Tag Archives: articles

Writing about what I am interested in: Gardening and Nature

butterfly spread

My first article for Mediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living, June, 2015

Since the summer of 2015 I have been writing a regular monthly article for Mediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living magazine which is aimed at gardeners in Iberia but contains features and information for outside that area. I write about gardening, nature, herbs,  and wildlife. I have written a couple of articles about Tenerife. One was about the dragon trees that grow there and the other was about what makes the island a paradise for naturalists.

dragon trees spread

My Dragon Tree article in Mediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living

I enjoy writing about gardening and nature because these are personal interests I have had since my childhood. It also means I am not stuck for topics to write about. I usually suggest my ideas to the editors, and sometimes they will suggest theirs, if, for example, what I want to write about has already been covered by another writer.

Writing about nature, wildlife and gardening is, of course, a niche area and having articles published about these subjects helps get my name around as an “expert” on such material and leads to more work.

When I was in Tenerife, where I lived for over nine years, I got known as something of an authority when it came to the natural world. I used to get emails from people asking me what something they had found was. I also had columns in three publications, all of which are sadly no more because they went under due to the economic crisis.  I had a gardening column in Living Tenerife, which was a glossy magazine, a monthly column in the Tenerife Sun newspaper, in which I wrote about the flora and fauna of the island and also places that I visited, and a weekly column in Tenerife Weekly.

Because editors knew I was knowledgeable about my chosen subjects, I was sometimes commissioned to write features that the editor had in mind. This happened when I was asked to write a full page about monarch butterflies for the Tenerife Sun.

Bard-Caterpillar-Article

My feature about Monarch Butterflies for the Tenerife Sun

I have plenty of photos in my personal collection that I can supply for illustration purposes but when I cannot find suitable ones I usually find what I am looking for in Pixabay or Public Domain pictures in Wikipedia.

I used to also contribute articles about nature and about herbs, health and alternative medicine for the Tenerife News, which is still a widely read newspaper in the Canary Islands.

I am always on the lookout for publications that would be interested in my work, and only recently had a proposal accepted by Bee Culture magazine in America.  My article will be about the Tower of Jewels plants in the Echium genus that are a favourite with bees and other pollinators.  Although, I am not a beekeeper myself, I was brought up around these amazing insects because my grandfather used to have several hives. This meant we always had a supply of honey and I got to learn about the bees that made it.