Susie and her career flourishes with help from Perennial

20 February 2024


Single mum of two, Susie, gave up her job as a town planner in 2009 to work as a gardener – a job which she hoped would give her more opportunity to be there for her young family. After setting up her own business and starting out doing small gardening jobs, she realised that having a horticultural qualification would allow her to increase her salary to make it a sustainable career, providing a better future for her children.

“The cost of enrolling onto a Royal Horticultural Society course was out of my reach but I had heard about the financial support available for career development through Perennial and the Professional Gardeners’ Trust. I took the chance, applied, and was thrilled to be offered funding towards my course.”

I’ve nearly doubled my hourly wage and it’s given me the confidence to get work in some incredible gardens.

With support from Perennial, Susie was able to join an RHS Level 2 Certificate course, studying part–time and distance learning to fit in with family commitments.

“After three years of studying I finally completed my qualification. It’s taken me a bit longer than I had hoped but it’s been worth it. I’ve nearly doubled my hourly wage and it’s given me the confidence to get work in some incredible gardens as I now have the knowledge and skills.”

For people working in horticulture, and especially those who are self-employed, it can sometimes be difficult to find the money for professional development. Perennial supports individuals just like Susie to develop their skills and careers, helping to build a better future for them and their families.

“As a single parent to young children, my new gardening career has bought significant benefits. I now have the flexibility to support my family whilst enjoying a fulfilling career. I organise my work so that I can pick the children up from school every day and having suffered the loss of my mum during the first coronavirus lockdown, it also gave me the chance to adjust my hours so that I could spend time supporting my father. The last few years have taught me how precious life is and I’m so proud that I’ve been able to achieve so much – and so grateful to Perennial for giving me the opportunity to grow professionally.”