- Diploma in Garden Design
- Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture
- PA1 & PA6 Pesticides
- Gold Certificate of achievement in Horticulture
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training
- RHS Distance Learning (Full qualification units 1-8) – The Principles of Horticulture Level 2 Certificate
- RHS Distance Learning (Units 1-4)- Principles of Plant Growth, Propagation & Development Level 2 Certificate
- RHS Distance Learning (Units 5-8)- Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment & Maintenance Level 2 Certificate
- RHS Distance Learning Units 1 & 2 – Plant Classification, Structure & Function and Plant Nutrition & the Root Environment Level 2
- RHS Distance Learning Units 3 & 4 – Maintaining Plant Health & Understanding Plant Propagation Level 2
- RHS Distance Learning Units 5 & 6 – Garden Features, Plant Selection & Planning and The Choice, Establishment & Maintenance of Garden Plants & Lawn Level 2
- RHS Distance Learning Units 7 & 8 – The Production of Outdoor Vegetables & Fruit and Protected Environments in Plant Cultivation Level 2
Following a career in commercial management, I decided to follow my one great love and passion, gardening. I completed an NVQ in Horticulture in record time and set up my own gardening business. I did this for seven years before becoming a head gardener at a prestigious private garden in the area, where I won five Gold Awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold Awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and the Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Here I changed the entire ethos of the garden, re-designed it and re-planted it.
I worked for TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the TV programme, “Secret Agent”. I studied my Diploma in Garden Design at a Distance Learning College and decided I would like to become a tutor. I worked for an environmental charity as a horticulture tutor with disadvantaged children and adult learners. I am currently working as a tutor and assessor for RHS Level 2 students, and writing course resources. I am also a member of the interest group, STH 4PC (Social and Therapeutic Horticulture for Palliative Care).
- 2018-Present - Distance Learning Assessor in Horticulture: Craven College
Writing and tutoring new RHS L2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture and course delivery to existing students in preparation for RHS examinations
- 2018 - Tutor in Horticulture: Groundwork
Empowering NEET and adult learners with new horticultural skills and knowledge in a practical setting
- 2017 - 2020 - Tutor in Horticulture: The Academy for Distance Learning
Delivering excellently designed, experiential based learning programmes to students all over the world.
- 2017 - Gardener: Bupa Park Avenue Nursing Home
Turned a dreary and run-down garden into a bright and vibrant Dementia-friendly space
- 2015 -2017 - Head Gardener: St Gemma’s Hospice
Transformed the entire philosophy and direction of the three acre gardens. Won 7 Gold Awards for Yorkshire and Leeds in Bloom & The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping
- 2009 - 2015 - Proprietor: Steven Whitaker Gardening Services
Provided a first class, efficient and meticulous horticultural gardening service to clients across Leeds
- 2003 - 2008 - Field Marketing Executive: Freelance
Sold Executive cars at premier events countrywide, including Lexus flagship models at the Motor Show
- 2001 - 2003 - Commercial Manager: West Yorkshire Playhouse
Regenerated a run-down service to excellence.