For many, ornamental horticulture is an avocation, a hobby, and leisure­time pursuit. They enjoy arranging flowers from their garden and filling their homes with plants. They may have a small backyard greenhouse. Others may have studied the profession in high school or college, but later stepped out of the business world to raise children. Such persons often seek to supplement the family income by working on weekends or during peak holiday periods in flower shops, greenhouses, or garden centers. For many, it is a satisfying way to turn avocation to vocation. Florists are often eager to employ the temporary services of persons able to make bows and puffs, add greenery to arrangements, and wait on customers during holidays or as replacements for vacationing staff members. Greenhouse growers also need vacation replacements and workers to water and maintain the crop during weekends. Landscapers and nurseries often need a large work force during the spring and fall but not year round, so part-time and temporary workers fit their needs ideally.

Some part-time workers are self-employed. Operating from their homes, they often specialize in dried or silk arrangements, terrariums, and novelty items. Others may sell spring bedding plants or cemetery arrangements for use on Memorial Day, then close down and return to their regular jobs. It is impossible to speculate on how much income is generated by part-time, self-employed practitioners because little data is available.

Other workers have full-time careers that involve them with the ornamental horticulture industry during part of the working day. Examples include the small engine repairer who works on the lawn mow­ers, sprayers, chain saws, and other power equipment of landscapers and groundskeepers. General maintenance staffers often are required to care for interior or exterior landscape installations in office complexes, shopping centers, hospitals, and schools. Restaurant and resort manag­ers may have flower arrangements on tables and in lobbies, and need a regular floral supplier just as they need a food supplier.

Updated: October 7, 2015 — 7:03 am