Journalists do call us to talk about gardening, and sometimes we, or our blog, are even the subject of the article:
In the Smart Money section of the Toronto Star, writer Katelyn Verstraten gave Helen’s tips for Gorgeous Gardens Done Dirt Cheap:
One of the easiest ways to have an awesome garden for cheap is to have great soil, explains Battersby. But you don’t need to spend money to improve its quality.
“It never ceases to amaze me how assiduous Canadians are about raking up the leaves and putting them out for recycling,” she says. “And then they go to the garden centre and they buy bags of mulch, and they put it back on the garden.”
Battersby suggests putting organic matter such as leaves from your own trees and homemade compost on your garden instead of pricey products you need to buy.
“Organic matter is like a slow-release food for your garden,” she says. “It’s so cheap, and yet so few people do it.”
Tara Nolan’s article in the Toronto Star quotes Helen and other garden folk on garden centre survival tips:
The first piece of advice comes from Gardenfix garden coach Helen Battersby, who also writes the popular blog Toronto gardens: “Just like not bingeing when grocery shopping, never set a foot inside without a list,” she warns. “Allow yourself maybe one impulse item, but have a budget for it.”
Helen Battersby is digging her new line of work — the 62-year-old has branched out from her job as a freelance copywriter and has added gardening coach to her credentials.
Retiring is not on her radar: Helen teamed up with her sister, Sarah, 60, to put down business roots so that when they turn the final page on their desk jobs in the future, they can easily transition into the next career chapter with gardenfix.me.
So far things are coming up roses, says Helen, thanks in part to acquiring a certificate in landscape design from the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson along with a horticultural certificate from Guelph University. “I’m a huge booster for life-long learning,” says Helen.
Two wacky sisters, Helen and Sara Battersby produce this and they’re indefatigable. Every few days, you can find something new to read or look at here. The pair live side by side in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood and, as Helen is a master gardener, they do know their stuff. The postings are usually light-hearted, but accurate. This blog just placed second in the 2014 Canadian Weblog awards (gardening section) and justifiably so. It is a reliable source of news about gardening events in the GTA and worth checking regularly in spring.
Occasionally, we search for our blog online to see if anyone is swiping our pictures (it does happen, sadly). That’s how we found we’d been named one of The 10 Best Canadian Gardening Blogs by Sweetspot.ca – which is unfortunately no longer online. We thank them, nonetheless:
The brainchild of sisters Sarah and Helen Battersby, Toronto Gardens features gardening inspiration from Canada and abroad. We like how they explore gardening in unexpected ways, like their post on making paper snowflake flowers.