Ben Allen has been in the publishing industry for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. He most recently has been wrtiting and editing in the home improvement and gardening subject areas as well as delving into databases of cooking recipes. He has written catalogs for sporting goods and is the co-publisher of a free email newsletter called The Iowa Gardener. He formerly was an executive editor of home improvement, home design, decorating and gardening books at Meredith Corporation, where he helped create more than 100 booksand DVDs under the brands of Better Homes and Gardens, Ortho, The Home Depot, Stanley, Miracle-Gro and Scotts, among others. Click here for a more in-depth look at some work he's done.
Ben has earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from The Colorado College, a master's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas—Go Jayhawks!—and an MBA from Iowa State University—Go Cyclones! Part of his childhood was in Columbia Missouri—Go Tigers! (Ben is often confused regarding whom to root for at most Big 12 games.) He also completed the Master Gardener courses at Iowa State.
His Craftsman-style home built in 1912 and small lawn and somewhat weedy garden give him ample opportunities to put his do-it-yourself and gardening skills to good use. Ben lives in Des Moines with his wife Dr. Marguerite Fitch and two spoiled geriatric cats named Nimbus and Calliope.
The Iowa Gardener is a free newsletter written by and for Iowans. It has specific tips, tricks, and plant recommendations that you won't be getting from sites and publishers who are trying to cater to a national audience. A supporting website allows readers to sign up for the free newsletter and to access lots more information about gardening in Iowa.