Do you enjoy being outside, or growing your own food? If so Horticulture is for you. Our courses cover a wide range of Horticultural subjects and will help students who wish to pursue a career in Production Horticulture, Garden Design, Hard and Soft Landscaping and Amenity Horticulture.

Horticulture has been part of Hadlow for 50 years and as such we have built a reputation in the industry as one of the leading education providers. As a student you will benefit from the vast network of contacts we have of industry links which is comprised of former students and companies who take students on in work experience placements year after year.

The horticultural team have an array of experience from head gardener to commercial production management. All have worked in the industry in various sectors and bring this knowledge and experience to the delivery of the course.

Students benefit from a wide range of links with commercial nurseries, research institutes, organic producers, public and privately owned gardens as well as exposure to the retail world through our onsite garden centre. The College is also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society; NCCPG and the Hardy Plant Society.

Over the last couple of years, the department has had a vast financial input from the College which includes new classrooms, a new state of the art glasshouse, a new Landscape Training Centre and 100’s of different plants for the students to practice on. The student is the centre for everything we do and you will benefit from the knowledge from Industry expert tutors and outstanding resources open to you.

Partnerships for Area

Royal Horticultural Society, Thanet Earth, Tozer Seeds, i3D Robotics and LJ Betts.


  • Nursery Assistant
  • Garden Centre Sales Assistant
  • Assistant Gardener
  • Estate Gardener
  • Landscaper
  • Groundsperson
  • Landscape Contractor



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Matt Castle

I wanted to travel the world, practicing what I’d learnt at Hadlow. So I applied for a job in one of the most remote and harshest climates on the planet.

Matt Castle
BSc Commercial Horticulture

Matt Castle is the manager of the government-run hydroponics farm on Ascension Island, an isolated volcanic island in the tropical mid-Atlantic, halfway between Brazil and Africa.

During World War II, it was an important naval and air station and is the location of RAF Ascension Island, a Royal Air Force station, European Space Agency rocket tracking station, an Anglo-American signals intelligence facility and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station.

As the only grower of fresh food on Ascension, Matt has to battle the many challenges of growing in an arid, desert climate.

He recounts how he came to study at Hadlow: “I was a cosmetic chemist and enjoyed the practical side of my job, but didn’t enjoy not being outside. A friend had studied the same course and in talking to him, I became very interested.”

“Some of my best memories of Hadlow are the industry visits - talking to growers and workers in packhouses and learning from them how the theory is put into practice in real-world scenarios. I particularly enjoyed the science and crop production modules - then placing and implementing your knowledge in the field. Great fun!”

After he graduated, Matt was offered a job as a strawberry grower, but with the economy at the time hitting the buffers, he chose to take a job for DEFRA working as a plant health inspector at Heathrow. He says: “The DEFRA job went well, but I wanted to be outside again and travel the world, practicing what I’d learnt at Hadlow. So I applied for a grower job in one of the most remote and harshest climates on the planet… and here I am!”

He believes the course he studied was a very important factor in securing his current job: “You can’t be a decent grower without an intimate knowledge of the science of how plants and the environment work.”

When asked about his career highlights to date, he says: “Writing my own ISO-related quality documents for fertigation regimes and pest/disease control, implementing them, seeing them work and constantly improving them. Designing my own fertiliser formulation and tweaking it!”

“My advice to anyone seeking a role similar to mine would be ‘try before you buy’ – horticulture is a tough business and not for everyone, but my career has been hugely rewarding.”

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