There are many opportunities for writers and journalists specialising in the area of horticulture. These include those offered by:
- popular gardening magazines and websites, for instance, Grow Your Own
- specialist magazines, for example, Urban Garden Magazine
- the gardening section of newspapers (many local and national newspapers have a gardening section)
- industry publications, for example, Horticultural Week
- websites and blogs
- gardening apps
- education and training material
- marketing materials
- consumer publications – instruction booklets, leaflets, guidebooks.
Not only is gardening one of the UK’s most popular hobbies, with almost 50% of people saying that they spend some time gardening, but the horticulture industry itself employs over 37,000 people in the UK and 6,000 in Ireland (source: Chartered Institute of Horticulture). In addition, many more people work in related areas, such as fertiliser and compost production, food packing and processing. Media is an important aspect of the horticulture industry, meeting a huge demand for gardening articles, books, TV programmes and online information, as well as advice and news for industry professionals.
When getting started as a writer in this area, it certainly helps if you have extensive practical experience in gardening or training in horticulture, as this quickly establishes you as an expert in the eyes of publishers, editors and readers. However, it isn’t essential. Even if you have no real background in gardening before you get started, you can still create a successful career as a gardener writer or journalist – although you will need to work even harder to come up with fresh ideas and write compelling articles or stories. You will quickly learn! One idea that has been used effectively by many new garden writers is to document your journey as a beginner gardener, sharing your experiences with your readers as yoyu go along. For example, here is an extract from Plantsnapp’s blog, A Bootstrapping Beginner’s Guide to Gardening (www.plantsnapp.com):
As the owner (well, renter) of a house with a garden I feel some responsibility to get to grips with my bit of paradise. I’m a complete and utter novice when it comes to gardening, any knowledge I do have comes from sitting in family members gardens, listening them talk about their gardens. As I embark on this journey to turn my garden into some sort of London Eden I’ve begun picking up some very basic tips and tricks, which I thought I would share.
You do need an ability to write well, and insight into how your own skills and experience match up with the market. Our courses can help you to develop your writing skills to the required standard, whilst also helping you to identify your perfect niche as a garden writer or horticultural journalist.