Sunday
Nov192017

November 27, 2017 AGM and Meeting at 7PM

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Our brief AGM will start off the meeting, followed by cupcakes to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the PARKDALE Horticultural Society. The speaker will follow refreshments.

HELEN BATTERSBY : THE GARDEN OF REGRETS

Meet the plants you’ll wish you’d never planted—and learn how to avoid them (before you do) or live with them (if, sadly, you have). Helen is one of the Battersby sisters behind the delightful award winning blog Torontogardens.com and will share her humour and insight on our Toronto gardens. To download a list of the plants Helen discussed in the Garden of Regrets please click here.

GARDENING FIXATION

Helen Battersby is one half of the gardening duo behind the enterprise called Gardenfix and the Toronto blog, Toronto Gardens. The other half is her little sister Sarah (with whom she won two Silver Medals in 2017 from the GWA). So why one and not the other or why not both….? “I usually do the talking”, says Helen, quite plainly. A hint about how that came to be might be found in the caption on their blog photo which reads, “Toronto Gardens gals Sarah (left) & Helen (always right) Battersby.” Although, that could be a reference to how they pose for photos…

But the truth is, this dynamic duo complements each other in their joint gardening ventures; the maturing of a lifelong love and participation in gardening is rooted in family tradition, nurtured early during their time in Wales, living with their grandparents who kept extensive gardens. It was after many years, moving around the country in their youth, that both settled in Toronto, two doors away from each other, in what Helen refers to as the upper, upper, upper Beaches.

At Gardenfix, the sisters provide garden consulting, coaching, and workshops. On their blog, they share their advice on all manner of garden-related topics, accompanied by the most informative and beautifully (and helpfully) illustrated images and photos, alongside discussions rooted in their own. Blogs are categorized in Gardens + Design, Plants + Care, How to + Reviews, Critters + Bugs, Events + Tours, and rounded out with Stuff + Nonsense. In posts in the last category (the one that immediately drew my curiosity) Helen admits to a lifetime of “killing house plants” and suggests 5 minutes can be deducted from her 15 minutes of fame for appearing on Metro Morning recently to talk about one of her “favourite (spring bulbs) and non-favourite (squirrels who eat them) topics.

This writer thinks between Sarah and Helen there are multiple 15 minutes of fame to be had. Among them, speaking to our Hort about how to deal with plants that raise “problems” in our gardens, from being the wrong plant in the wrong place to being too much plant or otherwise. One half of this seeming “Sisterhood of All Things Plant”, Helen, will nonetheless knock down a few more minutes from their time in the limelight.

Maria Nunes
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