Horticulture is a very important sector of the Scottish economy, with more than 1,500 businesses and approximately 7,500 employees (Lantra: 'Horticulture, landscaping and sports turf factsheet'). The majority of land in Scotland is under agricultural production: horticulture, in particular, deals with the technology, art, science and business of plant cultivation.

The land-based sector is responsible for much of Scotland’s food exports. It needs suitably trained and qualified staff with the knowledge and skills to meet the fast-moving horticultural economy.

The horticultural industry covers a wide range of subjects, disciplines and careers – not just gardening. Trained horticulturists can specialise in soft and hard landscaping, private and local authority green space maintenance, garden design, commercial growing, retail, plant science, botanic collections, community and social horticulture to name a few. The industry is environmentally aware and at the forefront of innovation in modern technologies to produce sustainable, environmentally friendly green spaces and produce.