization’s existing policies
o Produce an Environmental Policy
o Communicate an Environmental Policy

• Develop and monitor Eco-efficiency programs for best management of available resources 
o Review and evaluate the resource management in the organisation: resources available and their use, practices and work habits
o Produce an Eco-efficiency program with the team: improve use of resources through practices and habits improvements or changes
o Implement and monitor the Eco-efficiency program


This course is best suited to people working in:

Garden centres
Plant nurseries
Horticulture supplies
Fruit & vegetables
Market gardening

It will also be suited to anyone involved in other horticulture-related enterprises. 


Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and edito

Bob James (Horticulturist)

Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry.
He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Maste

Gavin Cole (Horticulturist)

Gavin started his career studying building and construction in the early 80's. Those experiences have provided a very solid foundation for his later work in landscaping. In 1988 he completed a B.Sc. and a few years later a Certificate in Garden Design. I

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