In September 2011, the popular weekly gardening newspaper, ‘Garden News’, appealed for a regular correspondent based in the South West of England and I thought I would have a go as I love my garden, love writing and love garden photography; all the basic requirements they were looking for. I sent them a brief personal profile and a description of my garden with a couple of photos and to my astonishment they replied immediately confirming my appointment!
My first contribution was published on 11 October 2011. It took several days to write and re-write my first 500 words and agonise over which 5 of the 150 photos I had taken should accompany them! However, I needn’t have worried; the editorial staff shortened a couple of sentences and changed the odd word but, by and large, they seemed happy with it and asked me to continue to write for the “Over the Fence” pages every four weeks along with three other regular readers from different parts of the country. Research has shown a high interest in real amateur gardens and a week by week analysis of what other GN readers were doing.
Since then I have written 11 more articles, the latest of which was published this week. Before I started this blog, it was a good discipline to have to sit down and review what I had done, what was looking good, what had gone well, what had gone badly and what I planned to do in the coming week. It also made sure I took lots of photographs throughout the year and this is now an almost daily feature ensuring that I catch plants and flowers at their peak.
I have always enjoyed writing but in my working life this was mostly business letters, reports and presentations. However, I was lucky to have worked for a company which cared about such things and helped to improve my spelling, grammar and style. This has enabled me to continue writing with confidence and has now become a hobby I enjoy which has a tangible result and exercises the brain cells! It is a bit like the garden I suppose; you spend a few hours thinking, planning and executing something and then stand back and, hopefully, like what you see.
I am hoping to archive my articles in this blog to provide a permanent record.