High market value: Horticulturist with concentration in sales and advising

Whenever the doors to the sales floor open, there is always a whiff of Christmas in the air. Full of curiosity and anticipation, customers pour onto the shop floor, gaze in wonder at the new decorative plants for their balconies, gather inspiration from creative arrangements and, in the end, find themselves astonished at all the nice things that have ended up in their shopping trolleys. 

Wanted: masters in the art of seduction

No wonder — who can resist the arts of seduction wielded by horticulturists with a concentration in sales and advising? The same applies on the job market: more and more firms are adding direct marketing and a wide array of services for the consumer to their plant production operations. 

Sought after: customer contact representatives

Presenting plants attractively in retail garden shops, retail tree nurseries and garden centres and caring for them until they are sold is just as much a part of these specialists' jobs as holding sales conversations with customers. They provide advice and assistance to hobbyists and flower lovers on all issues related to caring for plants, keeping them healthy and designing flowerbeds and balconies. As a result, customers go out of their way to seek them out.

Here's what to expect:

Advising and informing customers

Selling plants and accessories

Planting in containers

Arranging plants seasonally

Performing services

Purchasing, preparing and caring for plants

Retail horticulturist

Retail horticulturists are the all-rounders in all things green. Their knowledge of plants ranges from house-plants to fruit trees, from radishes to roses. Horticulturists with a concentration in sales and advising are salespeople, service providers and producers alike. Apprentices in retail garden shops can expect a varied and exciting array of duties indoors and out, ranging from sales to planting services, from plant care on the customer's premises to winter storage to event decoration.

More information and a garden shop finder are available from the Bundesverband Einzelhandelsgärtner (Federal Association of Retail Horticulturists): www.ihre-gaertnerei.de 

Retail tree and shrub nurseries

Retail tree and shrub nurseries boast a broad range of products, many locally sourced. Expansive sales floors and wide-ranging display areas are as typical of these tree nursery businesses as is creative presentation of merchandise. Attractive model plantings and skilfully assembled groups of pots show how trees can enliven a garden or veranda and awaken customers' desire to buy. Many firms also offer a range of services. An apprenticeship at a recognised retail tree nursery will not only make a plant specialist out of you, but also teach you to deal with the individual needs of gardening fans. 

For more information contact the Bund deutscher Baumschulen (BdB) e.V. (German Nurserypeople´s Association): www.bund-deutscher-baumschulen.de 

Garden centres

Family-operated garden centres are regarded as the one-stop shopping source of the greenery sector, where plantoholics can find everything their hearts desire. The main focus is on plants, but garden centres also offer a wide range of accessories, decorations and gardening equipment. If you're good at working with people and would like to share your expertise and love of nature with others, you've fund just the spot. Daily successes are practically guaranteed since customers often express their thanks for qualified advice. Varied work duties and a friendly team also help make the job fun. 

For more information contact the Bundesverband Einzelhandelsgärtner (BVE) (Federal Association of Retail Horticulturists): www.gaertner-verkaufen-beraten.de and the Verband Deutscher Gartencenter e.V. (VDG) (Association of German Garden Centres): www.garten-center.de